How Much Does an Alpaca Cost?
Alpacas are social herd animals and usually look like a sheep that have been domesticated for thousands of years. The alpaca is more popular for its wool than it is for its meat. While the meat of the alpaca is edible, the wool is usually the reason people buy an alpaca. The costs of owning and housing an alpaca can be quite high; however, the wool is a renewable source and will regrow every year. This means that instead of having an alpaca and then killing it and selling its meat one time, you can own an alpaca and sell its wool on a yearly basis.
How much does an alpaca cost?
- An Alpaca can be a very expensive investment. The costs will depend on the breed, the color, gender, age, geographical location and seller. On average, plan on spending anywhere from $400 to as much as $11,000. Most purchases are going to be between the $2,000 and $5,000 mark.
- One of the largest resources of alpaca can be found online through Alpacas.com. The website not only sells various kinds of alpaca but they also provide a lot of information regarding owning and taking care of them. One type of alpaca sold through the site is the herdsire alpaca, which is usually sold for $10,000 to $11,000.
- For a cheaper variety of alpaca, you can choose the bred female type of alpaca. These animals are sold for $6,500 to $9,500. The most popular type of alpaca is one known as a “weanling.” This type of alpaca is sold for anywhere from $750 to $9,000.
- If you are looking for alpacas that are sold cheaper, you can go direct to owners who breed the animals. Finding them is made easier through sites such as Open Herd. This site allows different alpaca sellers to post ads. The sellers are located all throughout the country and they usually price the alpacas from $450 to $2,000. These alpacas are sold while they are young and would need to be taken care of until they grow.
What is going to be included?
- You can actually choose from different types of alpaca. Each can have different colors and its features are also different based on their type.
- When you purchase one, the breeder should be able to supply the registration, the heritage of the Alpaca, and the birth date (if known).
- Depending on the seller, delivery of the animal may be included.
What are the extra costs?
- You can expect to pay for the shipping of the animal. Sellers will usually make the buyers pay for shipping and delivery charges.
- Other additional cost involved when buying alpacas is actually incurred after you purchase the animal. Obviously, alpacas need to be fed and housed. The alpacas are required to eat at least about 120 pounds of grass hay per month. You will also need to have a shelter or pay for housing.
- Additional maintenance needs to be considered such as shelter, vet visits and transportation. If you are going to harvest the wool, there will be equipment needed to get started.
- Harvesting the wool of alpacas would not really be worth it if you only had one. Most owners choose to purchase multiple alpacas, which means the cost is also multiplied.
- If you are just starting out, you may need things like land and fencing. If you have need of transporting the animals, you may need to purchase a truck and trailer as well.
Tips to know:
- If you are breeding alpaca, you can actually harvest the wool. The alpaca wool can be made into different kinds of item such as sweaters and blankets. These wools have special attributes since they are hypo allergenic and safe to the skin of the user.
- When purchasing from a breeder, always make sure that you know about their reputation. Do they do it for a living? How long have they been doing it? Talk to other people who have purchased from them if you have the opportunity.
How can I save money?
- You can find a lot of different alpacas online so you may want to do a little research before deciding on a purchase. Also, try to find alpacas sold by breeders as they tend to sell the alpacas at a lower price.
- Do not be afraid to haggle. The worst thing that they can say is no!
- Items such as trailers and sheering equipment can be found used for much cheaper than new. Checks sites such as Ebay or Craig’s List to find used items.