Do you want to start a business and make money breeding animals? If YES, here are 10 most profitable exotic animals to breed from home. People the world over love pets, especially Americans. It is hard to visit a family home and not find one or more pets there.

Some of the most common pets one can find in homes include dogs, cats, rodents and the ubiquitous gold fish. These pets are easy to come by and as well easy to take care of. But there are people who seek things that are out of the ordinary.

This is what led to the observed increase in the demand for more exotic and unorthodox pets— such as ferrets, wall geckos, yaks, and jellyfish. This new sector and demand provides a booming industry for animal breeders. If you are a responsible and caring person, with a knack for being clean and meticulous, and you have the money and space required, breeding of exotic pets may not be a bad career to consider.

Depending upon your farming practices, interest in revenue streams and space availability, these pets have distinct benefits to offer, but the most important thing you have to take note of is that exotic pets are very profitable, at least some of them are.

Here are some of the most profitable exotic animals you can breed and sell as pets. Note that not all these animals are meant to be raised indoors, so you should pick the ones you have enough space to raise.

10 Most Profitable Exotic Animals to Breed from Home

1. Iguanas

Iguana is a genus of herbivorous lizards that are native to tropical areas of Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. With proper care and upbringing, iguanas can be rewarding and affectionate pets. Iguanas are able to recognize their owners and family, have a great memory, are affectionate, live 15 to 20 years and can be trained to eat, sleep and go to the bathroom at desired times and places.

It is imperative to keep their habitats clean and relatively consistent, as iguanas can be very sensitive to change. In breeding iguanas, you should prepare an egg box with a proper mixture of soil, sand, and water.

The Green Iguana, a common pet iguana that reaches six feet in length, can be purchased online or at pet stores for between $15 and $35. Specialty breeds cost a lot more. Cyclura Iguanas, for example, range from $250 to $600. The Satanic Leaftail Gecko sells for $250 a pair.

2. Horse

The horse has evolved over the past 45 to 55 million years from a small multi-toed creature, Eohippus, into the large, single-toed animal of today. The horse today is a pet of many, especially wealthy people who can easily afford the cost of purchase and care.

A Friesian breed costs up to $100,000,000 and has an average lifespan of 25 to 30 years. Horses are useful, as they can be ridden as transportation, and are comfortable carrying a decent amount of cargo. They are also beautiful, gentle, and great companions.

3. Chameleons

Chameleons are known and loved for their ability to change color according to their environment. This is a defense mechanism used to camouflage them from predators. Chameleons are very sensitive creatures, and can be easily frightened or injured. It is very important to treat them with great care, including making sure they are always properly hydrated. Cuban false chameleons grow up to 7 inches and cost around $500. This pet can, and will fetch you good money in the market.

4. Emu

The emu is known as the second largest flightless bird in the world. This bird is large, quick, agile and capable of kicking with its big three-toed feet. Emus grow to be around 5 feet tall and weigh 100 pounds. They can run about 30 mph, are very territorial especially during breeding season and can live to be nearly 20 years old. Females lay large dark green eggs that weigh a little more than a pound.

Emus are grazers consuming grass and insects. They can also be fed a supplement grain mix formulated specially for them, which includes corn, soybeans, wheat oats and alfalfa. Optimal management approaches include a facility with pens and gated runs through which to transfer birds.

Day-to-day management is easier than many other livestock breeds. With self-feeders, the birds are fed once a day during spring months (after laying season) and twice a day during laying season. An adult will eat an average of 1 pound of food a day, sometimes consuming all the food and other times eating very little.

Price Determination of Emus

  • Fertile emu eggs – $100/per egg
  • One-day-old chicks – $200/per chick
  • Three-month-old chicks – $300/per chick
  • Eighteen-month to two-year-old emu – $800/per emu
  • Proven breeding pairs – $5,000 to $10,000/per pair

5. Red Tibetan Mastiff

Dogs may be “man’s best friend,” but this particular friend comes with a hefty price tag. In March 2011, a Tibetan Mastiff became the most expensive dog in the world after it was purchased in China for 10 million yuan (just over $1.5 million).

In China, the Tibetan Mastiffs are thought to be holy animals, blessing their owners’ health and security, and have become a status symbol in recent years. They’ve come to represent affluence and prices for the breed have been driven up 500 percent a year.

Breeding this dog has the potential to be quite lucrative. Some breeders are willing to pay as much as $100,000 to get access to a red Tibetan mastiff’s gene pool. The average cost of its puppy can average anywhere from $1,000 to $4,000. In general, the Tibetan Mastiff is known for being loyal and fierce. Previous owners of the Red Tibetan Mastiff breed include Queen Victoria, King George IV and Genghis Khan.

