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Alpaca Info

We are dedicated to educating others about the wonderful world of alpacas. Please see our general information about alpacas below. We’d love to talk more about alpacas with you. Contact us for a visit.

…Alpacas

An Alpaca is a member of the camelid family (Vicuña, Guanaco, Llama, and Alpaca). Alpacas are native to the Andes mountain range of South America. Primarily found in Peru, Bolivia, and Chile, alpacas were imported into the United States in 1984.

There are two kinds of Alpacas. The Huacaya (wah-KI- ya) and the Suri (surrey). The main physical difference between the two is their fleece. The Huacaya has a waviness or crimp which gives them the appearance of being very fluffy. Suris have no crimp, but instead their fiber clings to itself and forms pencil locks that hang down the body giving it a silky appearance. The Alpaca stands approx. 36″ tall at the withers and weighs between 100 – 200 lbs.

Alpacas are raised and valued for their fleece, which is sheared once a year and turned into yarn, rovings, or felt. The gestation period of an alpaca is 11 – 12 months and a baby alpaca is called a cria. Alpacas are herd animals and need a companion of the same gender. A herd of 6 – 10 alpacas can be raised on as little as one acre of pasture with fresh water supplied daily and additional grains supplemented at the owner’s preference.

Alpaca owners have found raising alpacas to be a wonderful and relaxing lifestyle.

…Fiber

Alpacas produce a luxurious fleece that is sheared from the animal once a year in the spring. No harm comes to the animal in this process. An average year’s growth for an adult alpaca is 2 – 6 inches in length, resulting in 5 – 13 pounds of fiber. Alpaca fiber is prized for its fineness, softness, strength, lightness, and lack of “prickle”. The fineness of the fleece varies from 14 – 30 microns in diameter with the finest fleeced alpacas being sought after by breeders and buyers. Alpacas have a wider range of naturally occurring colors than any other fiber- producing animal, with 22 distinct colors being recognized by The Alpaca Registry. Alpaca fiber is spun into specialty yarns that are then knitted and woven into luxurious, warm, and long-wearing garments.

…Investment

Alpacas as an investment, in the pure meaning of the word, provide tax advantages such as depreciation and capital gains, along with a multitude of farm deductions associated with raising alpacas on a daily basis. Besides fiber sales, alpacas provide income through the sale of breeding stock and agistment fees (boarding), to name a few. In 1998, the United States breeders closed the Alpaca Registry, Inc (ARI) pedigree registry to further imported animals. Stopping the import of more animals preserves the value of the alpacas already in the U.S. and keeps the supply and demand in check. With the investment climate the way it is today, alpaca ownership fits into the equation nicely.

Alpaca owners receive much more than tax benefits from the “alpaca lifestyle”. Alpacas are friendly and intelligent, provide a relaxing farm environment for the entire family, are gentle with children, and are trainable to compete in organized events.

However you choose to start your farm, you can be sure that area breeders have innovative approaches to allow you to own the world’s finest livestock investments.