Raising Alpacas

If you're considering raising alpacas, you're onto something special, but there are a lot of things to consider before you make your first alpaca purchases.

Raising Alpacas: A Few Things to Consider

In my honest opinion, the single most important thing to do is to figure out exactly what you want to do with alpacas. In other words, What do you want to achieve? Try to nail this down before you make your first alpaca purchase.

The following is a list of possibilities.  Not all encompassing, I'm sure, but will give you  a few things to consider:

  • Do you have experience in raising livestock?
  • Are you wanting to become an alpaca breeder, or just wanting pets?
  • What kind alpacas do you want, show quality alpacas, fiber animals, pets?  Which breed do you prefer, suris or huacayas?
  • Are you wanting to experience having females delivering newborn crias on your farm?  
  • Are you wanting to establish an alpaca related business? There are numerous possibilities here.
  • Do you have your own parcel of land, or are you going to agist (board) them at a nearby alpaca farm?
  • Are you competitive?  Do you have visions of going to shows, showing your alpacas, networking with other alpaca breeders?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years? How do the alpacas fit in?

Find a Mentor

If you see yourself becoming a breeder, and you're new, or relatively new to raising alpacas, then finding a person or persons that you trust, and that are successful in whatever alpaca avenue you  for see  pursuing.  This is monumental, in my honest opinion.

Find someone with a good deal of experience that is not afraid to share both their successes and failures with you.  Often times, you can learn from a good mentor's mistakes, keeping you from making those same mistakes.

Make sure this person has a ton of knowledge.  If alpaca raising is in your future, you will undoubtedly need to learn how to care for them, but perhaps even more importantly is having someone that can help you with the inevitable health issues that will arise.  A good mentor will have in depth knowledge in nutrition, neonatal care, parasitology, alpaca diseases, general meds used in the alpaca industry, selective breeding, alpaca quality, both fleece quality as well as alpaca conformation, the value of alpacas, and how to be successful in the alpaca industry.

Find someone with a good reputation, and someone that knows a lot of other alpaca breeders.  This can open doors for you.

I cannot over emphasize the importance of having the right mentor!

A Few Final Thoughts ...

The world of raising alpacas is a joyful, rewarding and very entertaining lifestyle, that's for sure.  I'm glad that you have read this far, because it tells me that you're giving this some serious thought. 

This endeavor has completely changed my life.  It's certainly not easy to make money, but it can be done with vision, commitment and creativity.

If you choose to do this, just take your time.  Learn, learn learn, and ENJOY!

Cory Wesson (970) 618-6435

Kim Wesson (970) 274-0853

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