I am in shock over the price of Alpacas, what am I getting for 40,000?

zzGypsy

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a couple of weeks ago I saw one go unsold at auction because they couldn't get a bid of $15 on it. :( they're for sale cheap on craigslist here in MO all the time. no knowing the background on some of them, but if you're not looking for papered they're all over here. I've seen lots of them at the auctions, very very low prices. nothing apparently wrong with them either, just not finding buyers for them.
 

craftymama86

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That's so sad. :( I'd get one in a heartbeat if I found one for $15.... How do you go about finding an auction like that?
 

zzGypsy

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craftymama86 said:
That's so sad. :( I'd get one in a heartbeat if I found one for $15.... How do you go about finding an auction like that?
there are quite a few auctions here in SW MO - I go to the sheep and goat auctions (some are only cattle or only horses) and you'll sometimes see them. some of the smaller auctions just auction whatever comes in, so there's no species restrictions. there is one house that has "exotics" auctions a couple of times a year, and alpaca are common at that one.

search online for "livestock auction" near you, there might be something close. sometimes you just have to go and see what comes in - they don't always have an idea in advace.

where are you located?

oh, and watch craigslist.
 

craftymama86

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We're outside of Birmingham, AL.

Watch CL for auctions or livestock?
 

zzGypsy

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craftymama86 said:
We're outside of Birmingham, AL.

Watch CL for auctions or livestock?
both :)

some of the local auction houses list things like "exotics" sales on CL, but you can't always count on it. and lots of folks list llamas and alpacas on CL.

search "alabama livestock auctions" "alabama goat sale" "alabama goat auction" "alabama sheep auction" "alabama exotic animal auction" ... you get the idea.
 

craftymama86

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Ah ok.... I did find a couple of alpacas for $400 but we don't have that at the moment but they did mention trading. I thought about asking my MIL if she still wanted to get rid of her 2 burros. She really doesn't need them and is costing her money. If she agrees then I may contact him to see if he'll trade those. That would be cool. :D
 

zzGypsy

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r4eboxer said:
I want alpacas for the wool for my homestead and a few of my knitting friends. I have just begun to look at the market for a few for the farm. WOW these animals are VERY expensive. I don't think I would ever recap an investment of 40,000, or am I wrong about that? I do not wish to show them but it seems like if you are going to recap the investment you have to show, get lots of ribbons and breed and sell the offspring.

Can anyone tell me how this all works? Do you ever break even? How much time do you put in at shows? Gosh I want a good quality animal but I don't think I could ever swing these prices.
Not all the animals I have looked at were that much but still 1000-2500, I did see some for 500 but it seems those are the ones no one wants and 500 is not pocket change either. I just did not realize how expensive the purchase price was. It seems that there isn't really that much of a market for the wool, except for the knitting market and that is almost extinct too.
I did see stud service for 1000 too, maybe I am in the wrong business and should have some good alpacas. I've never seen animals go for so much.
TIA
there was a time when llamas and alpacas were being heavily marketed as a profitable hobby-farm business. most of the the earnings of the animal would come from either stud fees or selling the young stock to other folks who had been just as heavily marketed to. fleece only brings a small price, and I'm not sure even a $1000 animal would ever pay for it's purchase price and feed on fleeces, even if they were maintained on pasture. I have no idea if people are still paying the $10,000 and up prices...

15 years ago you couldn't get *any* llama for under $1500 - even pet quality culls. now they're going at auction for $30 (saw one of those recently). partly its because as the market has collapsed the big breeders have gone bankrupt or had to close and they're dumping hundreds of animals on the market at next to nothing or as rescues, or sending them to auction for the kill-buyer's price.

this happens periodically as tastes change - I worked for an arabian breeder in the mid '70s who had 4 imported from egypt stallions that ran between $100k and $350k, not including the import costs... but when I worked for him he might have been able to get $50,000 out of the best of them. bought at the peak of the market and lost a ton of money :( I think the $40,000 alpaca might be kinda like that.

for the last 10 years it's been Gypsy Vanner horses - $40,000 for a weanling colt that's too young to know if he's gonna grow feathers or be breeder quality. lately, the same colt would go for $5,000. I don't think the prices are done dropping yet.

the trick it to predict which animal it's going to be when it's on the rising side of the curve...
 

purplequeenvt

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zzGypsy said:
for the last 10 years it's been Gypsy Vanner horses - $40,000 for a weanling colt that's too young to know if he's gonna grow feathers or be breeder quality. lately, the same colt would go for $5,000. I don't think the prices are done dropping yet.
Yay! Maybe someday I can afford to get a Gypsy Vanner! :love


Part of the issue going on in the llama and alpaca industry is that both (but alpacas in particular) were advertised as an investment which drew lots of people in. So now you have all these breeders - some better then others - who are churning out cria and the market gets flooded. At some point (right now) it becomes difficult sell a good quality stud or breeding female for anything close to what "value" is, let alone a $500 "pet" gelding.

What is the solution?? Find another way to utilize llamas and alpacas. Did you know that it is VERY COMMON to EAT llamas and alpacas in South America? Yeah, yeah, I know. They are too intelligent, cute, fuzzy, whatever.....but if people in the US were to cut their herds and keep/breed only the best, there would be fewer unwanted problem animals floating around the auctions. Prices would probably (hopefully) never get back up to the ridiculous height, but it would be easier to sell the animals you have.
 

zzGypsy

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yep, I remember all the advertising on "become an alpaca breeder and get rich on your fantasy hobby" from back when I had TV. and I also remember that in the last several years there have been 2 or 3 llama rescues of a hundred or more animals each because of some big breeders going out of business. I keep a watch out for one of the heavy big-footed drafty argentinian type llamas to come through the rescue process, but so far everything I've seen locally is the small light boned type. seems the size has gotten smaller around here lately - they trend towards the alpaca size alot.

I'll keep looking for argentinains - would love to have the 'draft' version of llamas. and when the market comes down enough I'll have the vanners too. just glad I didn't mortgage the house to get in that market.

so to answer the OP question " what am I getting for 40,000?" the answer is "a really expensive education in getting into the market waaaaay too late."
 
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