Financial Aspects of Alpaca Ownership
Chapter 2: Who Buys Alpacas?
Alpaca breeders come from many walks of life. Increasingly, alpacas
are becoming an important source of income for many people. Entire
families are full-time alpaca breeders. Young couples with children
might own three or four alpacas and enjoy caring for them. Retired
couples, who have raised their kids, sold their business, and retired
to the country, are often owners. The family whose members include
a hand-spinner might own two or three animals for fiber production.
Several breeders are veterinarians who have found the ownership
of alpacas to be more rewarding than practicing veterinary medicine.
Many herds are owned by families where one spouse has a city job,
and the alpaca business is managed by the other on their acreage
in the suburbs or the country. A large number of breeders are working
couples who tend to their herd in the evening after work. There
are even city dwellers who have discovered the option of boarding
(or "agisting") alpacas, thereby giving them an operational
alpaca operation while still retaining an urban career. For all
owners, alpacas offer a great way to diversify their financial portfolio
with a commodity that is both rare and in demand worldwide.
There are few large ranches with over 500 alpacas, small ranches
of only two or three alpacas, and everything in between. The average
alpaca herd consists of about ten to twenty alpacas. Most herds
start out small and grow to the size that fits the breeder's ranch
and financial goals.
Almost all breeders are in business for the long haul; they believe
in the future of the industry. With the relatively small number
of alpacas currently available, there will be an extended and steady
demand for breeding stock to continue meeting the needs of our growing
industry for many years.
It is important to recognize that alpaca ownership has inherent
risks, as do all livestock and financial assets. You should talk
to breeders to familiarize yourself with the risks as well as the
rewards of alpaca ownership.
The above text is
an excerpt from the AOBA Breeder's Guide Article: Financial Aspects
of Alpaca Ownership.
2. Who Buys Alpacas?
3. Supply & Demand
4. Alpaca Values
5. Capital Requirements
6. Hands-On Ownership
7. Financial Observations
8. Tax Consequences
10. Creating a Herd
11. Purchase Contracts