MAKE LOVEABLE LIVESTOCK By Christine R. Gonzalez
THEY warm your heart and warm your
feet. You may have the instinct to reach
out and pat their fluffy heads, but don’t.
Alpacas are head shy.
“In reality, not many enjoy having that
done. They like to be scratched where
neck meets shoulder blade, but not their
rear ends, and definitely not their heads,”
says Cynthia Wilson, owner of Healing
Hearts Alpaca Farm in Matthews, North
There are great reasons to own alpacas.
There are the financial perks of sales and
stud fees, tax deductions, the soft and
strong fleece, and earth-friendly pastur-ing.
They are a manageable size, three to
four feet tall, and are increasingly popular
as pets. But aspiring business or pet own-ers
should arm themselves with all the
facts about these fascinating creatures.
Gone are the days when the top male in
the country, Legacy, fetched over $1 million
at auction in 2006. But with stud fees in
the thousands and high quality alpaca
fiber selling for around $6 per ounce, it
can still be a lucrative business.
The price of an alpaca is determined by
for an ani-mal
fiber can pay
as little as
$300. The real
money is in
There are great
business or pet
with all the
about the fiber, sometimes referred to as
the “fleece of the gods. ” The name is rein-forced
by the legend that only Peruvian
royals were permitted to wear clothing
spun from alpaca fleece.