Best friends forever

We’ve noticed many of our junior alpacas form strong bonds with cria born at a similar time.

Pictured are Ruby Red Dress (grey) and Marissa (bay black), they are inseparable – its the mum’s that have to find them when they are due for a feed of milk.

RRD Marissa 1000ruby red dress marissa 1000RRD Marissa 2 1000

Farming alpacas – animal costs

Hunter face

In the early days when foundation animals were being imported from South America, costs for a  single breeding female could be $20,000.00 and the price of a stud male much higher. Over the past decade as stock numbers increase, the purchase costs to enter the industry have decreased.

Huacaya alpaca herds in Australia have now reached sufficient numbers to support both fibre and meat industries. Good news to existing breeders with sustainable markets for our livestock. Good news for would-be alpaca farmers, now prices are far more affordable.

Castrated males (wethers) available as herd guards and pets regularly sell for $ 200.00 – $ 500.00. The individual price of a healthy wether usually reflects :

  • How easily it can be handled and if it is halter trained
  • What colour it is, with a predominance of white animals in Australia, higher prices are usually achieved with the rarer shades; black, grey and multi coloured animals
  • Fleece quality and quantity

Sound breeding females can cost as little as $ 400.00. At herd dispersal auctions where breeders retire from the industry, females have even sold for $100.00. Bargains are around, even give-aways, but it is important to remember the value of a breeding female is hugely dependant on the quality of the animal – dictated by its conformation, soundness, temperament, fleece fineness and density. Females mated to elite stud males attract much higher prices, as they are more likely to produce show quality offspring.

At the top end of the market show winning champions with perfect conformation and ultra fine, dense fleeces are selling at record prices. Stud male Windsong Valley Firedragon sold at auction in 2010 for $150,000.00. At the 2012 National Show and Sale, Champion Adult Female Ambersun Gold Class, sold at auction for over $ 60,000.00.