Native to South America’s Andean countries, these curious creatures have become America’s newest livestock species. It resembles a small llama in appearance. There are two breeds of alpaca: Suri and the Huacaya. We have predominantly Suri alpacas on our farm.
Are you considering starting your alpaca ranching adventure? We do not sell our alpacas, but know many farms both in Kentucky and across the U.S. that offer a variety of quality stock to suit the farm you’re dreaming of.
If you’re in Kentucky, we recommend you start with the Kentucky Alpaca Association. KAA offers several opportunities throughout the year to learn from and network with other alpaca farmers from across the state. There is also the national organization: the Alpaca Owners Association. Both organizations offer resources on their website, many member benefits, and representation to state and federal institutions to further the alpaca industry.
To start your search, contact listed farms and ask for their latest sales list. Explain why you want alpacas, as most farmers are going to want a sense that you will care for the animals properly, and be able to offer options that are in line with what you want. Ask them to explain the pros and cons of each animal you’re considering. Understand that the cutest, softest, most tame alpaca on the farm is likely the most expensive. Breeders put a lot of effort into making informed breeding decisions based on science, genetics, conformation and temperament to create improvements in each generation. The higher price tag isn’t just for the animal in front of you; it’s also for the genetic potential for that animal to produce even better offspring. As for cost, it is important for you to “right size” your goals in line with your budget: a 4H alpaca should typically cost under $300; the top selling stud male in the country will cost over $100k at an international auction. A good deal will be getting the most alpaca(s) for your budget that fit the kind of herd you’re wanting and the goals you are looking to achieve.
Would you like to have help through this process? Alvina offers consulting services both for those starting their alpaca adventure, and for those with alpacas who are looking to reset or expand their operation. Alvina is interested in seeing the alpaca industry thrive, so you can expect (sometimes brutal) honesty and tough questions to ensure you save time and money achieving your ideal alpaca ranch.