alligator

Alligator hides are one of the most valuable exotic “leathers” in the world.  In Louisiana, whose bayous are teeming with alligators, Lonza Water Treatment is helping several premiere alligator farms sanitize the water in their raising pens with our Constant Chlor™ Plus MC4-50 systems and calcium hypochlorite briquettes.   The constant supply of clean water helps protect the alligators and their hides from bacteria that can damage and discolor the hides, reducing their value at market.

Alligator hides are sold to companies that transform them into watch bands, boots, belts, pocketbooks and other high-end fashion items.   

As exemplified by Lonza’s Louisiana customers, large-scale alligator farming is a highly sophisticated, scrupulously regulated, commercialized operation. That’s not to say that gator farming is not without its wild side  --  especially during egg harvest during June and early July, when freshly laid alligator eggs are collected out in the marshes.  Farm workers locate the nests, often by helicopter, mark their exact location using GPS units, and then return by airboat to collect some of the eggs by hand.

“This is the most dangerous time for us, when we’re collecting the eggs,” one farm owner says. “Female alligators are very protective of their eggs, and they’re almost always somewhere near their nests, but you don’t always see them.”

The eggs are brought back to the farm where they are incubated, hatched, and the gators grown to four to six feet in length for their hides.  The gator farmers we serve return a percentage of their animals back to the wild under the state’s alligator ranching program, helping sustain this unique natural resource.   

One farm alone can house more than 120,000 gators indoors in a sealed, highly controlled environment.  Thousands of pens, each holding approximately 80 gators, are housed in multiple barns at several locations. Inside the pens the feisty animals are fed daily and water temperature is highly regulated. The barns are kept dark to reduce environmental stress on the animals.  

The water used in the pens is drawn from artisanal wells and then sanitized by our feeder systems.  One long-time customer recently installed two of Lonza Water Treatment’s innovative new Constant Chlor™ Plus MC4-50 Lite dry calcium hypochlorite systems.  They keep the pen water sanitized at all times, with the fill water chlorinated to 3 parts per million (ppm).  

The new Lite units feature patented spray technology to prepare and automatically deliver a consistently accurate dose of liquid available chlorine for disinfection. The MC4-50 system is able to deliver from 1 to 50 lbs. of available chlorine (AvCL) per day on a sustained basis. Constant Chlor® briquettes are top-loaded into the feed system’s 62-lb. capacity hopper