So why is the alpaca referred to as “the world’s finest livestock investment”?
- Alpacas are scarce and unique
- Alpacas are in strong demand in China and eastern European countries
- People pay high prices for elite animals
- Alpaca fibre is in high demand with buyers paying up to $20.00 per kg
- Alpacas are part of a trend to invest in rare animal breeds
- Alpacas are easy to keep and do not require intensive care
- Alpacas are a graceful, aristocratic animal and so very loveable
- Alpacas thrive on small acreages and lifestyle blocks
- Alpacas are a great guard animal for sheep farms
- Alpacas are the perfect pet for children – inquisitive and friendly
30 years ago, alpacas were only found in South America (1.9 million) and mainly in Peru. Despite import controls, strict quarantine regulations, a slow breeding rate (one cria per year) and no artificial insemination programme, alpacas are now firmly established in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, England and most parts of Western Europe.
Alpacas offer a good return on investment whilst providing the owner with so much joy and satisfaction. Alpacas are in great demand all around the world and the demand has never been greater. In New Zealand there are now over 40,000 alpacas and 650 breeders.
There has been a large increase in the number of lifestyle properties, which in turn has fuelled the NZ alpaca market. With full time jobs in the city, these folk are looking for a more passive farming experience and traditional farming does not meet their needs. Alpacas eat the grass, do not threaten the fences, are generally low maintenance and coupled with their endearing good looks offer a great investment choice.