6. Alpaca

Domesticated longer than sheep and cattle, alpacas originated in South America where they were raised for their fiber, which was used for clothing. Alpacas gained popularity in the United States in the early 1980s. There are two breeds of alpaca: Huacaya and Suri. Huacayas are more common because of their fluffy, crimpy fleece and teddy-bear-like looks.

Suris grow silky fleece that drapes gracefully, but this breed represents only about 10 percent of the U.S. alpaca population. Alpacas live 15 to 20 years and weigh between 100 and 200 pounds. They are docile, mild-mannered animals that will occasionally kick with their back feet.

While overall alpaca costs can range between $250 – $50,000 per animal, the cost of most alpacas will fall between $3,000 – $10,000 per alpaca. You will find these costs vary based on age, conformation, fiber quality, lineage, facial appearance, and personality.

7. Yak

Members of the bovine family (Bos grunniens), yaks are large animals raised for meat, milk and fiber. They also are kept for service as pack animals. These animals have handlebar horns, horselike tails, shoulder humps and shaggy coats that nearly reach the ground. The cows weigh 600 to 800 pounds, while the bulls can reach 1,200 to 1,600 pounds or more. Calves weigh about 30 pounds at birth. Yak can live for 20 years or more.

Yak fiber is among the most durable and diverse of the exotic breeds. Yak naturally shed their downy coat, which can be collected through brushing in spring and early summer. The value of yak fiber is a very new proposition in terms of uses and product development.

Yak down is as fine as musk ox qiviut but is of short staple length so it’s usually blended with merino wool or alpaca fiber. The resultant yarn makes beautiful articles of clothing that command high prices. Yak meat is similar in nutritional values to grass-fed bison or beef. Yak meat sells for $7 to $10 per pound.

Their price range is from $2500 to $4000, with most sold in the $2500 to $3000 range. Their color pattern is more desirable to the pet market, and to some degree for the wool market, as they are very pleasing to the eye, and the white wool is in greater demand, and fetches a higher price.

8. Elk

One of the largest species in the deer family, elks were once naturally occurring mammals in much of the Northern Hemisphere. Also called wapiti and red deer, elk weren’t domestically or commercially raised in North America until the 1960s. Modern-day elk stock comes from private breeders; the animals have become larger and more docile through strategic breeding practices.

Compared with cattle, elk are low-maintenance livestock. They are hardy and will eat whatever they can forage, including tree bark, leaves and shrubs. Grazing on summer grasses, the animals build up fat reserves for winter. Green alfalfa and grains are supplements to a healthy diet.

For centuries, antler velvet (the antler before it has started to calcify) has been a significant resource in the production of Chinese medicines. Velvet is said to support health, improve overall energy and stamina, improve joint health and support the immune system.

Starting at the age of 2 years, each bull elk annually produces about 9 pounds of velvet, which is harvested by surgical procedure. As the animal ages, he produces increasing amounts of velvet so that a 7-to-8-year-old bull produces as much as 30 to 40 pounds of velvet a year.

9. Ashera Cat

The Ashera cat can be described as a mini-leopard and is developed by crossing two exotic feline bloodlines—the African Serval and the Asian Leopard—with a regular domestic cat. Its features include distinctive leopard-like spots and contrasting tiger stripes.

One of the reasons the Ashera draws such a high price-tag is for a very unique feature: The cat is hypo-allergenic (unlikely to cause an allergic reaction). Also contributing to the price is its size, it can grow up to 25 to 30 pounds. Lifestyle Pets describes the cat as highly intelligent, very affectionate, and having a great temperament.

It requires no additional care than your typical cat and is actually more social. It acts and plays like a regular domestic cat, but unlike normal cats, an Ashera takes well to being walked on a leash. You can expect to pay up to $125,000 to acquire an Ashera and plan to pay some hefty vet bills with this hybrid species. The Ashera is the most expensive cat breed on the market.

10. Reticulated Python

Looking to buy a pet that will grab everyone’s attention? You should set your sights on the reticulated python as this pet is available for a hefty $25,000. The reticulated python is a species of snake in the family Pythonidae.

The species is native to South Asia and Southeast Asia. It is the world’s longest snake and listed as least concern on the IUCN Red List because of its wide distribution. The reticulated python gets its name for the “reticulated” or netlike pattern on it’s back.

Reticulated pythons are known for having a nasty temperament in the wild, but captive-bred retics (as they’re nicknamed) can make great pets with the proper care and handling. People may purchase a snake of this caliber to breed, but in many cases it’s the idea of owning a rare specimen that’s the main attraction.

Ejike Cynthia