The cost of alpacas depends on their quality. Non breeding are usually sold for at least $500. The breeding kind sells for at least $5,000. Some fetch prices of as high as $20,000. But alpaca owners put up with the expense because they expect to make profits from it.
High Quality Fiber
The biggest benefit is the top class fiber that the animals produce. The fiber is similar to cashmere, but it also has similarities with wool. What sets it apart is its strength, the strongest in nature.
Value and Weight
The costs of alpacas are offset with the fleece they produce. On average the animal can produce 5 to 10 lbs every year. The best parts come from select areas on the body. These are the back and sides. This is known as the blanket area and weigh in around 4 lbs.
Rather than the weight, other factors determine fleece worth. These are the fineness, density, smoothness to touch etc. Depending on the quality, the selling rate starts at $10 per pound. If it is high quality, it can be sold for $45.
Where to Sell
These items are sold either in the cottage / artisan or commercial market. The former fetches a higher price. However, it is limited. While the cost of alpacas may be recovered more rapidly at the artisan market, the commercial is more accessible.
Caring for the Animal
Part of the expenses will go towards feeding and caring for the animal. Their diet consists mainly of grass and hay. Generally, two pounds of the food are needed per day. To keep it healthy, giving it vitamins and other supplements is recommended.
These supplements can be purchased in specialty stores. Giving them vitamins regularly is necessary. These will help the alpacas deal with extreme forms of weather and late lactation among other problems.
The animals need protection from heat and strong winds. As you compute the cost of alpacas, include making a shelter among them. When designing a shelter, it should be set against the direction of the blowing wind. Stalls are not really necessary unless there are predators around.
Vaccination and Other Expenses
The cost may be reduced if you perform some of the vaccination yourself. Deworming can be done by the owner. However taking blood samples for examination should be done by a doctor.
Other vaccination shots they require are against tetanus and clostridium. Other than that, the animals are very strong and can withstand other illnesses.
By keeping their place clean, the alpacas will be able to fight off other diseases well. However if you maintain other livestock, you should keep them clean as well. Hygiene helps keep the alpacas healthy.
When you weigh the cost of alpacas, assess all the factors cited above. By accounting for all the facts and figures, you’ll have a simpler time determining if it is a worthy investment.