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Alpacas lucrative?
Old 07-07-2017, 11:02 PM   #1
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Alpacas lucrative?

Just saw a House Hunters of a family looking for a place with a lot of land in Boston, with a budget of $3 million.

They wanted the land to raise alpacas.

That appears to be their only source of income.

So out of their choices, they bought an old home which had the most land for $1.4 million. The other ones had only 4 or 5 acres.

But they already had a lot of alpacas so they bought the one with the land and a barn and paddocks. They're going to fix up the home, modernize, expand it.

I didn't realize the fur was used for high-end garments. Sounds like they're easier to raise than other types of animals and go income potential because of that fur.

But if you have to have acres and acres, the startup costs can't be good. Not that I'm interested, just a bit surprised.
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Old 07-07-2017, 11:38 PM   #2
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Alpaca Investment Potential:

If your producing female valued at truly any price, and she has one female cria every year, you have the potential to double your profits annually if you sell the female crias. But if you keep the female cria, and beginning in her third year, she has one cria every year, you can see that herd growth can be exponential!about alpaca and alpaca investing, alpaca healthcare, alpacas on martha's vineyard at island alpaca farm.
I think Ill stick to index funds lol
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Old 07-08-2017, 12:03 AM   #3
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Yeah, unless someone likes these animals and "loves the land", it just sounds way too much like w*rk to me. I've seen small operations around the midwest. The animals themselves stand out as "odd" but the setting looks about like any other operation which raises "range" animals. I know nothing about this, so YMMV.
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Old 07-08-2017, 12:56 AM   #4
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I have two data points. Friends of ours went headlong into alpacas and had a rough time breaking even, gave up after 4-5 years and sold everything. A former co-worker also went headlong into alpacas and did OK, But in time he began processing fiber for other alpaca owners, and told me that became the most profitable part of his business. Not breeding, or fiber itself.
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Old 07-08-2017, 02:15 AM   #5
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Always thought of the 'industry' as attracting the same suckers people who got into raising emus.
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Old 07-08-2017, 02:59 AM   #6
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Always thought of the 'industry' as attracting the same suckers people who got into raising emus,
Alpacas as a investment seems to be less popular these days. Our friends sold off all of theirs and shut down their website. We were talking with our cat vet who also does alpacas. She said she is seeing fewer of them. And I recall our BIL who was into the ostrich craze (there was no rich in ostrich for him).
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Old 07-08-2017, 05:39 AM   #7
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I had some friends with Ostriches. Same thing, except an ostrich is a bit more dangerous.

If you have that much land, you are better off buying a calf every year, and selling the calf or eating it. I have 2 acres, and would do it if the city would let me.

Although the cops showed up at my home last winter about 2 AM. Evidently they found two alpacas in a cul-de-sac about 1/4 mile away, and wondered if they was mine. I am not sure why they just assumed the alpacas could be mine.
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Old 07-08-2017, 07:01 AM   #8
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It appears the prices for alpacas have fallen about ten fold since their peak. So if you want them as companions, they're a bargain. But not so much as an investment except at the very, very high end.
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Carman Jackson, owner of Windchime Alpacas of Shelburn, Indiana, admits that her above-average animals, bought five years ago for $5,000 each, now can’t be sold for more than $500.

One of the few studies on high-end alpaca prices at auction documents a decline in average price in the range of 70 to 80% from 2005 to 2011, with steeper declines for male alpacas.

Looking forward, what is likely to happen with the North American alpaca industry? It is clear that the investment potential is exhausted, especially for those who don’t have the financial resources to keep up with the latest trends. In this way, it closely parallels the fate of the similar llama investment bubble which peaked in the early 1990s. For many years, all female llamas were kept pregnant, beginning at 18 months of age. A number of highly promoted llama studs commanded exceptional sale prices in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, with breeding fees of in the thousands of dollars. Those days are long gone.

As with the llama industry, it is going to be up to the small-time alpaca breeder to develop alternative uses and markets for their animals and fiber. Absent a significant meat market for alpacas (most Americans are loath to eat their companion animals) and from experience with the llama investment bubble, we will see a lot of alpacas dumped into rescue situations before the industry shrinks and stabilizes into one where the vast majority of animals are valued for their own attributes rather than as money-making breeding stock.
Alpaca Profits Prove Less Than 'Huggable' - Daily Yonder
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Old 07-08-2017, 07:14 AM   #9
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I w*rked with a guy who's raising some, they have cattle and goats too. He hasn't quit his day job so?

