Starting an Alpaca Farm from a business Perspective
If you have come to this page, your interest has been piqued from something you have read or seen. You have probably seen some television commercials or seen alpacas at the county fairs. You have heard all about how fun alpacas are and how profitable they can be to raise. Yes, indeed, Alpacas are gorgeous creatures with inquisitvie minds and their individual personalities will add real value to your life. It teaches our kids responsibility and family business principles.
Its all true! Now, Where do you wanna go from here?
If you live near Ohio, please call us and setup a visit to The AlpacaRosa. If you live far away, call The AlpacaRosa and let us assist you in finding a close reputable breeder near you. Most Alpaca breeders love to show off their animals and answer any questions regarding alpacas.
If your first alpaca farm visit is pleasurable, give The AlpacaRosa a call and let's start talking about your situation and desires to be involved with the alpaca. Explore the benefits of alpaca farming! Tax savings (IRS section 179), income, change of lifestyle are a few of the many reasons that people become alpaca farmers
An important element to achieving success in this alpaca industry is choosing a good mentor farm and relying on them for experienced advice selecting a quality/economical foundation herd. Your mentor farm will help assist you in defining your market niche, as well as training you in all the husbandry skills required for good herd management.
AOBA National Champion
The AlpacaRosa specializes in this area and takes great pleasure in building new relationships with new breeders. We love to teach new enthusiastic breeders all about the fiber characteristics and market conditions & trends that help determine the value of an alpaca, also see Alpaculator. We passionately understand that new breeders must become successful "profitable" breeders, if our industry is to remain strong and vigorous.
As of 2013, The AlpacaRosa is well positioned for helping others start-up their alpaca farm:
We've been busy ......
- Enjoying the alpaca business since 1999 - Establishing 100's of friendships within the alpaca community - selling over 280 alpacas - selling 38 of our "customer's" alpacas - breeding over 280 females - birthing over 190 cria, - Experiencing many championships and awards in the showring - Achieving Championship success as both Huacaya AND Suri breeders, not often seen in our industry - Being Awarded the All American Futurity 2006 Reserve Small Breeder of the Year - Establishing the Great Ohio Alpaca Tour - Engineering and manufacturing helpful tools to ease the alpaca breeder's work load and to ease stress for the alpaca The Tooth a Matic, Fight O Matic, PacaTrapper - Developing the Alpaculator - Establishing the website AlpacaStreet.com
Dancin Man's Strut
Our experience can help give you an accurate perspective on what to expect in the alpaca industry.
Once again, we want to stress the importance of choosing a respected and experienced mentor farm to help you with your initial herd acquisition, as well as, being there for you during your development years. Choosing the wrong mentoring farm could severely delay your herd development and the rate of speed to which you reach your desired profitability.
Some farms have been in the business for years and built up a lovely herd, but they have not sold any alpacas. They made the unfortunate mistake of ignoring the most important ingredient to having a successful alpaca venture, Marketing. The AlpacaRosa will not allow you to lose site of marketing. Infact, it plays a major role, in selecting your foundation herd. Let us show you the way to becoming a "profitable" business in this great industry.
Getting the "real facts" about the alpaca business is obviously important in order for you to make the correct decision for your personal circumstances. The AlpacaRosa will prepare you with the no nonsense knowledge to help you decide if the alpaca business will work for you. Raising alpacas can make a great lifestyle for many folks, but its not for everyone.
Is the alpaca Lifestyle for you?
Here are a few basics about alpacas that you should consider at this time.
-Alpacas live for 20+ years
-They require daily care. The time spent caring for alpacas is very small, but essential, and you will need to determine if you have the time. Daily care consists of twice/day feedings, watering, poop scooping, general cleanup. Besides the daily care, responsible breeders allow time to observe their herd. An alert breeder will look for animal behavior that is not normal. This could give the breeder early notice of impending births or alpacas needing medical attention. Our herd of 60 alpacas requires an average of 2-3 hours/day of care
-Alpacas require some regular health maintenance, like trimming toenails, trimming teeth, and shearing fiber, giving monthly worming injections.
-Alpacas require small amounts of land approximately 5 -10 alpacas per acre
- Alpacas will require a simple shelter. We recommend having a barn for the alpaca breeder to operate out of. Our philosophy is the Barn is there for YOU (the breeder and caregiver). During inclimate weather, a barn gives the breeder a place to work out of and it's a safe place to store your feed. a Barn also allows you the protection to relax and observe the herd. It can also provide protection for the animals if needed. Although 3 sided shelters are often recommended, we believe that a central barn is required for ultimate care. -Alpacas diet is very simple and inexpensive. They eat grass hay and some grain. The average costs per alpaca is only $160/year (2008)
Alpacas are very disease resistant animals. That said, they are live stock and they do die at some point. From an investment point of view, this is no problem, because you can buy inexpensive alpaca life insurance to cover 100% of your loss. From an emotional point of view, however, it can temporarily upset your state of mind.
-Alpaca's gestation period is 11-12 months, and they produce only one cria per year, so the process demands patience on the part of the breeder.
-Alpacas cost a lot of money, but take pleasure in knowing that the US alpaca herd is growing at a very slow and predictable rate and prices should maintain as they have for the last 23 years. Being expensive livestock has its rewards when selling the offspring!.
-Importation from South America was shut down in 1998; No more alpacas can enter our marketplace, preserving our investment.
-Recommended showing of alpacas to gain credentials for your farm is advisable. Approximately $500-700 cost per show.
-Selling alpacas require advertising dollars to get buyers to your farm.
-Getting a website is essential nowadays for selling alpacas
Investment outlay required for starting alpaca herd
3 breeding ( $5,000-20,000 ea.)
foundation females ............................... $15-60,000 barn ........$10-20,000