Alpaca fiber farming provides the opportunity to enjoy working with an intelligent livestock capable of learning their names and an endless opportunity for expansion within the farm revenue and activities, as well as producing a high end sellable product – the fiber. Alpaca fiber is what is shorn off of the animal once a year. Alpaca wool is called fiber to distinguish it from sheep’s wool. It is six times warmer than sheep’s wool, naturally wicking, and does not itch or contain lanolin. It is graded based on fineness.
There are seven standard colors naturally occurring in alpaca fiber. All seven come in light, medium, and dark varieties, making up 21 different color variety or shades existing within the natural standard coloration.
Alpaca fiber farming can generate revenue from the alpaca fiber produced, the sale of products made from the fiber, as well as income from farm visits, kids camps, birthday celebrations, educational classes for adults and children, and a host of other creative ideas, plus the sale of alpacas themselves.
Alpacas make a great small farm livestock because they eat far less then a cow or a horse due to their efficient digestive system and nearly everything produced from the alpaca can be turned into a revenue stream. Farms with 3 to 20 acres can use their land to raise alpacas efficiently while selling the alpaca fiber, and converting the alpaca waste into fertilizer, often called alpaca beans. The unusable fiber can be turned into mulch for gardens and fire retardant insulation. Training your alpaca herd reaps benefits not only in the multitude of activities you can do with them, but also when it comes time for basic herd maintenance.