Risks. It is important to recognize that there are inherent risks to alpaca ownership just like in any other livestock or financial investment. Therefore, as in most investments, it is best to not invest more than a person can afford to lose or at least have tied up for a couple of years.

This is a true livestock business that incorporates some potential and inherent risk. Although the returns can be significant with hard work and dedication, it is prudent to realistically consider the risks. Illness, injury, and death are sometimes unavoidable and unexpected risks.

As the market matures, it is likely that prices for “average” animals will reduce, but the value of high quality alpacas will ensure that they maintain, or increase, the premium price that they command. As with everything else, you generally get what you pay for, so it is false economy to buy cheap animals, unless you do not want to sell livestock. Start with good quality alpacas and have a defined breeding plan to achieve specific herd characteristics. Without this plan, investors are likely to end up selling “cute” to impulse buyers, and eventually getting frozen out of the market, as the importance of good fiber characteristics becomes more widely known.