Any alpaca "farmers" out there?

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by Rainmaster, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. Rainmaster

    Rainmaster Been here awhile

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    Kind of out of left field I am noticing that alpacas are no longer so outrageously priced and I have the land (pasture) to consider it. Maybe now that the craze to sell pregnant mares for over $20,000 is gone the truth is that is not worth it as a real fiber/fleece harvesting and or breeding operation? For the most part the local people I am able to talk to are more than willing to sell you the animals at very reasonable prices (as low as a few hundred dollars) but are short on details as to the real economics of the operation.

    I am wondering if someone here in the asylum has tried making it work and can share their experience here or thru PM's. Thanks.

    Mods. if these is in the wrong section please move as required!
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  2. ROUNDSTOCK

    ROUNDSTOCK Been here awhile

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    we went to pagosa springs co and went on a alpaca farm tour, they shared a wealth of knowledge and they said they had the greatest concentration of alpaca farms.might check that area out for more info...............steve
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  3. eddyturn

    eddyturn Wannabe

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    Yes. Alpacas. But they are not all that shiny. We only have 7 of them but that will only go up. I am certain about that. :1drink
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  4. straightrod

    straightrod Long timer

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    I thought Alpacas had some type of tax incentive involved with them, hence the boom to procure them?
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  5. Icewalker

    Icewalker Conundrum

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    Can you eat them? :evil
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  6. SilkMoneyLove

    SilkMoneyLove Long timer

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    I have no real numbers, which is what you are asking for, BUT I see a few Alpaca farms around here and they are all the "hobby" farm type. I do know there is a tax incentive for raising livestock. My assumption (yes, I may be an ass because of this) is that these owners want the tax break for ranching, but don't want to mess with big animals like cattle or horses. My thinking is that the couple decides that Alpacas are reasonably sized animals to have around, so they can be handled easier.

    For numbers, look up what property tax rate is for your county for ranch land and see how many animals are needed to qualify. I believe ours is 5 animals and you need more than 2 acres. Chickens fall into a different category. Anyone can have them around here. Also look into how much Alpacas eat and how much food costs. Add in some veterinary expenses (rabies shots at least) and the cost to house them (pole shed, some heat in the winter) and see if there is any savings from the tax rate you pay now. As for selling the wool, I have no idea what going rate is, but I know that knitting is super trendy right now (my wife and her friends do it) so it probably is at it's peak (for financial planning purposes, don't count on that rate every year).

    We have more horse farms than you can shake a stick at. Why people love horses so much is beyond me, but to each their own.
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  7. Srbenda

    Srbenda Embassy of South Carolina

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    What would you do with the alpacas? Weave their fiber into clothes? Be sure to have some usefulness for them besides just a tax break.

    In PA, you are required to have 10 acres as well as the livestock to qualify for tax abatement. GA may be different.

    But remember, they'll need to eat more than just the grass you have growing...
    #7
  8. Tmaximusv

    Tmaximusv Been here awhile

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    SWMBO just chimed in when I told her about this thread. Main point is that you cannot have less than two - highly social and herd animals.

    While she loves the feel of alpaca, straight alpaca yarn has no memory and stretches like a mother of 12 belly. Lovely, warm and soft and the yarn ain't bad either.
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  9. mountain eagle

    mountain eagle terrorist

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  10. CodeMonkee

    CodeMonkee Geek Adventurer

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    People who raise livestock are ranchers.

    People who raise plants are farmers.
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  11. a1fa

    a1fa Throttle Jockey™

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  12. Mambo Dave

    Mambo Dave Backyard Adventurer

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    Man, I always thought about having an Alpaca 'ranch.'

    But instead I got lured to south Florida... I farm weeds and geckos now.
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  13. Sniper X

    Sniper X De Oppresso Liber

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    There is a big Alpaca ranch up near Angel Fire NM where he has hundreds of them. I think he ranches them for their wool which is supposed to be superior to sheep's wool and far more lucrative to sell. He has a lot of acreage and animals and a very nice house. So I will bet he is successful at it. Might google him as he is in the Mora NM area.
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  14. fattires

    fattires Wandering aimlessly...

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    I have worked with Alpacas quite a bit and here are a few things I have learned.

    Being native to the South American highlands they are not accustomed to dealing with the intestinal parasites that are very prevalent in many parts of the U.S. (the worst place for parasites is the Southeastern U.S.). It is very important to have a parasite control plan in place from the beginning when starting to raise Camelids, as a severe infestation can cause profound anemia and even death. ( I have seen several cases of intestinal parasites that required blood transfusions)

    There are exceptions but in my experience they are not terribly hardy animals, and when the become ill it can be quite serious very quickly.

    They spit when they get angry.

    Here is a good website with info on parasites: http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/depts-vth/camelids/parasiteControl.aspx

    Let me know if you have any questions about care and or health problems in Camelids.
    #14
  15. Rainmaster

    Rainmaster Been here awhile

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    Thanks all for the responses. Plenty good information here so far!
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  16. Rainmaster

    Rainmaster Been here awhile

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    Point taken but that would be to easy...... As an example. When was the last time that you heard , he/she is a "dairy rancher"?

    The term "dairy farmer" is applied to those engaged primarily in (livestock) milk production. I agree that the term rancher usually applies to those who raise grazing livestock but farmer works too. Or maybe it is that I have done all of the farming stuff since childhood (including livestock) and it never occurred to me that I am anything but a farmer. In my world us small business types are farmers, the JR Ewing's of the world are ranchers.:evil

    I have never played the zynga game "farmville" but I am pretty sure you can buy fake livestock there and I get the feeling it would not have been as successful had they called it "ranchville".
    :wink:
    #16
  17. 2whlrcr

    2whlrcr gooligan

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    Good point. I live in IA. We have farms here and lots of livestock. There is also an Alpaca farm just south of town.
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  18. ThanatosF

    ThanatosF Been here awhile

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    Alpacas spit when they're angry... and they're always angry...
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