Structured Chaos Farm

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More About the Alpaca

Owning alpacas can be a very rewarding experience in so many ways. They are peaceful critters with antics that relieve human stress levels in today's fast moving society. They provide a wealth of options and adapt well to small acreages and different environments. Like humans and other animals they require care to stay healthy. Nutrition is number one along with attention to disease and parasite control.

Many opinions concerning alpaca nutrition is verbalized by alpaca owners, feed companies,... read full article



The Origin of Alpacas

South American Alpacas

Alpacas are kept in herds that graze on the level heights of the Andes of Ecuador, southern Peru, northern Bolivia, and northern Chile. Alpacas are considerably smaller than llamas, and unlike llamas, alpacas are not used as beasts of burden but are valued only for their fiber. Alpaca fiber is used for making knitted and woven items, much as sheep's wool is. These items include blankets, sweaters, hats, gloves, scarves, a wide variety of textiles and ponchos in South Am... read full article



FAQ's

How long do alpacas live?

Generally, around 15 to 20 years. The longest documented lifespan of an alpaca is 27 years.
How are alpacas different from llamas?

People often confuse alpacas with llamas. While closely related, llamas and alpacas are distinctly different animals. First, llamas are much larger, about twice the size of an alpaca, with an average weight of about 250 to 450 pounds, compared to an alpaca whose weight averages 100 to 200 pounds. Llamas are primarily used for packing ... read full article



Alpaca Marketing

Marketing is more than simply advertising. In short, marketing in any business is the strategy that places that business’s product or service in the hands of its potential customers. Advertising is a marketing tool, a tactic, along with sales, public relations, pricing, packaging, etc.

What kinds of things are involved with marketing? Start with a marketing plan. A marketing plan is important and is developed from your business plan. Plan is the operative word here. Determining your target ma... read full article



Alpaca Research

Research that benefits both new and old world camels is being conducted at numerous research centers around the globe. In most cases the goals of camelid research are to improve the health and productivity of camelids themselves. Such studies include, but are not limited to determination in camelids of a) the safety, efficacy and dosages of drugs and vaccines b) the prevalence and life cycle of infectious diseases and parasites; c) nutritional requirements; d) traits that are amenable to DNA tes... read full article



Breeding the Alpacas

So you have decided to become an alpaca breeder. When do you need to begin formulating your program's breeding strategy? Beginning with the purchase of your first animals! Here are some breeding decisions shared by breeders in the industry

"I bought my first animal because she had the same name as my grandmother!"
"I was able to get two free breed backs to their stud"
"This farm had the best (cheapest) prices I have seen"

Definitely not the optimal breeding decisions because ... read full article



Alpaca Shows Not Dog Shows

In the early days on the American frontier, hunters and traders gathered in rendezvous to exhibit their wares, swap hides for other necessities and in general learn what was going on in remote parts of the territories. Alpaca shows serve those same purposes for breeders: a chance to get together, see progeny from different herdsires, market alpacas for sale, show off the products of breeding programs, and find out in the show ring how experienced, expertly-trained judges view and place the alpac... read full article



The Alpaca Business

Being an alpaca owner provides unique and wonderful life experiences. People in many countries call alpacas “the world’s finest livestock.” Valuable business assets of any kind possess qualities that make them desirable: gold is scarce, real estate provides shelter, oil produces energy, bonds earn interest, stocks may increase in value, and diamonds symbolize love. Alpacas share some of these same attributes.

Alpacas are scarce and unique, and the textiles produced from their fleeces are in d... read full article



Alpaca and Their Fiber

Alpacas are raised for their soft and luxurious fleece (sometimes called fiber). Each shearing produces roughly five to ten pounds of fleece per animal, per year. This fleece, often compared to cashmere, can be turned into a wide array of products from yarn and apparel to tapestries and blankets. The fleece itself is recognized globally for its fineness, softness, light-weight, durability, excellent thermal qualities, and luster.

In addition to selling the fleece and the animals, many alpaca ... read full article



About the Alpaca

What is an alpaca you may ask?

The Alpaca (vicugña pacos) is a domesticated species of South American camelid. Alpacas are members of the camelid family. The camels that most people are familiar with are the ones with humps; the dromedary of Northern Africa, the Middle East, and Southern Asia, and the Bactrian camel of China and Tibet. However, there are four other camelids (without humps) that are indigenous to South America: two of them, llamas and alpacas, have been domesticated for thousands of years; whereas the other tw... read full article