Why Should You Raise Alpacas?
Many reasons are cited for getting into Alpaca ranching. The following are the reasons most commonly mentioned.
Increasing numbers of city dwellers are seeking a more simple and relaxed lifestyle providing a healthy family environment. By moving away from the hurried pace and noise of the city, many are finding refuge in the solace of rural homesteading. Alpaca ranching has made this dream financially achievable for many seeking this lifestyle change.
Low Maintenance Second Business:
Whether you own a farm or choose to board your Alpacas with an experienced breeder, raising Alpacas provides a great second business for those wishing to maintain their current careers. Since they are easy to raise, Alpacas do not require a great deal of time or effort. Often, family members or part-time help can perform the required animal care, making Alpacas the ultimate second business.
Enjoy the Animals:
Alpacas are colorful, soft and gentle animals that provide companionship to anyone and are safe for even small children. Many find the content humming sound produced by Alpacas to be a soothing therapy after a long day in the office or just to relieve everyday stress.
Most livestock farming activities require killing the animals for meat or hides. With Alpacas, you don't kill them and they can't kill you. Alpaca marketing consists of the sale of breeding stock and fiber. The current market is primarily a market for breeding stock; however, as the national herd size grows, a viable fiber industry will emerge. Under neither scenario will the Alpaca rancher kill the animals for profit. Since they have teeth only on the bottom of their mouth, Alpacas can't bite you, though they sometimes enjoy nibbling on your clothes.
Investing in Alpacas can provide outstanding financial returns offering all of the tax benefits available to other farming activities. OABA offers a pamphlet detailing the financial benefits of raising Alpacas.
Easy to Raise:
Alpacas are mid-sized, gentle natured animals small enough to be handled by anyone. With a diet composed mostly of grass and hay, not much more than a fenced-in pasture is required. Up to six Alpacas can be raised per acre of land. No special equipment, not even a barn, is needed. You need only provide fresh water and some shelter from the sun & wind; a three sided shed is the shelter of choice with many alpaca breeders.
In fact, you need not own any land to raise Alpacas. Many people, especially those new to Alpacas, will board with an experienced breeder who handles the care and feeding of the animals. Boarding arrangements allow the novice to learn more about Alpacas and Alpaca care, reducing the amount of the initial investment, and allowing for a transition into the Alpaca farming lifestyle, if this is desired. Many plan to never buy a farm at all!
Enjoy the Business:
Raising Alpacas has the added benefit of participation in national, regional and local Alpaca shows ,organizations and events. Shows provide the opportunity to compete with other breeders for ribbons and prizes. Attendees at the nationals and regionals are amazed by the quality and excitement found at the shows. The Alpacas industry is blessed with creative leadership and talented people willing to volunteer their time to make the shows and events a truly outstanding in showcase for our Alpacas. This works to the benefit of all Alpaca owners who can participate in these events.
Alpacas can be fully insured protecting the owner in case of loss from death or theft. The insurability reduces the risk associated with Alpacas as an investment.