Log Cabin Farm Alpacas LLC
3112 Barton Road - Irasburg, Vermont 05845-9524
Agritourism - Sales - Boarding - Breeding - Alpaca Knits - Fiber

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WHY ALPACAS?
 

What makes alpacas so desirable?  Bottom line -- they are both profitable and enjoyable. 

Alpaca Facts and Advantages

Alpacas are clean, safe, quiet, intelligent and disease resistant.  They have a charismatic manner, do very well on small acreage and  produce a luxury fiber which is in high demand.

·  Alpacas are safe, they don't bite or butt. Even if they did, without incisors, horns, hoofs or claws, little harm can he done.
·  They are small and easy to handle -- about 36" tall at the withers and weigh about 150 pounds.
·  Alpacas belong to the camelid family, eat grasses and chew a cud. 
·  Females begin breeding at between 14 and 18 months of age producing approximately one cria (baby) per year -- a pregnancy averages 11.5 months -- during a reproductive life of 15-20 years.  Males begin breeding at about three years. 
·  Alpacas produce one of the world's most luxurious natural fibers which is clipped from the animal without causing it injury. Soft as cashmere and lighter, stronger and four times warmer than wool, it comes in 22 basic colors with many variations and blends. It is enjoyed by spinners and weavers and is in high demand around the world.
·  They are intelligent, which makes them pleasant to be around and easy to train.
·  Alpacas do not require butchering in order to be profitable.
·  Clean up is easy since alpacas deposit droppings in only one or two places -- very tidy!. 
·  They are considered disease-resistant animals, which lowers insurance and veterinarian costs.
·  Alpacas are adaptable to varied habitat, successfully being raised from Australia to Alaska and from 15,000 feet to sea level.
·  Rare outside of South America, they cannot be mass-produced.
·  Alpacas require minimal fencing and can be pastured at 5-10 per acre.
·  They are easy to transport which allows them to be traded across the country or around the world.  They lay down in a moving vehicle -- some owners will transport one or two alpacas in the back of their minivan.
·  Alpacas have a relatively long and trouble-free reproductive life span which averages about 20 years 
·  They can be fully insured against loss.
·  The factors which influence individual alpaca prices include color, conformation, fleece quantity and quality (density, uniformity, fineness), age, and sex. Females sell for more money on average than males, but herdsire quality males demand the highest individual prices.  Correct, well-conformed alpacas with quality fiber sell for higher prices.
·  Alpaca owners enjoy a strong and active national organization. The Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association (AOBA) and the Regional Affiliates support all owners and breeders by thoroughly addressing every aspect of the industry.
·  The Alpaca Registry has a state-of the-art system to document bloodlines. Alpacas must be blood typed in order to be registered. Virtually every alpaca in the U.S. is registered.
·  The newly formed Alpaca Fiber Cooperative of North America (AFCNA) accepts fleece from its members and turns the precious fiber into quality alpaca garments and products. Members benefit from a ready outlet for their fiber, while the cooperative works to increase awareness of and demand for this every day luxury.

 

Alpacas:  The Earth-Friendly Farm Animal

 

Alpacas have been domesticated for more than 5,000 years. They are one of Mother Nature’s favorite farm animals as they are sensitive to their environment in every respect. The following physical attributes allow alpacas to maintain their harmony with our Mother Earth:

·  Their padded feet leave even the most delicate terrain undamaged as they browse on native grasses.
·  The alpaca is a modified ruminant with a three-compartment stomach which converts grass and hay to energy very efficiently.  They eat much less than other farm animals -- one bale of hay will feed 10 alpacas per day.
·  Its camelid ancestry allows the alpaca to thrive without consuming very much water, although an abundant, fresh water supply is necessary.
·  The alpaca does not usually eat or destroy trees, preferring tender grasses, which it does not pull up by the roots.
·  A herd of alpacas consolidates its droppings in one or two spots in the pasture controlling the spread of parasites and making it easy to collect and compost for fertilizer.
·  Gardeners find the alpaca’s rich fertilizer perfect for growing fruits and vegetables.
·  An alpaca produces enough fleece each year to create several soft, warm sweaters -- this is the alpaca’s way of contributing to community energy conservation efforts.
Investment and Tax Benefits

There are major tax advantages of alpaca ownership including the employment of depreciation, capital gains treatment and, for active hands-on owners, the benefit of offsetting your ordinary income from other sources with expenses from your farming business.  Wealth building by deferring taxes on the increased value of your herd is also a big plus. 

·  Alpaca Compounding -- Alpacas reproduce almost every year and about one-half of their crias (babies) are females. When you retain the offspring in your herd, they begin producing babies, therefore increasing your herd size. 
·  Tax-Deferred Wealth Building -- As your herd grows, you postpone paying income tax on its increasing value until such time as you begin selling the offspring.
·  Tax Advantages -- Raising alpacas at your own ranch for profit, leasing or agisting (boarding) your animals can offer some very attractive tax advantages. 
·  Fiber Sales -- Fiber is often and readily sold to cottage industries that revolve around hand spinning and weaving for an average of $2 to $6 an ounce. Each animal will produce five to eight pounds of fleece a year. A North American fiber co-op, endorsed by the Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association (AOBA), offers an additional fiber outlet for all breeders.
·  Your Investment Can Be Protected -- Alpacas can be fully insured against loss.

 

Lifestyle Advantages

 

Raising alpacas is a rewarding experience for families with children and also for couples approaching retirement who want to blend an income producing business with a peaceful, stress-free lifestyle.

 

·  Can provide both income and pleasure -- impressive financial returns are combined with a fun hands-on lifestyle which has captivated people searching for a simpler and more rewarding way of life
·  Wonderful travel opportunities to attend the many alpaca events around the country, including local and state fairs, alpaca farm open houses, auctions and conferences.
·  Opportunity to get involved in selling products made from alpaca fiber as a hobby or an additional home-based business venture -- spinning and weaving of fiber is a skill that can lead to profits.


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