Well, we don't really farm alpacas but they live on a farm. Alpacas are grazing animals that that like to eat hay. 1 ton of hay should be enough to feed an alpaca for a year, but it really depends on the living conditions and environment. Of course in a cooler environment, they will burn more calories as with people and will then need more food as well. The min. requirement is one fenced-in acre in order to have 5-10 alpacas. They are a herding animal and you shouldn't have just one, they like to live in groups for them to be most happy.
An alpaca farm can be fun but also rewarding. Alpacas are fun, curious animals that get aggressive at times. Most of the time the alpacas are laid back and interested in what you are doing. They are so docile, which is why they are becoming more and more common as pets. You can train an alpaca to be on a leash fairly quickly as they are fairly smart. They can cost anywhere for $250-$20K each depending on what level of alpaca you are looking for. If you are looking to breed alpacas for their wool, we would recommend getting a mid-range one with very nice fur. The lower range is pet grade and the upper range is show quality. If you are thinking about an alpaca farm to earn some extra money then you need to decide how you plan to earn the money.
There are many ways to earn money with an alpaca farm. Things such as having a petting zoo to selling their wool, either raw or in yarn form. Alpacas certainly are not going to make you rich, well, unless you plan to breed the higher valued prize-winning show quality alpacas, then you stand to make a good amount of money. However, this is a lot of work and a lot goes into showing alpacas. It can certainly be a lot of fun for the little ones.
There are many reasons that people get into showing their alpacas. And, if you are thinking about showing yours, you should ask yourself why you want to do it. Things such as just being around other alpaca fans or breeders are one good reason. Maybe you want to win the prize and increase the value of your herd or get the opinion of a judge. If you are serious about alpaca breeding this makes sense as well.
There are different types of shows too that alpacas can be judged at. So, be sure that you understand what type of show it is that you are looking to attend. They are all different. Showing your alpaca can get your herd to be known in the industry. This is a great way to advertise, should you be new and getting into alpaca farming.
Selling the wool raw or in yarn is much easier to get into than breeding and showing herds. We use this wool in many of our alpaca garments that you can find here. And, take a look at how cute our alpaca stuffed animals can be.