Whomever you speak with, you will find a number of different advantages of Alpacas.
Here’s some of our favorites…
- They are approachable.
We were raising a few head of cattle on our small acreage before we found out about Alpacas. After seeing the vet chase after them in the pasture to dose them with topical medicines, I was hoping for a different type of herd. Alpacas are just that. Each one in our herd has their own personalities. Some are friendlier than others. But, on a whole, they are inquisitive, sweet and can be handled with a minimum of effort. Some are even hugable. Heavenly, shown above with me, is very curious and loves to give nose kisses!
- Tax benefits may be possible.
Every county in Texas sets their own requirements for recognizing ranches as a special agricultural use. Cooke County has been willing to grant those lower tax rates on our land since we have a viable agricultural use for the acreage outside of our one acre homestead. The trade-off is that we have been so successful that we are now taxed on our farm’s assets. We still come out for the better.
Here’s a link to our county’s instructions (shown above) if you’re curious.The federal government gladly accepts our tax returns on a Schedule F (Farm).
- More Alpacas per acre than cattle/horses.
Since Alpacas nibble at the grass, they don’t destroy your property. We still have to mow pastures! Horses can pull up the grass from the roots. We also found that horses and cattle just made a mess with their pasture bathroom habits. While male alpacas can be a little tidier than females, both sexes generally utilize regular spots to defecate. So daily scooping can keep your pastures pretty and green. We even block off the lane that runs down the middle of our property between pens to allow various pens expanded grazing opportunities shown above.
- End products without slaughtering.
It was tough to take those grown-up calves to market. As they matured, we grew attached. With Alpacas, slaughtering doesn’t have to be the first or even the last option. They are fiber animals. So we happily reap the rewards of an annual shearing. Their raw fiber can be sold to spinners, fiber co-ops, and fiber mills. Here at Aubrey Oaks Alpacas, we send our best fiber off to make Texas Alpaca Yarn, and utilize the balance in cottage industry items that include dryer balls, felted soap and balls of fiber that birds use to build nests.
Alpaca manure is a valuable soil amendment. It can be marketed to a rancher’s local clientele. It is very high in nitrogen, and because the Alpacas’ are modified ruminants with three stomachs, it does not need to be composted. We’ve never had a problem finding a buyer in the years that we have been raising alpacas.
Still have questions?
Try visiting our FAQ’s page…