25 years ago, alpacas were only found in South America and mainly in Peru (1.9 million). 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 Australia, New Zealand, North America and England and emerging herds are now to be found throughout Europe.
Alpacas offer a strong 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 15,000 alpacas and 700 breeders. A recent auction of 38 alpacas averaged NZ$10,500.00 + GST with one female selling for NZ$32,000.00. Some certified stud males are fetching NZ$100,000 plus.
There has been a large increase in the number of lifestyle properties which in turn is fuelling 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.
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 many countries
- People pay high prices ( a stud male sold for NZ$120,000 in NZ recently )
- 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