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Investing in Alpacas

The ancient Incas knew the value of their alpacas. Their lives revolved around these gentle animals which figured prominently in their religious ceremonies. Inca royalty clothed themselves in garments made from alpaca. Because of their hardy nature, alpacas flourished on the sparse vegetation of the high mountains of Peru and the number of animals owned indicated the wealth and status of the owner.

It is now possible for you and your family to follow the example of this ancient civilization and create a secure financial future through alpaca ownership.

Alpaca Ownership

First, determine your goals for alpaca ownership. Would you like to own an inexpensive pair of gelding males for fiber production or as pets for you and your family? Are you going to be a full-time or part-time breeder? Do you wish to have hands on ownership or investment only? Will you invest in alpacas for current financial returns or are you going to build a herd toward the day you retire?

However you choose to be involved, there is an "Alpaca Business Plan" suitable for you. The industry is very young and represents a ground floor opportunity. Very few investments have the potential to reproduce themselves every year - as an alpaca does. Today's smaller breeder can choose to be almost any size in the future. An owner who likes the return alpacas offer, or the lifestyle they provide, can choose any level of investment.

Hands On Ownership

You can enjoy a serene rural lifestyle tending your herd on your own acreage while generating tax deferred wealth for the future. Alpaca ownership qualifies for wonderful tax benefits. Click on Tax Benefits to learn more.

Investment Only

Maybe you are not a farmer at heart but recognize the solid investment that alpacas represent. If so, you may opt for an arms-length investment in this emerging livestock industry by purchasing animals and boarding them (agisting) where someone else provides the care. Your investment is compounding at an amazing rate and the cost of board is tax deductible for income tax purposes.

The Best of Both Worlds

If, like most people, you fall in love with the animals, and want to spend time around them but their daily care requirements are not suited to your lifestyle, that's also possible. You can own alpacas and visit regularly while boarding them. This is called agistment. You are still building tax-deferred wealth and can claim the costs associated with your investment against your income. There are many ways to win from alpaca ownership.

Alpaca Compounding

Alpaca compounding is a very simple concept. Female alpacas produce one offspring about every 11 to 12 months. The ratio of male to female is about 50/50. Your female crias will be ready to breed between 14 to 18 months of age. Every time a female cria comes to breeding age you are adding one more source of new animals to your herd. This is alpaca compounding. The larger the herd, the faster it grows.

When a male cria is born the option exists to sell the animal or keep him as a companion or fiber animal. If this cria is truly exceptional you may wish to sell him as a herd-sire prospect or keep him to use on your non-related females.

Alpacas are hardy animals and the mortality rate is very low. However, death does happen so this eventually may affect the return on investment. Your alpacas are fully insurable with a vet exam and yearly premium.

Fiber - Income which just keeps growing and growing

Fiber production is the economic underpinning of the alpaca industry for the future. Alpaca fleece has all the right qualities to be one of the finest fibers in the world but is still quite rare. For every 32 pounds of sheep's wool, less than one ounce of alpaca fiber is produced.

The herds outside of South America are not generally large enough to support industrial processing, however fiber co-operatives are beginning to emerge which offer a ready market for breeders. Alpaca is also coveted by cottage industries and some breeders have arrangements with local spinners and weavers who purchase their fleece.

Some people invest in alpacas just for a secure source of fiber for their own cottage industry. Whatever you choose to do with your fiber, the price that you receive usually more than covers the cost of caring for your animals.

How Do I Get Started?

The first thing to decide on is your purpose for raising alpacas. Are you interested in having a few animals to produce fiber for your personal use? Would you like to breed alpacas to coincide with your current lifestyle? Are you thinking about beginning a herd now to provide for your retirement?

Any way you approach alpaca investing, there is no time like the present to begin your research! Deciding whether you want to own a small herd 3 or 4 alpacas, a medium size herd of 25 or more or a large ranch with well over 100 animals. Nationwide, the average ranch has approximately 8-10 animals. And don't forget about the possibility of agisting-- boarding your animals on an established ranch, either temporarily while you prepare your facilities, or permanently if you plan to maintain your present lifestyle.

There are about 45,000 alpacas in the United States today, so the need for expansion is great in order to meet the growing demand for fiber. A larger initial investment gives you a head start in building your herd. And how many other investments can you count on to reproduce themselves every year? Plan a visit to our farm today. There is no better time than right now to begin your adventure into the investment you can hug.

We welcome your calls and inquiries, and would love the opportunity to speak with you and to introduce you to our alpacas and the alpaca lifestyle.

AOBA (Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association) Link


Helpful link on Investment Potential, Alpaca Facts, Lifestyle & How To Get Started

David and Judi Howard

82 Benn Hill Rd

Hodgdon, ME  04730

Cell (207)521-4551


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