Cockatiels make great pets so there is always a market for them. They lay between 4 to 6 eggs at a time and can safely do this twice a year. Baby cockatiels sell for about $85 so you can gauge how many females you would need to make some healthy income. It makes sense to start small to find out where your buyers are. The most profitable ones will be families and the least profitable will be pet shops that are used to getting their inventory at cut throat prices. Fortunately, cockatiels are not overly noisy and don’t bite if you begin handling them from a very young age. So 5 cages in your den, garage or shed probably won’t disrupt your family life. Any inconveniences will probably be overshadowed by the extra $3,500 per year after bird seed expenditures. Above all, having cockatiels would be an amazing experience for you and your children. And by selling off your broods to responsible families, you would be sharing the same experiences with them.
So let’s say that you would rather have just 3 cages and would like to try breeding something else to pick up the slack. How about escargot (snails)? If you are into unique ventures, this may be for you. And if you learn the ropes well enough, this venue could be amazingly profitable. You see, there are top chefs all over the US that need escargot for their menu and most of the time these chefs are forced to import from Europe. What’s nice is that you don’t need a lot of yard space for heliciculture (snail breeding) and you don’t need to chaperone your critters 24/7. One of the things to remember is to not let them get too crowded or they will suddenly die from claustrophobia. Another is to feed them basil which is something that chefs value highly. What you feed the snails is ultimately how they will taste. If you choose to market your snails yourself, be prepared to spend a lot of time on Twitter to contact these chefs. Those who don’t want to deal with this can work through a middle man. This middle man will create your snail related folklore and spread it to the chefs. They will learn of your dedication to your craft and how you speak to and clean each and every snail before shipping them out. But they will never hear about your safely guarded secrets. In fact, no one will. As with any industry there are some things that you have to keep to yourself to maintain the edge over your competition.
Raising geckos can be as profitable as you want to make it… and it’s also a lot of fun. Within the gecko pool there is a large variety of skin patterns and you get to create new designs through strategic breeding. If you are dedicated, you may even be able to create a new lizard style (or “morph” as it’s called) that wins wild acclaim. Making designer lizards takes the mundane activity of mating to a new level as you experiment and come up with fabulous new creations. Those who aren’t into the intellectual challenge of higher breeding can still enjoy regular breeding and selling geckos for a steady income. No matter what your goal is, you probably won’t make any money for the first year. During this time of experimentation you will be learning about mating protocols and overall basic gecko care. You will also be developing a trust between you and other potential buyers through casual pet store contacts (or you may be found by creating your own website).
What’s nice about choosing this kind of passive income stream is that geckos are low maintenance and very clean. The most effort you will be exerting will be through close supervision during the mating time as you introduce one lizard to another. When the deed is done, you just separate them and things go into auto drive again. Unbeknownst to many, the sex of geckos is usually determined by the temperature that you set the incubator to. At 80 degrees Fahrenheit, you will get mostly females. Turn the incubator up to 88 degrees and you will get mostly males. So as you can see, the destiny of your broods largely depends on you. Sometimes these critters will fetch a price of $250 for a healthy and beautiful specimen so there is a real financial incentive for persevering through the first year.
After reading the title of this post, you probably were thinking about including dogs in your idea bucket. But I have news for you, breeding dogs is NOT a passive activity and most of the time it’s not even profitable. There are breeders that cash in big by displaying their dogs in shows, but only the diehard dog lovers are the ones with enough momentum to succeed on this level. If what I’ve just said is not enough to deter you from dog breeding, make sure you start with a profitable breed like yorkies, english bulldogs or chinese crested. Remember that not starting right might train wreck the lives of your pups as they end up in shelters with no buyers to take them in.
To determine if breeding dogs is right for you, I’ll tell you a little bit about what it’s like to raise yorkshire terriers. First of all, resist the temptation of breeding miniature versions despite the inflated prices you can get per pup. Smaller than normal yorkies are too fragile and risk organ failure. If you’re more responsible you will try to breed dogs between 4 to 10 pounds. This will lessen the chances of requiring very expensive C-sections at birth (around $1800). But even if you do things correctly, the possibility of a C-section is always looming for yorkie breeders. Then there are the required shots and tests to insure there aren’t any genetic defects. The more you research breeding yorkies as well as toy dogs in general, it seems like it’s best suited for veterinarians who want a side business.
As I said before, breeding dogs cannot be considered passive income because of the high maintenance involved. Case in point, potty training yorkies is a BIG challenge and you can’t just let them hang out in the back yard all day. They HATE rain and environments that are cold. Those who can overlook these problems are best suited to be yorkie breeders and can look forward to fetching between $800 – $1000 per pup. An owner of these beautiful dogs can expect a life full of affection as these dogs naturally want to be your best friends. They are like little gremlins, scrappy and intrepid: always vying for your affection.
I saved the most oddball passive income recommendation for last. If you’ve got over 15 acres of farmland you might try alpacas. They look like small llamas but are more cuddly and docile. The fashion industry is in love with their hypo allergenic fur which provides a soft and comfortable substitute for cotton. One alpaca may yield about $500 dollars per year of fur which is not too bad. But the real payoff comes when you start selling your stock at $20,000 a head. And you would be surprised that people take them off your hands for hefty tax write-offs. Only in America! Years ago, Uncle Sam was subsidizing ostriches, now alpacas are included in the list. What’s next?