About Alpacas

About Alpacas

Alpacas are members of the camel family.  We raise them to sell and for their luxurious fine fiber, which we shear once a year.

HuacayaThey come in 22 different colors and there are two types of alpacas. One is a Suri and the other is a Huacaya (pronounced Wa-Ki-Ah). The Suri alpaca’s fiber is in the form of dreadlocks and is very long and silky. Huacaya alpacas are more like cuddly teddy bears in appearance. Their fiber is extremely fine and gives the alpaca a wooly, round appearance.

SuriAlpacas are much smaller than llamas, weighing about 175 pounds as an adult. Average height is 36 inches at the withers (the highest part of the back). Their life span is between 15-25 years. They are induced ovulators, meaning they don’t come into season like dogs and cats. A female alpaca in the wild stays pregnant their whole life. The average gestation is 335 days, and the female is bred again between 14-21 days after giving birth. The female gives birth to a baby which is called a cria. The cria’s birth weight ranges from 15-20 pounds. Usually they are born without any complications. They often will be up and standing within 30 minutes and nurse within one hour. In winter, it is a good idea to dress these little guys in a cria coat to keep them warm.

Alpacas are very easy to care for and require very little medical attention. We feed them orchard grass, alpaca pellets, and mineral salt. All of our alpacas receive an annual inoculation and are wormed just like a dog or cat.

Alpacas are not expensive to raise. Their feet are a soft pad so they are easy keepers on the pasture. They are a herd animal so it is never a good idea to buy just one. They all use a communal dung pile so clean up is quick. Tools of the trade are a good wheelbarrow, scoop shovel, and plastic rake.

Transporting an alpaca for a short trip to the vet or another farm can be accomplished in a mini-van or a truck with a camper top. Alpacas will cush (lie down) as soon as a vehicle moves.

You will read many different terms on this site so we compiled an Alpaca Glossary to help you.

Alpaca Glossary

  • Sire: Male alpaca who is a breeder and has desirable genetic characteristics.
  • Jr. Sire: Male who possesses the quality of a sire but not old enough to breed.
  • Fiber-Quality Male: A male alpaca whose genetic characteristics are not desirable for breeding.
  • Bred Female: A pregnant female.
  • Cria: A baby alpaca under five months of age.
  • Dam: An alpaca’s mother.
  • Fiber: The fleece of an alpaca.
  • Weanling: A weaned alpaca younger than one year.
  • Yearling: An alpaca between one and two years old.
  • Proven Sire or Female: Has offspring on the ground.
  • Unproven: Has settled females or is bred but does not have offspring on the ground.
  • Open Female: A female who has not been bred yet.


Alpaca Investing

Benefits of Owning Alpacas

  1. Excellent national breed organization: Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association (AOBA)
  2. DNA blood type registry: Alpaca Registry, Inc. (ARI)
  3. Closed import to the USA which protects our investment
  4. Great tax benefits
  5. A unique way of life for children to be reared with
  6. Building retirement income, or full-time income



The average income from alpacas is $100,000 per year. Below is an example of a ten-year herd growth chart produced by the Alpacas Owners and Breeders Association. The herd initially cost $102,000 and grew to a value of more than $1,272,500 in ten years. The net return after deducting all the projected costs is $960,260. This equals a 57.8% annual average rate of return. (The same amount invested at an average rate of return over the ten-year period would be only $166,200.)


Ten-Year Herd Growth
Herd size beginning of year one – Two males and five females.
Chart - Ten Yea rHerd Growth