This can seem like a daunting task. You start to search the internet for information and before long you are bogged down with terms you don’t understand and information that is way over your head and so many options your head is spinning. I know I was there!!!
Here are some ideas to simplify the process.
Why do I want alpacas?
Where do I think my main interests lie?
Some options: 1) Show animals/breeding
2) Fiber animals
What kind of alpaca do I want?
Suri (sir-e) (15% of the US population) Their fleece is known for its silky, twisted locks and luster quality
Huacaya (wa-ki-a) (85% of the US population) Their fleece is known for its wooly, crimped, and fine quality.
When do I want to start?
Do you already have a farm?
If not, are you thinking of agisting (boarding) your animals until your farm is ready?
Do you have finances available or will you need to obtain a loan?
Is my farm set up for alpacas (fencing, housing, water, etc)
How do I get started?
We found it invaluable to attend alpaca shows. Many offer free classes/seminars. It is a great opportunity to talk with numerous farms, as well as watch the judging competition to begin to learn the characteristics of the alpacas.
From there go out and visit some farms. Look at their set ups, meet the animals and most of all ASK QUESTIONS!!!
We have discovered that most alpaca owners are happy to share their experiences and opinions.
When you are ready to purchase your alpacas make sure that a support and mentoring system is in place to make it as enjoyable an experience as it has been for us.