Alpacas

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Joey Wahoo, Feb 21, 2005.

  1. Joey Wahoo

    Joey Wahoo Well-Known Member

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    A neighbor is trying to get me to go in with him in raising alpacas. He insists that the market for alpacas is great, and that it will be easy to recapture the initial investment. The whole things like kind of fishy to me.

    Anyone had any experience with this?

    Thanks in advance...
     
  2. Vera

    Vera Well-Known Member

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  3. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Alpaca's have two products, wool and more alpaca's. Can you generate enough wool or can you sell enough baby alpacas to make the finace work?

    DONT belleive the tv ads. While taking care of llama's and alpacas is reasably easy. To produce a high selling winner you need to do a lot of shows and that means a lot of traveling.


     
  4. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I'd say you've missed the boat on the breeding stock angle but if you have alpacas and are willing to work on that fleece you should be well rewarded for that. It might mean adding value to it as roving or spun yarn or even as a finished product but there are small mills that specialize in that sort of thing.
     
  5. GrannieD

    GrannieD Well-Known Member

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    Does ostrich sound familiar??? How about emu...potbelly pigs..llama..??
    Its a very good way to help the guy you buy them from get some of his investment back...! GrannieD
     
  6. Annie in MN

    Annie in MN Well-Known Member

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    Hey folks, tell that to the guy who just sold a herdsire for a world record $580,000.00 this weekend. No, I did not add too many zeros there. Over half a million dollars.

    Yes, it is very much still a breeder's market. The fact that they reproduce slowly, (generally one cria a year), have an end product that is useable and regenerative, (that is, you don't have to kill it) and the registry is closed, I think the breeder's market will continue for a good while yet.

    As with many things, though, you have to be willing and able to do the marketing effectively, and have the money to do so.

    As far as the product, there is certainly no money to be made in selling the raw fiber. It's the whole value-added concept again. There is a woman in Virginia I believe who has a herd of alpacas and sells her sweaters/shawls etc in New York for $1000.00. Really.

    I have 8 fiber boys, and I love them to pieces. I did my research before I purchased, knew how to properly care for them before I ever brought them home, and the alpaca people I have dealt with have been honest, friendly, and willing to answer any question at any time. As in all industries, there are the unscrupulous out there. Educate yourself beforehand so you don't get cheated by one!
     
  7. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    :) Two things about this. One: More previous "friends" have been made into ENEMIES by going into partnerships than any thing else in the world.The average person has NO idea how to set up a proper partnership to protect themselves and thus gets , uhhhh, taken of advantage of? I guess that says it close enough without getting too graphic! LOL

    Two: Anytime you "go into" anything that involves selling, breeding, shearing or whatever of something alive, you first need to really love and enjoy AND KNOW the animal you are dealing with. These areas are usually hobbies, with occasionally selling something to help offset the costs off keeping something you love around.

    And again,....never consider going into anything without having the whole thing set out step by step by a lawyer! Just a few questions: Who, feeds, who pays for the feed. Who pays for the vet, who eats the costs of a death of a female or the stud. What if you get sued when an animal bites someone or steps on a toe, whatever. . Who pays for a handler if you or the "Neighbor" can't do it, who pays for transportation, If there are animals being shown. who pays the entry fees.....Who is responsible for grooming? And birthing the little ones? The problems are endless and complicated.

    I'd say NO Way! I see red flashing lights everywhere!

    LQ
     
  8. Corky

    Corky Well-Known Member

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    I have boxes of fleeces that I can't sell. Even if I could and get $40.00 a pound like they told me I could. A fleece weighs an average of 5 lbs. It costs 35.00 to get one sheared. take away feed, mineral, shots, vet bills and what do you have left for profet? Nothing! You are in the hole big time. They are cute, soft and the males are dangerous. Just like any other stud on the farm. I have one left. He is a pet that you can't turn your back on even though he is fixed. I can handle him and so can my DH but Grandchildren are forbidden to go in the pen with the animals without one of us there. Period!
     
  9. caberjim

    caberjim Stableboy III

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  10. homebirtha

    homebirtha Well-Known Member

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    Have YOU made any profit with your alpacas? How much did you pay for them? They seem like a nice animal to have. I would like to have some for my own fleece supply, but I just don't think there is any money in them anymore. I know several farms near here that are going out of the business a lot poorer then they went in.

