Purchasing quality breeding stock gives the greatest return. The pregnant female can actually give back her value at the birth of a female cria! Quality male crias will usually have a lesser value, but can be sold as "junior herdsires" for around $10,000 and up. (The price of the "in-tact" male alpaca can run from around $4,000 up to $500,000!)
Whether purchasing breeding stock or pet quality geldings, the alpaca will more than pay for its upkeep! The cost of maintaining a healthy alpaca for one year is less than $100. This estimate includes the expenses of de-wormers, feed, minerals, and yearly vaccinations. The alpaca is sheared in the spring for its health and comfort, but the wool harvested is your product!
In the Southeastern United States you can expect a fleece weight averaging 5 to 6 pounds. About 3 pounds will be from the blanket area (prime fleece) and is valued at approximately $40/lb. ($2.50/oz.) The value of the wool is increased by the stages of processing. These are approximate values:
Raw "prime wool" (skirted) =$2.50/oz.
Rovings for spinning =$6.00/oz.
Yarn (processed) =$7.00/oz.
Yarn (handspun) =$8.00/oz.+
Knitted, crocheted, woven =$11.50/oz.+
The remaining wool is considered second or third quality, but is still alpaca wool and is very valuable! This wool can be made into rovings for hand-spinning, or can be used as a nice warm batting material for quilting. It also can be felted and/or used in many crafts such as hat making, rugs, and other artwork. The value of this wool will be around $1.00/oz. for unprocessed and around $3.50-$4.00/oz. for batting or rovings.
EXPENSES (Fiber Processing)
The cost for processing the fiber varies only a little with each wool processing mill. Here are some approximate prices:
Batting or rovings =$13.00/lb. ($0.81/oz.)
2-ply yarn =$32.00/lb. ($2.00/oz.)
You can do the math! These wonderful creatures we call "ALPACAS" are worth their weight in gold!
IMPORTANT TAX INFORMATION !
Alpacas can provide excellent tax savings. NEW deduction for 2008 is $250,000. (According to IRS code 179 ) If you complete analpaca purchase before December 31st, you can write off 100% of the cost up to $250,000. If you choose to finance with 30% down payment,your tax savings may be equal to the amount of the down payment.