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About Alpacas

Alpacas are still fairly new and uncommon in North America. They are gentle, friendly and there are increasing demands for their luxurious fiber. Alpaca is known throughout the world for being soft, warm, durable, light weight and without the prickly factor as some other fibers. With their loveable dispositions and manageable size, alpacas are easily trained and are gentle companions’ animals.

Alpacas and llamas have been imported from the high Andean Plateau and the mountains of the Altiplano of South America in Peru, Chile and Bolivia. The first Alpacas were imported in 1984 and the last importation took place in 1998, the borders are closed to all importation with the USDA and the Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association, Inc. (A.O.B.A.)

Alpaca breeders come from many walks of life. Increasingly, alpacas are becoming an important source of income for many people, with prices that range from $10,000.00 to $50,000.00 or more per animal. Entire families are becoming full time alpaca breeders. Young couples with children might own three or four alpacas and have other jobs and enjoy caring for them. Couples, who have raised their children, sold their business and have retired to the country, are often owners. Many herds are owned by families where one spouse has a job, and the alpaca business is managed by the other on their acreage in the suburbs or country. A large number of breeders are working couples and tend to their herd in the evening after work. There are even those who have discovered the option of boarding or (agisting) their alpacas with another farm, thereby they don’t have the day to day care of the alpacas and gives them the operational alpaca business with retaining tax benefits. For all alpaca owners, alpacas offer a great way to diversify their financial portfolio with a commodity that is both rare and is in demand worldwide.

Anyone considering entering the alpaca industry should visit many alpaca farms to gather information and advise from people in the business. You should engage an accountant for advise in setting up a business plan and determining the proper use of major tax advantages of alpaca ownership, including the employment of deprecation, capital gains treatment and offsetting farm expenses. I would advise to check out the IRS publication, #225, entitled The Farmers Tax Guild. Raising alpacas can offer some very attractive advantages. Why not have Uncle Sam help you buy you alpacas.

Updated October 31, 2012