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Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by catwoman, Aug 12, 2006.
Does anyone here raise alpacas. and can you tell me more about them.
Google alpaca jacks over in ohio.
They're supposed to be friendly, non-smelly, curious and they poop commune-ly (sp? same spot.)
I think it's still a rich mans game...like ostriches and buffalo. Processing is still not easy here in the states. So I think most people make their money by breeding and selling to other people who think they'll make money by breeding or off the fur, wool, whatever they call it.
Eventually, if it sustains, I think it would be a good business. It's a catch 22. the only way to make money is if people continue to believe it will and grow the population and get enough market to bring the cost of process down.
pregnant doe of show/fur quality = $30-50k. Bucks are less.
We raise a few alpacas for fun. It is really expensive if you want to get into the breeding side. (which we don't)
They are 1) animals. The more they are handled the "friendlier" they are.
I have a few who scream when haltered and handled probably always will..
2) They are not "smelly" Animals poo... it smells. period. It's not as bad as chicken poop or cow poop but it is fragrant. I don't think it's offensive but I like the smell of a horse barn too. :shrug:
3) They go in one place. Could someone remind my animals that please? They do poop in communal piles just lots of them.
4) People will tell you that these animals will just multiply and make you rich. They multiply alright. The American herd had DOUBLED in 5 years. Not so rare that they will fetch the prices that you want.
I must say though I love my alpacas. I love their fleece and spin it . I would love to get into processing the fleeces but many just sell to a co-op for pennies on the dollar and they are either sending it out of the country to process :grump: or just have so much volume that they can sell at a leser cost.
Just my $0.02
FLEECE...that's the word I was looking for.
I think they're cute as the dickens. wish I had a couple.
We have several fiber males for sale and one registered intact male. We are keeping our one female and her male cria. We are also keeping one unregistered male to breed her to. We are hoping she is bred to the registered male now. They are quiet animals, don't smell, easy keepers and the fleece is wonderful! Feel free to PM me if you would like more details.
Looks like a "breeders market" right now. Prices at $10,000 for a cria (sp?) seem a bit high to me...they are cute, but I would wait for the breeders market to bottom out and the prices to come down.
Llamas were pretty high a few years ago, weren't they?
Their fleece is the thing. It is used with cashmere to make it softer, has better insulating properties than wool. They are a curious bunch and I love to listen to them hum....oh and they will spit on you if they get upset, a green hideous smelling spit..lol
Here is a very good message board just dedicated for the Alpaca owners. This site has over 2K members lots of info and good people.
I'm with Rabbitgal. From what I've heard, and the people I've seen lose money on them, this is a "get-poor-quick" scheme.
If history for this sort of thing is any indicator, this will pretty much tank. IMO, it's like a Multi Level Marketing set up. The actual fleece is supposed to be the product, but people aren't making much $$ on those -- it's all about selling the livestock. But if the stock isn't worth anything other than its existence, it's pretty risky.
If you want an incredibly expensive, sweet pet, I suppose it's alright. But that's some serious fundage to shell out on speculation. If you have that kind of jack, you're better off investing in real estate or medium-risk markets. Much less risk and more secure rate of return.
The Bubble will burst on The Camilid market in A few years, So just wait. There have been A few listed in the Farm And Dairy newspaper.
Once it was tulip bulbs, orstich, emus, exotic animals of all kinds now its alpacas , have a neighbor that has several emus and orstarch that he has given a home, they are about worthless but he takes them in just because he likes them. If you want an alpaca because you like them buy some, to get rich or even break even don't.
I would love to have a couple for my own spinning of their fleeces but they have just proven way to expensive to have on my little homestead right now...There have been several good articles in HOBBY FARMS magazine about them. You might search their web site as well! best wishes.
Thanks for all the replies! They were all so helpfull.
I think they are the cutest things so cudly looking. But I don't have that kind of bank! If there is not that big of a market for their fleece here then raising them just for breeding seems kind of pointless. Who knows maybe the market will grow.
I would say that, at least, the fleece is a real market....unlike serving an ostrich for thanksgiving...(can you imagine the drumstick!)
I think that somewhere down the road, just like most products, after the rich people have sustained for long enough and the technology and market approves it, the prices will come down and the market for fleece will rise. Until then the rich people get to play with them and I can only visit them. (alpaca petting farm....hhmmm...)
Have you ever been able to recognize what tunes they're humming? (ozzy osborne?.....led zeppelin?)
I have had good luck selling my fleeces. I would like to keep more to spin myself but don't have the time. I especially enjoy mixing the alpaca with my french angora fiber. Yum! Gelded males are cheaper and have the best fleece. If someone is willing to pay several hundred dollars for a miniature donkey why wouldn't they pay that for an animal that produces wonderful fleece for their own use or to sell? Selling the fleece pays for the animals' keep. I agree with others that it is a breeders market though. You have to already have big bucks to get into it and do the show circuit and advertising that it takes to be a "big dog." My registered male and female are not the high dollar animals that you see advertised but they are still nice animals and I hope to get a nice cria from them.
I have a free (FREE) black gelding born Aug 24, 2002. U-haul.
He is very friendly, except with his brother. They aren't the brightest creatures on earth, but they are gentle and curious. I can't identify what they are humming either.
Can you eat them?
Can you work them in the field?
it may be just me but I find them useless animals to keep just to get yarn from them at least you can eat a sheep or lamb. someone educate me please on this alpaca subject please.
Alpaca yarn is fabulous stuff. I can say this with authority as a knitter. But until the price of the animals comes down closer to the price of sheep, I'm afraid they aren't much of a viable business in this country.
I don't think you need educating on the subject, as you seem to pretty much have the particulars covered.
Not useful to me or most folks I know, but I suppose that there's a market for just about anything.
Remember the Pet Rock? :rotfl:
Ouch, that seems like kind of a mean spirited thing to say. We all have different tastes and different things that make us happy. Not sure what your "thing" is but I sure wouldn't want to belittle it. I don't consider my alpacas "useless animals." And as far as the price, I know of people that have paid more for a fancy little dog that does nothing but warm the owner's heart and lap than I have paid for a fiber animal. But if that's their "thing" than I wish them the best. Nothing is useless if it makes you happy. Just my .02.