Can you eat them?
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Old 07-08-2017, 09:33 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Nemo2 View Post
Always thought of the 'industry' as attracting the same suckers people who got into raising emus.
Chinchillas are where the real money is.
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Old 07-08-2017, 10:16 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Blue Collar Guy View Post
Alpaca Investment Potential:

If your producing female valued at truly any price, and she has one female cria every year, you have the potential to double your profits annually if you sell the female crias. But if you keep the female cria, and beginning in her third year, she has one cria every year, you can see that herd growth can be exponential!about alpaca and alpaca investing, alpaca healthcare, alpacas on martha's vineyard at island alpaca farm.
I think Ill stick to index funds lol
Agreed!
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Old 07-08-2017, 12:29 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by MRG View Post
I w*rked with a guy who's raising some, they have cattle and goats too. He hasn't quit his day job so?

Can you eat them?
Quote:
Alpaca meat is the byproduct of culling the herd – but it’s a tasty byproduct. Each mature alpaca harvested equates to about 60 pounds of meat – roughly the same amount of meat you can get from a deer. Lean, tender and almost sweet, alpaca meat is nutritionally superior to many of its red meat counterparts. Lower in calories, fat,and cholesterol, this high-protein, exotic meat is beginning to appeal to those seeking out alternatives to domesticated meat like beef or pork, and even wild meat, like venison. Ground alpaca is versatile enough to be substituted in place of ground turkey or beef in most recipes.
Alpaca: The Other Red Meat - Modern Farmer
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Alpacas lucrative?
Old 07-09-2017, 06:51 PM   #13
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Alpacas lucrative?

I enjoy the Llama and Alpaca shows and talking to the owners at the NY State Fair every year.
Maybe 15 years ago there was a large quick run up in price due, according to the breeder I spoke with, to 'bigger idiot syndrome'.
The wool is much cheaper to import from Central America than to grow it here.
Llamas are sometimes used as guard animals around here for the sheep and goat breeders. A good sized one can kill a coyote.

The HGTV shows always drive me batty. "I'm a part time pre K teacher and my wife is a famous yo yo performer. Our housing budget needs to be under $1.7 million."
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Old 07-09-2017, 07:09 PM   #14
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OMG, too funny about the HGTV comment. Oh, and i like your signature.
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Old 07-10-2017, 05:09 PM   #15
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Chinchillas are where the real money is.
Funny you should mention that, I had an aunt (long since passed away) who raised chinchillas. Don't know if it paid much.
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Old 07-10-2017, 05:17 PM   #16
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OK, time for another story.
A good friend's sister raises alpacas, and has done for decades. She spins the wool and makes fabric art which sells for top dollar. Also sells the leftover wool.

Her husband is a self-taught engineer, and they live on about 30 acres they bought around 1970. There is a small stream running through the property. He designed and built a water-powered generator and battery storage system that supplies all their own electricity. They don't use much, but they have never been "on the grid."

They're old enough now (pushing 80) that they're seriously looking at selling the place, but so far haven't been motivated enough to do it. About a half hour drive from some of the best skiing in the country, so I doubt they'll have much trouble when/if they decide.
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Old 07-10-2017, 05:32 PM   #17
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Davemartin88 has alpacas and seems to enjoy them: here is a post about shearing time: What did you do today? 2016 version A search on his name will reveal more.
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Old 07-10-2017, 05:51 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by explanade View Post
Just saw a House Hunters of a family looking for a place with a lot of land in Boston, with a budget of $3 million.

They wanted the land to raise alpacas.

That appears to be their only source of income.

So out of their choices, they bought an old home which had the most land for $1.4 million. The other ones had only 4 or 5 acres.

But they already had a lot of alpacas so they bought the one with the land and a barn and paddocks. They're going to fix up the home, modernize, expand it.

I didn't realize the fur was used for high-end garments. Sounds like they're easier to raise than other types of animals and go income potential because of that fur.

But if you have to have acres and acres, the startup costs can't be good. Not that I'm interested, just a bit surprised.
I saw that episode. I disagree with your premise that alpacas were their only source of income. They talked about how he was a contractor - so a fixer was ok.... I also got the feeling that she was either from money or had divorced well... I did not get the feeling that the alpacas were for income... just a hobby.
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Old 07-10-2017, 06:08 PM   #19
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Funny you should mention that, I had an aunt (long since passed away) who raised chinchillas. Don't know if it paid much.
Did you inherit any of the livestock?
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Old 07-10-2017, 07:15 PM   #20
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I have been planning to buy one, as a pet. This is part of my plan to get every single animal I ever wanted as a ten year old!
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