~ One of the manures highest in nitrogen, potash, and potassium.
~ A "cool" fertilizer that can be applied directly without burning plants.
Alpaca: The Ultimate Natural Fiber
~ As soft as cashmere, warmer, lighter, and stronger than wool.
~ Hypoallergenic - contains no lanolin.
~ Can produce cushy knits or silky fabric.
~ Does not easily tear, pill, stain, or create static.
~ Available in 22 natural colors - more than any other animal fiber.
Sustainable Agriculture at its Best
The Earth Friendly Alpaca:
~ Produces a valuable renewable resource - luxury natural fiber, which is shorn annually.
~ Has padded feet that are easy on pastures.
~ Doesn't have upper front teeth so they don't pull grass out by the roots.
~ Has a three compartment stomach that metabolizes grass and hay very efficiently.
~ Can thrive without pesticides or chemical fertilizers.
~Produces lanolin-free fiber that can be cleaned without chemicals.
~ Provides a "cool" fertilizer organic farmers love.
Why Alpacas are the Livestock of Choice
~ They take very little land to raise - An acre can support 5-10 alpacas.
~ Minimal housing and fencing is needed.
~ The gentle, low-maintenance animals are great for kids or retirees.
~ Alpacas are alert, intelligent, curious, and predictable.
~ Minimal veterinary care is required.
~ Babies (cria) are usually born without help between 10 am and 2 pm.
~ They create community dung piles which makes clean up easy and controls parasites.
~ They are relatively disease free.
~ There are multiple options for business opportunities - breeding, boarding, fiber.
~ Alpacas may be fully deductible as farm assets if actively pursued as a business.
"Okay," You Say, "So What's an Alpaca?"
Gentle, inquisitive and attractive, the alpaca has considerable esthetic and financial appeal. These animals are bred for their soft cashmere-like coat and their strong investment potential. The alpaca was established in South America as a domestic breed long before the Inca empire. Large herds of alpaca provided exquisite fiber for the garments of the Incan royalty.
Today, most of the world's alpaca population is still found in South America. However, North American countries and other countries around the world are slowly and surely developing their own national herds. In the last four years, the number of alpacas in North America has risen from two thousand to just under ten thousand. The national breed organization, Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association (AOBA), has grown almost 500% and many people are learning about--and enjoying the benefits of--raising alpacas.
The alpaca's unique appeal is obvious at first glance. Relatively small, with an average weight between 120 and 180 pounds, large expressive eyes and soft fiber that is pleasing to the touch, these animals elicit an immediate response from their owners. The padded feet of the alpaca are environmentally friendly to pastures. Children are attracted to these delightful, gentle and quiet animals and feel at ease in their presence. Intelligent, responsive, and athletic, the alpaca can be easily trained and transported in the family van. The calmness of the alpaca is contagious and often transmitted to their owners. The alpaca comes in a variety of colors: white, black, reds, browns, rose, silver and a myriad array of shades in between.