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Getting Started

Many people ask how to get started in this wonderful business, so I'd like to offer my suggestions.

Since alpacas are naturally herd animals, the only way we would let a customer buy "just one" paca is if it stayed at our place so that it would remain in a herd that its well being requires. So a customer could buy a companion male. That's a male:

    ° that will never make a stud or sire,
    ° will probably be neutered when about 2 or 3,
    ° could become a nice pet and
    ° would be sheared once a year for his fleece which should more than pay for feed bill.

If left with us, the customer would pay us to feed and care for him, about 3.00/day, and they could visit as they wish with notice. The next least expensive way would be to buy 2 boys and take them home.

Obviously the first two ways are hardly "getting started" when you can't "grow" a herd from 2 boys, so let's talk of the more logical ways. I'd now like to number the suggested methods to help in future discussions. They will be listed starting from the least expensive. Each of the suggestions could have variations.

1. Buy a single maiden ( meaning she has not yet been a mother) that is "open" (meaning she is not pregnant) and pay us to board her. This could include a free breeding to one of our males. Since she isn't already pregnant, she'd be bred when at least 13-months-old and weighed over 100 pounds and everyone felt she was ready. Then she'd have a baby (cria) 11 months from breeding. You could breed her again in about 3 weeks and you're off to making a herd! Of course, one could buy as many pacas as they'd like in the same fashion. Our maiden females would cost from $5 to $15 thousand.

2. Buy a pregnant female and board her with us. We'll include a free "breed-back" (a breeding after the birth of the cria she's carrying), so you're really buying 3 animals. We'd charge the fee discussed in Method 1 and a birthing fee of $100.00. Our pregnant females range from $5 to $15 thousand. Once again, you're off to the races!

3.a. Buy a pregnant female and a companion male (see above) that sells for $200 to $1000, and take them home with you. Once again a breed-back is included so you would really be buying 4 animals.

3.b. Same as above except that the companion male is the pregnant dam's (mom's) cria. This could allow you to take the pair home earlier or before the male cria is weaned. This combination is commonly called a "3-in-1" package. This one would be a 3-in-1 with a male cria and would ultimately result in 4 animals. This package is about the same cost as 3.a.

4. My favorite way, and to me the most logical, is a 3-in-1 with a female cria. That starts you off with at least 2 females, a 50% chance of a female being carried by the mom and a future pregnancy/cria that also has a 50% chance of being female. So likely you will have 3 females within an average time of 17 months! Now that's "getting started"! So if this is "the best way", why not start with two or three "3-in-1's" and we'll offer a package discount.....the more you want, the greater the value! We have female 3-in-1's starting in the low 6's.

There are obviously many variations and combinations, but I do recommend a few guidelines:

    1. Always breed your females to the best male you can afford.
    2. Don't buy a sire-quality male until you have at least 6 gals you want to breed to him and have neighbors needing him.
    3. Always "breed up". That means that you should breed your female to a male of greater quality than she is, in hopes of having a cria of greater value than its mom.
    4. If your initial investment is limited, buy a 3-in-1 with a "foundation female" ( that's a grade 7 or 8 on a 10 scale) that is healthy and a proven mama.

I can show you numerous examples of how a foundation female, bred to a quality male, produces the single greatest jump (or quality increase in the offspring) that can be had throughout the industry.

This is truly an exciting business. I challenge you to find anything that is this fun and can return 30% on your investment!


**... and remember, to help you get started, we offer terms of 25% down and 48 months to pay, to qualified customers.

Updated January 08, 2013