A Unique Livestock Investment
Alpacas: A brief history

In the early 1980's, the first Alpacas imported to the United States were from Chile and Bolivia. In 1993, North America saw the first Peruvian imports arrive and these alpaca continue to dominate the import market.

Alpacas are still relatively scarce and unique, therefore making them an excellent livestock investment. While the current market brings a high price for quality breeding stock, the future is in their wonderful fiber.

Given their earth-friendly grazing habits, a fair number of alpacas can be raised on relatively small acreages. With their padded feet, they browse on native grasses which are efficiently digested through their three stomachs. The entire herd will use one or two manure piles thus consolidating the fecal matter for easy collection and composting. This tidy habit also helps in controlling parasites and other undesirables.

If a pasture provides plentiful, weed-free grass, the normal alpaca needs very little else. Pregnant females and lactating moms will require additional grain supplement and once the pasture goes dormant, a high quality grass hay will see them through the winter.

Alpaca fiber is often compared to cashmere and comes in 22 naturally beautiful colors. It's soft, supple and smooth to the touch yet is unusually strong and resilient. A yearly shearing of fleece yields enough fiber to create six to eight sweaters along with assorted socks, scarves, hats, etc. Other notable fiber qualities are its lack of grease or lanolin, the absence of guard hair and it is easy to dye.

Longmont, Colorado


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