There are as many reasons to raise alpacas as
there are alpaca owners. We each make this decision based on a whole
host of personal needs and history. Some of the most often cited
reasons for considering alpaca ownership include the tremendous
business opportunity, a love of luxury fiber, a desire for a rural
lifestyle, the desire to show animals, and simple companionship and
Alpacas have a gentle beauty and mystique that's hard to deny.
Domesticated for over 6000 years, they're the oldest domesticated
livestock. Producers of the fiber of the gods, sole property of the
Incan rulers, they were nearly driven to extinction by the Spanish
conquistadors. Until 1993, they were classified as a national treasure
in Peru and export of live alpacas was illegal.
Now in North American, alpacas continue to transfix us. Long elegant
necks, large eyes, gentle humming, rich colors, bright whites, gorgeous
fiber, and playful antics all make them irresistable to those of us who
catch the "alpaca bug." In addition, their ease of maintenance and low
impact on the environment makes it possible to raise them on small
acreage with little previous livestock experience and restores the hope
for many of a viable family farm.
The potential markets for an animal with the characteristics of the
alpaca are vast. Alpacas are loved by their owners and respected by
those who process or wear products made from their fleece.