From genetically engineered spider goats to swiftlet bird nest farms you won't believe some of the weird and unique animal farms that we've found!
1The Utah State University (USU) Spider Goat Farm, Utah, U.S.
Chances are you've never heard of the spider goat, which is exactly why this genetically engineered animal has made it to the top of our list.
The spider goat is purely a creation of science. Outwardly it's no different from your typical goat. However, the spider goat does have spider DNA in it. That's right – the spider goat creates milk that contains golden orb spider silk.
Golden orb spider silk is not meant for human consumption and it is the only outwardly distinguishable trait that makes the spider goat unique.
Scientists refine the spider goat's milk and then the extracted silk is used to make highly resistant products such as fishing line wire, body armor, surgical sutures and parachutes.
The USU farm is home to its very own herd of spider goats which can be visited on certain occasions. This farm is actually part of a larger research facility at USU that focuses on animal husbandry and genetics.
2Swansea Biopharm Leech Farm, Wales
You thought the leech trade died out with the advent of modern medicine, didn't you? In some respects, it did. However, there is a farm in Wales that believes the leech will make a comeback due to its medical benefits.
The medical leech farming business is worth 1 million pounds per year and still provides 60,000 leeches a year to hospitals throughout Europe.
Biopharm has created the first leech farm of its kind, but don't let the word "farm" fool you as the Biopharm farm is really an extremely sterile medical lab. Biopharm uses advanced technology for processes such as reverse osmosis and foam fractionating to farm leeches.
Interesting Note: Some of the leeches aren't just used on humans, they also play a big role in certain veterinary procedures.
3The Black Ivory Coffee Elephant Dung Farm, Thailand
Have you ever heard of elephant dung coffee? Well, you probably haven't unless you are a coffee connoisseur.
These $500 per pound coffee beans originate from Thailand and use elephant dung as a key ingredient to set this coffee bean apart from all others on the market.
Yes, you heard us right – we said elephant dung! Black Ivory Coffee Company is the premier elephant dung coffee manufacturer in the world. The elephants at this farm are all rescued from the streets of the surrounding region. At the Black Ivory Coffee farm expensive Thai Arabica coffee beans are refined then collected and taken through an intensive process so that they are ready to be enjoyed – and by "refine" we mean the beans are eaten by elephants and what results from the subsequently produced stool is used to create the world famous Black Ivory Coffee.
4Snake Ranch, Australia
Did you know that Australia is home to farms that specifically focus on breeding snakes for both pets and venom? Snake Ranch is the largest and first reptile breeding facility in Australia.
Snake Ranch is a snake breeding farm that offers a wide assortment of rare pythons, one of the deadliest reptiles alive. In fact, Snack Ranch offers over 15 different types of pythons available for sale including one called the "Children's Python," which was ironically named because of its unsuitability for children. Hatchling pythons are also available for purchase.
5Hartley's Crocodile Adventure Farm, North Queensland
Every wished you could spend the afternoon enjoying the company of crocodiles? Well, you can at Hartley's Crocodile Adventure Farm.
Hartley's has everything having to do with crocodiles, including and most importantly, a crocodile farm.
What makes Hartley's great is that though it is a commercial operation, it is open for tours by the general public. The owners believe the tours are a great way to increase environmental awareness among the public.
People who have visited the farm have marveled at how amazing the experience was, and how the farm was actually more like a "zoo" than a commercial operation.
6Xiongsen Tiger Mountain Village, China
This site is home to one of the most illustrious and controversial farms in the world. Tiger farming has been an issue of international concern for years – less than 3,500 tigers remain free in the wild in Asia. These strikingly low numbers are slowly pushing the tiger species closer to extinction. Experts believe that it is the demand for Tiger body parts that is leading to the potential extinction. That's where tiger farms such as Xiongsen come under big attack. In fact, until a year ago, people were still allowed to purchase Tiger steaks directly from the farm. As such, activists throughout the world have joined forces to prevent the legalization of the international tiger trade. Thus, though visiting this tiger farm would be awesome, it is important to note that your visit could be supporting an industry that is contributing the demise of the entire tiger race.
7Armstrong's Cricket Farm, Georgia, U.S.
This American farm doesn't deal in livestock. Instead, it farms crickets that are mainly used for fishing bait.
All sorts of feed including worms and other insects can be found at Armstrong's, but it is primarily known for its farming of brown crickets.
The brown cricket is an exceptional type of cricket. It is considered the perfect bait because fish seem to prefer the activity level and odor from the brown cricket over all other types of crickets. Fishermen also love these crickets because they are non-aggressive, nutritious and easily digested by fish.
You can either visit this strange farm yourself, or order your very own batch of crickets through their website.
8The George Town Swiftlet Farm, Malaysia
We bet you've never heard of swiftlet farming or birds nest soup. Swiftlet farming is the unusual process of using nonresidential, typically urban spaces to create the perfect nesting environment for attracting swiftlet birds to lay eggs and create nests. The resulting nest is either eaten as a delicacy with or without a swiftlet in it, while parts of the nest (which are made of solidified bird saliva) are used to make the world famous bird's nest soup.
Throughout China, the swiftlet birds' nests have been enjoyed as an edible delicacy for centuries. George Town – the capital of the Penang state of Malaysia – has a multimillion-dollar swiftlet birds' nest business.
The George Town Swiftlet Farm is actually creating significant health risks for the city and has also forced UNESCO to reconsider the city's prized World Heritage status.
9The Maryland Reptile Farm, Maryland, U.S.
Not sure if you want to purchase a python or a boa? Well, let the people at the Maryland Reptile Farm help you decide.
This unique farm boasts an inventory that would impress even those reptile-loving Australians. Typical snakes for purchase include pythons, boa constrictors and other exciting reptiles.
The people at the Maryland Reptile Farm are snake breeders respected throughout the U.S. for the high quality standards they exercise at the farm. Additionally, the farm's owners travel throughout the country in order to showcase their exceptional snake breeds at reptile fairs across the world.
10Giraffe Ranch Farm, Florida
Has it been your biggest dream to ride a real giraffe? Well, look no further than the Giraffe Ranch Farm.
This fascinating farm doesn't consider itself a zoo. Instead, it is an eco-friendly wildlife preserve and working game farm. Unlike some of the other weird farms on this list, the Giraffe Ranch Farm happily opens its doors to tourists. This impressive collection of giraffes is part of a menagerie of animals on the farm that include zebras, antelope, boars, rhinos and a zedonk, just to name a few.
Some of the typical activities that you can enjoy while at the ranch include giraffe feedings and camelback expeditions. Check it out the next time you're in Florida.