Monday, September 10, 2007

The Beginning

My introduction to alpaca's started in the mid 1990's. I saw a commercial on TV about the alpaca lifestyle and how it could become a job with a nice income. I thought it looked so neat! I would love to do something like that. I've always thought I belonged in the olden days (think Little House on the Prairie). But I was single, and rented a small place in town. I didn't have the land, money or resources to do it.

I didn't think about it again until I saw another commerical in 2002. This was shortly after my second child was born. By then I owned a house, and some land. I was dreaming of a way I could work from home so that I could spend more time with my kids. I mentioned it to my husband and he loved the idea. So I looked into it. Somewhere I got information that an alpaca cost $40,000. I was picturing buying a male and a female, paying $80,000. I remember thinking, knowing my luck they will end up dying on me and I'll have a loan out for $80,000 with nothing to show for it. Financially I didn't see how I could do it, so I dropped the idea. I'm not a risk taker and we didn't have that kind of money.

Now it's 2007 and this time it was my husband who brought up the idea of own and raising alpacas. I had been looking to make a career change. In fact had started back to school (to get my 3rd degree) this time in a medical field. But I didn't get into the program I wanted to. I was going to try for my second choice program, but didn't not feel into it. I was lost, and while I was enrolled in school for the fall semester, I was having many doubts. My husband brought up starting an alpaca farm, and he had done lots of research. For instance, I was off on the cost of the alpacas (they can cost that much but they don't all cost that much, and while you need more than one, you do not need a male to begin with). And you can get insurance on them, so if they do die you are covered. He actually found that raising alpacas is not very expensive. They eat mostly grass and hay, costing close to what it is to feed a dog. There are medical costs, but with my husband being a nurse, he would have no problem giving an alpaca shots and doing a lot of the medical care. Alpacas rarely get sick, so in general there are few vet bills (though it is always possible).

After much discussion and lots of research we both came to the conclusion that raising alpacas would be a very good decision for our family. I dropped out of college (which I like to say but really when I already have 2 degrees I'm not exactly a college drop out). And we started to plan out what we needed to do.

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