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pacapeep

103 Posts

Posted - 01/05/2012 :  9:05:10 PM  Show Profile  Visit pacapeep's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I was wondering how to go about determining the values of our animals? I know the market is not the best right now. We purchased our animals in 2007 when prices were higher, but now I am needing to figure their values as if I were going to sell them. Any suggestiond would be great. Katy

Delaney Holland
Katy Holland
Alpacas of Holland Acres
Olivia, MN

http://www.alpacasofhollandacres.com/

Judith

4019 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2012 :  11:21:35 AM  Show Profile  Send Judith a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
As you know there is no hard-and-fast price in today's market. So my best advice to you, Katy, is that no matter what, never sell them for less than you can earn from their fiber at its next shearing. Once you begin to analyze them from a commodity perspective (fiber production), you are able to appreciate their ultimate value even if they are otherwise "unproductive" (e.g., not breedable, for whatever reason). Make a marketing or use plan for your annual fiber harvest and then use that as an absolute bottom line value for your herd. Price each alpaca individually according to what they contribute to your fiber use/sales, and then add incrementally based on their other qualities (breedability, genetics, temperament, maintenance factors - are they "easy keepers" etc.). Figure out what it would cost you to replace one with comparable qualities. Then decide what it's worth to you to retain that alpaca. Your price must reflect the market, but based on your own needs and resources.

Judith Korff
AlpacaNation Forum Co-Moderator
LadySong Farm Bolivian Suri Alpacas
Randolph, NY 14772
Cell: (716) 499-0383
www.alpacanation.com/ladysong.asp
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JimR

1046 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2012 :  12:46:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Judith is right. Unless you have to sell fast for some reason don't undersell your alpacas. All it does it hurt the industry as a whole.
If we all maintained fair prices instead of selling them for livestock prices like they allow on certain auction sites, we would start seeing the prices of alpacas stabilize.
You are better off giving them away than hurting the entire industry by advertising and selling them (girls) for 100-500 dollars).
Maybe I can understand that somewhat if your desperate, but I see farms doing it that are still breeding???? WTG to them being a team player! Not.

Susan Rempe
Four Corners Alpacas
Bloomfield NM 87413
505 360-8375
River11524@msn.com
www.AlpacaNation.com/fourcorners.asp
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bobvicki

2960 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2012 :  3:11:09 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Susan wrote: If we all maintained fair prices instead of selling them for livestock prices like they allow on certain auction sites, we would start seeing the prices of alpacas stabilize.
You are better off giving them away than hurting the entire industry by advertising and selling them (girls) for 100-500 dollars).

So Susan,

What exactly is a "Fair Price"? How is a person better off giving alpacas away rather than selling a female for whatever they possibly make selling it?

While selling at very low prices does have an effect on the overall industry when a person needs to get rid of their alpacas because of their circumstances they probably need every dollar they can generate.

Exactly who can you give alpacas away to? I think we would have the same dilemma of trying to maintain decent prices only worse if people started advertising free females. At least selling them for $500 gives any seller the possibility of selling at a higher price rather than competing with FREE!

There are probably a great many people who bought alpacas that had no intention of owning a farm store or making money off of fleece. Now many of them either need to get rid of their animals or learn how to do something with their fleece. There are other people who wanted to retire from "the real world" and raise alpacas but many of them have lost jobs. Those who can afford to continue to feed their animals are probably keeping them and for others getting rid of the alpacas is survival!

Until the economy becomes strong again there are not a lot of people looking to expand into new enterprises, so until that happens there will be an excess of pretty good alpacas being offered. I expect that will continue to put pressure on keeping low prices around for a while.

With things in the economy going the way they are right now my own prices do not reflect what I consider to be the real value of many of my girls, rather it reflects more the real value of those females toward my goal. For example since I breed for black suris any young female born that might be classified as a multi is not a keeper, I don't care how good her fleece is, so a girl like that will be priced way under actual fleece quality in order to move her in this economy.

One of the greatest problems facing us today is trying to get through to people that today's prices are subjected to a lot of external pressures and low price alone does not always mean a low quality alpaca.

Bob

Bob & Vicki Blodgett
Suri Land Alpaca Ranch
10371 N 2210 Road
Clinton, Oklahoma 73601
641-831-3576
alpaca@htswireless.com
www.alpacanation.com/suriland.asp
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JimR

1046 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2012 :  3:49:21 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Bob
I totally understand if your having bad times and you need to sell them fast, but why continue to breed alpacas and sell them for under 500.00.
Geez some dogs sell for more than that. And speaking of dogs, do you really ever see anyone selling LGs for 50 bucks "just to get rid of them" like we do with alpacas? that is the reason they maintain their value and we lose ours more and more everyday.
If your going to just breed to put no value on an animal than how can we ever get the prices to stabilize and eventually rise. If you don't value it and you bred it, than who will?

