About Alpacas -
Beautiful Animals with a high class fiber.|
The Economic Side of Alpacas
Regular Maintenance of Your Alpaca's
- Production Value
Alpacas are valued for their ability to create soft and dense fleece.
This fleece is sought after by the makers of luxury garments. The coat of
an Alpaca is ranked for density, consistency, and crimp. Density equates the
thickness of the coat; consistency to its uniformity. Crimp is particularly
important aspect, referring to the natural waviness of the wool, as crimpy fiber
sought after by those who spin yarn.
- Reproduction Value
The breeding value of alpacas is high because the herd in the US is small. This
just follows the basic economic principle of supply and demand. However, the quality
of the animal plays a big role in determining his/her value. While ancestry is
significant, so are the characteristics of the animal. Does the Alpaca have
good confirmation? Confirmation can be seen in the animalīs posture,
it confirms his physical structure showing that the skeletal characteristics
are well formed. Other physical characteristics (shape of teeth and nails, quality
of eyes) also need to be considered.
Females are valued more than males for their reproductive ability; however prime
studs can carry a good price and once proven, can bring in good stud fees.
- Tax Value
Depending upon your economic circumstances, the business of Alpaca breeding can
offer important tax write-offs and income sheltering. Check with your accountant.
Alpaca care is not hard. Daily care requires only feeding, watering, and cleanup
(though many breeders clean pens only once or twice a week). Alpaca's live fine
on hay with the occasional handful of the tasty Alpaca pellets which contain
protein, fiber and vitamins.
Once each year, early in the summer (mid June), the alpacas get sheared. This
will generate about 10 lbs. of wool. Shearing is not something most breeders do
themselves; typically breeders from several ranches get together for a weekend
of shared fun with a professional shearer.
The health of your alpaca is important so develop a good relationship with a
veterinarian who is familiar with these animals. We have had our animals for
over two years and never needed any but routine medical care. There are things
to have on hand and for a good detailed list, see the article,
Stocking Up the Barn: Are You Prepared?"
by Babs Manion on Alpaca Nation.