Who Buys Alpacas?

Alpaca breeders come from many walks of life. For some, alpacas are a source of income, for others a source of pleasure. 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 handspinner might own two or three animals for fiber production. Several large 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 small acreage in the country. A large number of breeders are working couples who tend to their herd in the evening after work. All of these alpaca breeders, big and small, enjoy their animals and feel good about owning an investment they can hug.

Some owners don’t actually raise their animals on a day-to-day basis. They live in the city, and are building their herd toward the day they might change careers or retire to the country life. 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 large ranches with over 500 alpacas, and small farms of only two or three alpacas. The average alpaca herd is made up of about ten to twenty alpacas. Most herds start out small and grow to the size that fits the breeder’s farm 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. It is recommended that you talk to breeders to familiarize yourself with the risks as well as the rewards of alpaca ownership.