Every retail store ran huge sales for Christmas to get people in to buy, what is going to happen now, is people are going to get used to stores running huge sales before they buy, and the stores will keep reducing to make sales.
It never ends until someone says enough is enough, lets stop this and get back to normal.
Unemployment dropped to 8.5 this week I think, economy is coming back, when are we all going to stop blaming the economy and start blaming ourselves for doing this to our own industry.

Are we going to go on for the next 10 years blaming the recession, and than wake up and say..hey the recession was over 5 years ago but our industry is still in the toilet..just like 10 years ago they should have started to develop the fiber aspect but no one wanted to rock the boat.
I guess the other scenery is let all the weak links fail, and than only the strong survive, which will certainly narrow down the number of farms.
I do not have the answers, but I know we are headed in the wrong direction unless we change. It has to be wrong to constantly devalue your own product, by selling it for less and less just to sell it. Makes no sense.

Susan Rempe
Four Corners Alpacas
Bloomfield NM 87413
505 360-8375
River11524@msn.com
www.AlpacaNation.com/fourcorners.asp
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bobvicki

2960 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2012 :  5:57:42 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Are we going to go on for the next 10 years blaming the recession, and than wake up and say..hey the recession was over 5 years ago but our industry is still in the toilet..just like 10 years ago they should have started to develop the fiber aspect but no one wanted to rock the boat.

Susan,
I did not say it was a good idea just said that is what is happening to many people.
quote:
I totally understand if your having bad times and you need to sell them fast, but why continue to breed alpacas and sell them for under 500.00.
Geez some dogs sell for more than that. And speaking of dogs, do you really ever see anyone selling LGs for 50 bucks "just to get rid of them" like we do with alpacas? that is the reason they maintain their value and we lose ours more and more everyday.

LOL, I bought my great Pyrs 3 or 4 years ago, one from a sheep ranchers pair and since I was not interested in them being registered I paid well under the advertise sale prices for great pyrs found here on AN. The people I was talking about that have had problems were definitely not still breeding.

Bob

Bob & Vicki Blodgett
Suri Land Alpaca Ranch
10371 N 2210 Road
Clinton, Oklahoma 73601
641-831-3576
alpaca@htswireless.com
www.alpacanation.com/suriland.asp
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rgoss1

663 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2012 :  8:23:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Susan - I got into the business when the prices were at the top of the market. I believe that these prices were sustainable because of the few alpacas available in the US. Now, it seems that we have created a glut in the market. As with all items in a free market environment, you can only charge what the market will bear.

I'd like to believe that breedable/registrable girls can sell for at least $2000. I'd like to believe that you could sell pet males for $500. Unfortunately, I'm not seeing that these prices are generating many inquires much less sales.

As for breeding, last year I chose to only breed 5 of my girls. The other girls that remain open are giving me the "evil" eye (lol).

We, as an industry, have actually created a catch 22. Most people want to purchase a pregnant female. So, if your not breeding, your losing out on possible sales. On the other hand, if you continue to breed then you run the risk of producing more alpacas than you can afford.

thanks

Roxanne Goss
Lands End Alpacas LLC
Vermilion, Ohio
gossr@roadrunner.com 440-225-4138
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delphi

180 Posts

Posted - 01/07/2012 :  11:36:10 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
How to determine the value of an alpaca -
This is not a simple question.

Two things that (IMHO) hang people up are -
1) Pedigree. It May indicate an increased likelihood of quality, (or may not) but in and of itself, it's just an eye catcher for marketing. Once the buyer starts looking more closely, there had better be something more than pedigree. But, nonetheless, it does bring more initial inquiries and there are folks that will buy based upon pedigree alone.
2) Price. The list price (or previous sale price) of an alpaca has next to nothing to do with it's quality either. Prices are set based upon individual perception and, mostly, selling situation. A free alpaca, given away in a desperate situation, may be worth a great deal to someone else. The selling situation may be the Snowmass auction, or Magical Farms' auction. Or it may be your neighbors who bought nice alpacas 5 years ago, and just never realized it was a real business they had to get involved in, in order to validate their quality. Never advertised or showed or networked. Never did histograms and don't really get the fleece - it was just an impulse decision on their part to get into alpacas - and now they want out. So they give them away. To them they are next to worthless because they have no idea what makes one better than the other, and they hear from their friends that They can't sell alpacas, so they figure the whole thing was a bad idea, or worse, a pyramid scheme.

