Quick read to learn about Alpacas:
Since 1984 alpacas have been found in the United States. Alpacas have coexisted with humans for thousands of years. They are native to South America, mainly Peru, Chile and Bolivia. They have been domesticated for over 5,000 years.
• Alpacas are very gentle animals that can be handled safely by children. Alpacas do not spit at people unless provoked.
• Alpacas are raised for breeding stock to train and show. Alpacas are also raised for their luxurious fiber, which is comparable to cashmere.
• They provide an excellent investment opportunity.
• Alpacas have a herd instinct and feel safe in numbers. Their feet have two toed pads and not hooves, easy on the land.
• There are 16 official colors recognized by the Alpaca Registry and more than 22 colors produced naturally in the alpaca fleece.
• Alpacas can be insured against loss.
• Alpacas are ideal for small acreage as you can have between 5-10 alpacas per acre. It takes approximately 30 minutes a day to care for up to 10 alpacas.
• They are very efficient eaters, only requiring about the same amount of feed as a large dog. The herd consolidates their feces in one or two spots in the pasture; this controls the spread of parasites and is easy to clean up. They are sheared once a year, in the spring. Alpacas are the world's finest livestock investment. Alpacas produce a premium fiber in 22 different colors; the demand for such fiber is always increasing. Fiber yields are between five and twelve pounds per year, per animal. Many times the profit from the fiber will offset all feeding and normal medical costs of each alpaca. In the mid 1980's alpacas appeared almost simultaneously in several countries where they had never been seen before. United States, Canada, New Zealand, England and many other European countries have all acquired a foundation stock. The reason, alpacas are both profitable and enjoyable. It is common for a female offspring of an alpaca to sell for as much or more than was paid for the dam. Therefore, returns of 30% to 70% are not uncommon.
Alpacas are so easy to raise all you need is a few minutes each day and lots of love. They are warm and friendly yet strong of character. They can be easily transported in a family mini-van or an animal trailer.
Advantages of Alpaca Ownership:
Alpaca ownership offers many unique tax advantages, including sheltering income from other sources, expensing farm related business items, use of depreciation and capital gains treatment. If you actively raise alpacas for profit, all expenses attributable to them can be written off against income. Typical expenses include feed, fertilizer, veterinary costs, depreciation of breeding stock, barns, fences etc. The major difference is the tax treatment between active and passive owners. Passive owners may only deduct losses from their investment against the sale of animals and fiber whereas; active owners can take all losses against other income. Additional expenses that may be tax deductible are vehicle mileage for farm related miles, interest, rent, attorney and CPA fees, farm related travel and educational expenses, advertising, hired labor, farm fuel, association dues, breeding fees and real property improvements. There is also a direct write off method known as Section 179 that allows a substantial deduction each tax year for newly acquired and long term depreciable assets. There are several limitations to this section. This is a brief overview of the current tax laws, please refer to you tax professional for more complete information.