How to Start an Alpaca Farm

There are several important steps you need to take before you can actually start breeding and raising alpacas.

Entrepreneurs, who want to venture in alpaca farming, should first study the pros and cons of this enterprise.  This is unfamiliar ground for you compared to other common businesses. You have to learn about building animal shelters and storage places, constructing fences and knowing the different aspects of financing. The good news is alpaca farming income has become more lucrative.

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Why Raise Alpacas?

Alpaca fur is unique but there is very limited supply. However, alpaca products are very much in demand globally particularly in the fashion sector. Since the 1980’s, alpacas have earned the fancy of savvy individuals who like animals and are interested in growing livestock. You can see alpaca farms in highly-developed countries like the United States, Australia, Canada, England, France, and New Zealand.

Things to Consider When Starting an Alpaca Farm

These animals need good shelter as protection against extreme weather conditions. This is also the place where the animal can be cleaned and given medical treatment such as regular de-worming shots. The size of the shelter depends on geographic locations. The weather should always be considered in designing a barn. For cold weather, the closed shelter is appropriate. On the other hand, the three-sided barn with one open side is required for warmer environments. The alpaca fleece is thick making it resistant against cold weather. These mammals love to play under the snow and stay outside even during very cold weather.

Fences are more for security against predators and to prevent these animals from feeding in pastures where toxic plants may have grown. Ideally, the no-climb fencing structure with dimensions of 2” x 4” should be your choice. This will prevent the alpacas from sticking their heads between the fence panels. Columns should have a space of at least 10 feet from each other with three fence fasteners on the welded wiring. Cedar stakes are preferred since these last longer than post made from wooden materials. More precautionary measures should be carried out specifically in mountainous places where coyotes abound. It is also advisable to get a breed of guardian dogs to watch over your alpacas. The fences should have gates that swing on both sides to facilitate the transfer of the heads from one corral to the other.

Study the available financing options prior to raising alpacas. You need ample funds if you are just in the starting phase. This will help you speed up the development process of your business. Remember that it requires some time to raise a herd since the adults can only have one cria or baby annually. The financing scheme can ensure the herd’s growth rate. It can bring about a comprehensive investment growth that will ultimately cause higher appreciation. The projected increase on alpaca farming for profit is approximately 400 percent in five years. However, take note of the outright deductions for financing this business. All investments can be insured so financing requirements are easier to cope with. Commercial banks and lending facilities have different financing packages for potential investors. Farm credit unions are also willing to provide assistance for the alpaca breeder.