    The fleece and yarn from alpacas is not very desirable in this area. I'm an avid knitter and spend lots (too much) time in the yarn stores. They just don't carry a lot of alpaca because it's not in demand.

    As for the $1000 sweater, I find that a little hard to believe, but ok. But, the price for the sweater is a lot more about the design and quality of the knitting then it is about the fleece coming from your own animals. You could buy the fleece for $40 and still sell the sweater for the same price.


    >I have 8 fiber boys, and I love them to pieces. I did my research before I
     
  11. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The neighbors at Our Land have purchased alpacas, but I think they will be among those trying to become "consultants" due to the lack of interest in their product. I'm sure that alpacas are lovely pets, but these people looked upon them as an investment, and that's the purported purpose for which they were sold to the neighbors.

    I find it hard to believe alpacas are worth the astronomical price tag, nor that my neighbors will be able to recoup any of their "investment" in these animals, closed registry or no. There's just no market for such a specialized creature. I, too, am now in mind of emus, potbellied pigs... and the Ostrich Ranch not 40 miles from here that had to shut down.

    IMO, you'd make more money off of Chia pets and pet rocks.

    Pony!
     
  12. AnnaS

    AnnaS Well-Known Member

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    Here's what alpaca fiber is worth in the major animal fiber markets. Better than wool, but on a decline. In Australian dollars.

    http://www.gschneider.com/brochure/specialfibresalpacatrend.php

    And some info. on who else is raising alpacas.

    http://www.american.edu/TED/alpaca.htm

    I just don't see the profit possibility here, based on fleece. A US alpaca raiser, buying animals at $5,000-$20,000 (or more) each, and paying a farm mortgage and feed bills, just cannot compete with the Peruvian peasant, living in "poverty", paying no rent or feed bills and following a pastoral lifestyle-AND getting a government alpaca subsidy.

    This is what alpaca products sell for:

    http://www.alpacadirect.com/

    To make money, you would have to sell breeding stock- and you'll need to make a name by showing, showing, showing. People will buy breeding stock that has name recognition and a great show record. Buy a big stock trailer and a nice motor home and start taking off weeks at a time from work, to go around the country showing.

    As far as a closed registry- most registries of purebred animals are closed. Most of the horse breeds are closed registries, and there are plenty of registered & breedable horses that go to slaughter. AKC is closed except for a few new breeds and there does not seem to be a Black Lab shortage.

    I have no problem believing some people in NYC would pay $1000 for a sweater. Dean & DeLuca's used to sell venison for $35/lb. and couldn't keep it in stock at that price.
     
  13. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

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    Alpaca=Amway for farmers.

    Or so a couple of Alpaca farmers have told me. They evidently didn't learn with the ostriches and emu.

    I asked one why he just didn't butcher and eat the thing and he turned red and replied "Eat h*ll! I have 20 grand in each of the damn things!"
     
  14. Wanda

    Wanda Well-Known Member

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    Maybe you could sell the offspring to some of the large comercial breeders that need more animals for there high profit ''shearing'' herds :no:
     
  15. bergere

    bergere Just living Life

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    I would love a couple of Alpacas. But have no interest in breeding, nor in paying the high prices. Just want a couple of gentle halter trained ones, for their fleece & to be pets.
    So I figure if I wait a few more years, their prices will come down enough that I could afford to buy them.
     
  16. Darren

    Darren Still an :censored:

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    I think you can buy them cheap right now if you take your time and look around. I'm sure you could find a seller that's wised up and just wants to dump a few animals.
     
  17. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I was interested in llamas about 10 years back, but I did not have the $15,000 to buy just one. That was for an ordinary male: females in my area were higher.

    That was 10 years ago, and ordinary llamas are now $1,500. I expect alpacas will have the same price curve.

    As for show stock, I would want to know a GREAT deal about bloodlines and showing before I got into it.

    Alas, life is short and there are not enough hours in the day to follow up on every field of knowledge. I am involved in enough projects: I will let someone else show the llamas. It DOES sound like fun, but there are other things that I want to do.
     
  18. 65284

    65284 Well-Known Member Supporter

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  19. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

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    There's an article in the latest Countryside about picking up alpacas for cheap(er).

    Pony!
     
  20. 4rnubians

    4rnubians Well-Known Member

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