John & Susan Merrell
41390 Hwy 226
Scio, OR 97374
503-394-3790
503-551-7219 (cell)
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Alpaca Breeding and Industry Leadership

Alpaca breeders willing to makes substantial investments in time and money may establish themselves as industry leaders. This approach to alpaca ownership carries a high level risk, but also offers the opportunity for some of the highest returns.

Every breed of livestock has followed the same pattern over time.  Large production herds form the foundation of the industry, while at the top are the breeders of elite breeding stock.  There is little doubt that the alpaca industry will, in time, follow this same pattern.  The genetics of elite herds will command a premium, and they will influence the entire national herd. 

To breed the best alpacas requires the best foundation herdstock available. This approach to entry into the alpaca industry requires a significant cash investment. Exceptional alpaca herdsires have sold for as much as $500,000 at auction. Many of the more renowned alpacas will never find their way to an auction block or a sales list.

Alpaca breeders at this level must invest a great deal of time and money into their operations. Besides the annual show circuit, marketing expenses are a significant expense. For these folks, alpacas are indeed a lifestyle, but not necessarily one that is tied to their land and their animals. To succeed at this level, a competitive personality coupled with intelligence and business savvy is necessary.

The popular belief is that alpacas breeders at this level are making major strides to improve the breed. Only time will tell if this is in fact true. Certainly these alpaca breeders have succeeded in creating animals that are pleasing to the eye of the public and the judges. These alpaca breeders are analogous to Thoroughbred horse breeders. Pedigree, form and rarity can add significant value to the animals these operations produce.

If this is the course that you are exploring, you will be well advised to purchase the highest quality breeding stock that you can afford. Some existing industry leaders literally bought their way to the top with their first few alpacas. Buying at auction with a record setting bid will place your farm immediately on the map.

There will always be a market for animals at this level of the industry, but with maturity the competition will only increase. If your tolerance for risk is high, and your pockets are deep, this may be an appropriate place to aim for in the alpaca industry.

If you are interested in pursuing alpacas with the goal of becoming an industry leader, contact us. We will work with you to locate and purchase alpacas of a quality that is consistent with your goals.

 
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"She wore a black alpaca frock and a dark apron. Her face was weary and sad..."

Gertrude Atherton
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