My point - there could easily be an alpaca in their herd that is every bit as good as an alpaca selling for $15,000 at Magical Farms' auction. Happens all the time.
It's the selling situation that that alpaca has found itself in, that creates the selling price.

Now that selling situation is valid. If they had shown the alpaca and it had received ribbons - just like the pedigree - ribbons have a legitimate marketing value. If you are assessing market value - pedigree and ribbons are factored in.
But just How Good is that alpaca? You have to really know your alpacas to evaluate that. How do they compare with the Best fleeces out there? If you don't have a valid benchmark of just what that is, then you need to go see the best. We all have a tendency to be a little barn blind somedays.
Other days we can be over critical - and reduce our prices too much, only to regret it later!

So much in assessing value is subjective. In the end - it's - what are they worth to You?
And to the Buyer? That's their value.

My general answer to folks when I used to help them market also included questions like:
How soon do you want to sell them?
How much money are you willing to invest in advertising?
A quick sale with no advertising in this market is tough. It generally requires both a good alpaca with something special about it (due soon, ribbons, color, pedigree) - Plus a price that puts them on the radar for bargain shoppers.

The very best way to answer questions for yourself on marketing, is to play buyer.
Pretend you are shopping on Alpacanation and Openherd. Shop for your alpaca. Put in black bred female - and see what you get. Look at the pictures, the fleece stats, the certificates - what do YOU want to see? You'll see bunches of cheap ones, often with lots of bad pictures and very little or outdated information. Then you'll see some you want to buy! You'll learn how to present your alpaca better. And if you do it well - they will sell.

As to all the talk of price fixing -
well I personally have no problem with folks selling "an alpaca" for $100. Just because it's a "female alpaca!" does Not imply it's valuable, sorry, not anymore. It may just be a girl that's just not good enough to breed. It may be that the seller needs to sell yesterday. The industry has evolved, due to a kick in the pants by the economy, (ouch).
We still need to be breeding to IMPROVE. Because the very good alpacas will Not be selling for $100 if they are marketed well by a legitimate livestock business. Even just fiber producers - if they have good fiber should sell for the $500 to $1000 that Judith states should be the minimum. And good breeders will also be getting their share of stars, that exemplify the breed, that will sell for 2 to 5 to 10 to 50 thousand.

Don't give folks a hard time for continuing to breed and selling some cheap - IF they are breeding well, and continuing to improve the National herd. To stop breeding is to stop being in the business of raising alpacas. Just do it well for goodness sakes.

Wishing you many stunning cria next year!
Linda

Linda Bat
Delphi Alpacas

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pacapeep

103 Posts

Posted - 01/07/2012 :  11:57:09 AM  Show Profile  Visit pacapeep's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thank you all for the amazing info!
We will definitely be revising our alpacas and setting what we believe a good prices, but we are ALWAYS open to negotiation with customers.

Delaney Holland
Katy Holland
Alpacas of Holland Acres
Olivia, MN

http://www.alpacasofhollandacres.com/
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bobvicki

2960 Posts

Posted - 01/07/2012 :  8:28:30 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
There are several things that will make those not so great females worth more than a few hundred bucks and one of them we should all be pushing for and the other probably doesn't agree with most of us.

The first one is ET, being able to use your older or poor fleeced girls and incubators for your higher quality animals would certainly raise their value. The catch here is the cost of doing it has to be realistically in everyone's budget.

The second one would be the meat market. As much as I don't like the idea I do believe it will turn a lot of non-breeding quality males into a valuable commodity. That would also mean that their hide has a market too. If embryo transfer became a reality it might stave off meat from becoming a reality later rather than sooner.

Bob

Bob & Vicki Blodgett
Suri Land Alpaca Ranch
10371 N 2210 Road
Clinton, Oklahoma 73601
641-831-3576
alpaca@htswireless.com
www.alpacanation.com/suriland.asp
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nyala

3318 Posts

Posted - 01/07/2012 :  9:40:57 PM  Show Profile  Visit nyala's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi,

I'd look at the various on line sites like alpaca nation, alpaca street and open herd. I'd see what animals with similar blood lines, ages, color, status (proven unproven) show records and fiber stats are selling for. I'd price mine in the middle. Sometimes I think very low priced animals don't sell because people think there must be something wrong with them to be priced so low. Also perhaps the herd dispersals make folks nervous because they figure that farm had that stock and they did not succeed why should I buy that?

