Alpaca Farming Basics

Did you know you can raise alpacas for profit?

Alpacas are domesticated species that belong to South American camelid family. Its appearance resembles a small llama. Alpacas which are considerably smaller than llamas are kept in herds, grazing on the level heights of the Andes of southern Peru, Ecuador, northern Bolivia, and northern Chile. These are places of high altitude from 3,500m to 5,000m above sea level. Of the many camelid species, the alpaca is one of the most valuable fiber-bearing animals because of the quality and quantity of its fiber. Worn across the globe and rising in popularity, alpaca clothing is considered to be fashion’s latest big thing.

The Facts of Alpaca Farming

Though alpaca farming may seem to be a very simple and promising business, a lot of research and preparation are to be conducted before you start venturing head on first. It is imperative to read on and familiarize yourself with everything you need to know about alpaca as a farming business no matter how experienced you may be in farming; alpaca farming is not to be considered lightly.

Here are some basic facts to help you get started in your research for alpaca farming:

Alpacas are best bred in their natural habitat. Coming from the Peruvian mountains it is fairly easy to realize that extra effort and care are needed and plans need to to be well thought out if you are going to nurture them outside the native South America where they flourish.

Alpacas are vey passive, unassuming and submissive animals. They do not require a great deal of environment. However, this does not mean that alpacas do not fend for themselves. Alpacas are social herd animals consisting of the female, their young, and usually a territorial alpha male who warns the herd about intruders by making noisy, sharp, and high-pitched inhalations.

The basic principles in feeding alpacas are very simple. Alpacas do not require an enormous amount of grass or pasture to feed on. Consuming only 1 to 2% of their body weight each day, alpacas only need constant access to fresh water. Adult alpacas will only weigh from 100 to 200 pounds.

In feeding alpacas, all you really need is average quality grass and hay with some feed pellets. Compared to other animals, alpacas only require a very small amount of food requirements.

Heavy machinery is also not needed in order to keep your pastures in good shape although mowing your pastures is still needed. For this, a good enough quality riding lawn mower is recommended. It is always good to know and research on how to properly mow your lawn. There are ways to minimize weed from developing. An example of this is by not mowing so close to the ground that you expose the ground allowing their seeds to germinate faster.

Starting an alpacas farm can be quite expensive, especially when purchasing your first herd to start out your business. Alpaca farming is also a long term business for those who are not dependant on having a very fast return of investment or income. It takes at least 370 days to produce one young alpaca if you are breeding or for stud servicing. For a faster return of income it is a better idea to invest in an already established farm.