A Little About Alpacas and Alpaca Farms
Originating in the Andes of South America, Alpacas came to North American and the United States in the early 1980's. The first alpacas were imported to the United States in 1983. Over the last two decades, the North American herd has grown from a few thousand to over 150 thousand.
The collective goal of North American Alpaca owners is to raise genetically superior alpacas that produce high volumes of fine fleece.
Alpacas come in 15 different colors, the most popular being white, black, red, brown, rose, silver, or even spotted, and in many color combinations. Alpacas are able to withstand cold temperatures because of their dense fleece. This fleece is more than just for warmth though. It is one of the primary purposes for raising alpacas. Their fleece can most closely be compared to cashmere. It is lightweight and has the most amazing softness, yet warmth that surpasses any other fiber. Alpaca products are now being sold and distributed worldwide.
Alpacas are intelligent and easily trained animals, and gentle enough to be handled by children. They hum when pleased or happy and spit when they are not. They make very good pets and companion animals, but don't like being alone. Alpacas are also easy to care for, and gentle on pastures with their hoof-padded feet.
Alpacas are also a great business opportunity. If cared for and marketed well, huge profits can be made. Marketing plays a huge role in a successful alpaca farm. Currently the majority of alpaca owners use the internet to market their animals. Pricing reflects each alpaca's breeding potential and the quality of their future offspring. Ancestry, previous progeny, and the quality of the animal's fiber can predict this potential.
Raising alpacas can provide a very rewarding and life changing experience. And makes for an amazing family business.