Starting out in alpacas is a daunting process for most people.
It is up to you as the buyer to look around, decide why you want to keep alpacas, is it for breeding, showing, pets, guard alpacas for other livestock or if you are intend to specialise in a particular colour or type Ie :- Suri or Huacaya
Once you have established this, it really won’t take long to get your eye in and understand what we are all trying to breed for, look at a variety of fleeces, fibre statistics and ask the breeder questions.
Also chose a breeder that has long term knowledge, I myself have international connections to the parent stud of my stock, Cedarhouse Alpacas in Australia . One important factor is also the invaluable backup service that is crucial when you are starting out.
Always have an idea of your starting budget, and where you aim to be in say 5 years time as well as how many alpacas you can sustain on your size of land
There are significant price differences between breeders, usually the price of the alpaca reflects the quality of the fleece and its breeding history and potential.
However this is not always the case, so a buyer should know roughly what they are looking at before they decide to part with there hard earned money. The main factors that make an alpaca an excellent alpaca, over an average alpaca are
There are other factors of course, however these are the main things to look for in terms of fibre. and confirmation. Its also good to know, does the Male or Female have progeny born and if so how many and what are thier qualities.
Depending what to buy, comes down to personal preference acreage of land . Budget and availability of Stock . Usually someone starting out in breeding female alpacas does not require thier own Stud male until they have a significant amount of females to justify owning one. The breeder that sold you the females will probably have a stud male or they would of gone to a larger breeder for matings to their own females . Again the same applies for selecting the right stud male as it does for selecting the female, the fleece characteristics mentioned above and check out the progeny from the male you are looking at using and look at the prize winnings of the male and his progeny and the amount of cria born. There is too much to mention on here really why not come and have a walk around the farm and we can discuss the alpaca industry.
Cedar House Information Library
Cria Birthing Guide