Butterfly Farming FAQs

Butterfly Farming FAQ's

Check out this list of butterfly farming FAQs asked most often by people considering becoming a butterfly farmer!

Is it hard?

This depends upon the size farm you wish to operate. Small table top farms may take an hour a day for care. Large full scale facilities may take a dozen employees and 365 days a year of work.

How much does it cost to start a farm?

Again, this depends upon the size of your farm. Table top farms require very little finances. Large farms may cost upward of two hundred thousand dollars to build greenhouse, laboratories, offices, and more.

How much money can I make?

From a few dollars to almost $100,000 in a good year. This will be balanced by bad years, when problems may cost tens of thousands of dollars.

What hours are involved?

Again, depending upon the size of your farm, an hour a day to several hundred hours a week. From a few months a year to 365 days a year.

How do you find your customers? How would I sell the butterflies?

Market! You will need to learn marketing skills. From classes at local colleges, AFB Marketing Course, internet searches, and other sources, a farmer can learn how to market his/her farm without expense other than time.

Is the market flooded?

Most people have never heard of a butterfly farm or a butterfly release. There are weddings and funerals, parties and graduations, gardeners and exhibits, students and teachers . the market has room for more farmers as long as they realize that customers will need the farmer to find them, they will rarely go find the farmer.

Which species should I raise?

This depends upon your intended market! If you are raising butterflies for releases outside your state, you need to raise the species the USDA will permit to be transported across state lines for release. The most popular release butterfly is the Monarch. The butterfly which is allowed to be released in more states than any other is the Painted Lady. If you are rearing for exhibits, raise any large showy butterfly in your state or write and ask exhibitors if they are looking for any particular butterflies. Remember, no matter which species you raise, you will need to market your butterflies.

To learn even more, take our free course, “So, You Think You Want to be a Butterfly Farmer” at Butterfly College and learn what it takes to become a butterfly farmer.

To receive course discounts and access an exclusive email list to learn even more, read about how to Become a Member of Association for Butterflies.