Stretch Your Imagination. Think Alpacas!


Stock-Photo-Blue-Sky.jpgWhy are alpacas often called "the world's finest livestock investment"?  Consider the following:

  • High Demand -- The demand for alpacas is increasing as more people join the ranks of alpaca breeders, and more consumers appreciate the superior qualities of alpaca fiber.
  • Limited Supply -- Meanwhile, the supply of alpacas in the U.S. is limited, because South American importation is now closed, and also because it takes a while to increase the size of a herd through reproduction. (The gestation period for alpacas is 11-1/2 months, and alpacas typically give birth to only one offspring at a time.)
  • High Return -- Supply-and-demand also contributes to relatively high market value for alpacas, contributing to a high ROI.
  • Significant Tax Advantages -- Most alpaca breeders, like breeders of other livestock, qualify for certain tax advantages provided for in the US Tax Code. See article.  For example, Section 179 provides for an accelerated depreciation method that can be a major tax benefit of alpaca ownership for qualifying breeders. State and local tax advantages may also be available.
  • Insurable -- Alpacas can be fully insured.
  • Marketable Fleece -- Alpacas are sheared once a year, and proceeds from the sale of their fiber can be used to offset the cost of feed and maintenance.
  • High-Value Animals -- Many alpaca breeders enjoy significant profit from the sale of stock. As in other livestock businesses, show-quality breeding stock sells for significantly higher prices than fiber-quality stock. Prices are higher for high-end seed stock, because those animals are much more likely to produce offspring with predictable and desirable traits.
  • Stud Fees -- Not every male alpaca should be a herdsire, but for breeders with herdsire-quality males, breeding fees are another important income stream.
  • Herd Growth -- Hypothetically, a breeder could purchase 10 pregnant females to start a herd and by the end of 10 years, that herd could have grown to 120 females and 111 males. This assumes an 80% live birth rate, a 50:50 male to female birth ratio, and a breeding age of 18 months for females. It further assumes that the breeder will also purchase two males or arrange for outside breedings, at least to start.
  • Easy and Economical to Raise -- Alpacas are easy to handle, easy to care for, and much less expensive to maintain than most other livestock
  • Low Acreage Requirements -- Generally, an acre of land will support 5-10 alpacas, depending on the quality of available pasture.
  • Enjoyable Lifestyle -- Alpaca ranching offers hands-on breeders an enjoyable rural lifestyle, which is attracting many young families as well as recent retirees to its ranks.
  • Environmentally Friendly -- Alpacas are earth-friendly and easy on the land.
  • Likeable -- Everybody loves alpacas, and they are great ambassadors for your farm.
  • Kid-Friendly -- Alpacas provide a wonderful opportunity for children to participate in hands-on farm activities.

See related articles:

The Business Plan

Tax Advantages