I've wondered what would happen if we could register alpacas produced by ET. I suspect the very well marketed blood line owning farms most of them larger would be selling embryos to medium and small farms and I'm not sure if that would be a good thing or a bad thing. I have some elderly but fabulous dams I sure would like to get a few more cria out of and they are getting past the point of easily carrying a pregnancy. Last I heard about it the success rate and cost were still concerning although when you think about the cost of a typical herdsire breeding it does give one something to think about.

The meat and hide market makes me quite nervous. I don't know how accepting the American public will be of an alpaca meat market. Other exotic meats have not done particularly well. I also don't know how they will react to alpaca farmers turning their males into meat and hides after we marketed alpacas for years as the "huggable" investment. I also think the meat and hide idea will divide the industry as many folks who got into the "huggable investment" idea also were attracted to livestock that didn't end up being killed. Still the number of boys ending in poor shape in need of rescue is very very concerning.

Ann

D. Andrew Merriwether, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Anthropology and Biology, Binghamton University
and
Ann and Andy Merriwether
Nyala Farm Alpacas,Vestal, NY
www.alpacanation.com/nyalafarm.asp

Edited by - nyala on 01/07/2012 9:42:03 PM
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vintagealpacas

701 Posts

Posted - 01/08/2012 :  1:27:12 PM  Show Profile  Visit vintagealpacas's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Well, I have kept breeding, and I sell 15-20 alpacas per year. I can see the problem with the males becoming an issue even for me (I have never had a problem selling the young males). I won't stop breeding, so in order to keep the boys from going to meat/hide market, I think it would be great if we could abort male offspring before they are born so that only females are born (if you choose). For me, I would prefer to only produce females, unless they are out of a herdsire who has proven that he passes on only his best qualities. While I am proving a male, if I could abort the fetus based on sex... I would do it... after I see the results of the herdsire I would decide if he gets to keep breeding and if I want to keep the male offspring to sell or not. Just a thought.


Kimberly Rassi
Vintage Alpacas
alpacanation.asp/vintage
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JimR

1046 Posts

Posted - 01/08/2012 :  7:43:57 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Ann
The hide meat market goes on everyday in this country. Snowmass alpacas admit they kill them for meat, I am pretty sure Magical does from what I have heard from people that have worked there(but not proven) than you have all the other big farms, that all you really need to do is look at their sales lists to know that unproven boys are never sold.
Gotta wonder where all these boys(and maybe some girls) end up on farms with 1500 alpacas if they are not openly selling them.
On big farms there is no such thing as cute and cuddly.
For all we know they could be selling to dog food companies.
I would love to know what they did with the alpaca meat, because if is being used in this country I would boycott that company.
You love your alpacas..well big farms could care less about one alpaca on their farm, so why do we pay big bucks to buy from them..maybe boycott is in order here too.
Yes I know I am going to hear well that is business. If it is why do they hide it than? Let them advertise alpaca meat & hides for sale. They won't because they want us to think they love their animals, They need to keep their image intact, breed with pride, care in general..and they really could care less.




Susan Rempe
Four Corners Alpacas
Bloomfield NM 87413
505 360-8375
River11524@msn.com
www.AlpacaNation.com/fourcorners.asp
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vintagealpacas

701 Posts

Posted - 01/08/2012 :  10:46:53 PM  Show Profile  Visit vintagealpacas's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Yes, right on Susan! I will never sell to a meat market, even if it means giving them away for free first. I just can't do that. Yet, so many people idolize Snowmass alpacas and want their genetics even though they have discourse with the philosophies of their farm! I don't get it... quality can be obtained on many other farms... no need to patronize farms that go against our beliefs.

Kimberly Rassi
Vintage Alpacas
alpacanation.asp/vintage
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jillmcm

3204 Posts

Posted - 01/09/2012 :  08:18:04 AM  Show Profile  Visit jillmcm's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Give them away free, to homes where they might be neglected or abused, not given medical care, go unsheared for years, die of dog attacks, end up at a livestock barn anyway, etc.? There isn't a single humane society in the country that recommends giving an animal away for free. I'd prefer to humanely slaughter an animal and know it had a quick death than wonder if it's dying by degrees. Washing your hands of an animal by giving it away isn't morally superior to slaughter, in my opinion.

Jill McElderry-Maxwell
Bag End Suri Alpacas of Maine - ĦBESAME!
Benton, ME
(207) 453-0109
bagendsuris@roadrunner.com
http://www.bagendsuris.com
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lhmaggie

299 Posts

Posted - 01/09/2012 :  09:10:54 AM  Show Profile  Visit lhmaggie's Homepage  Click to see lhmaggie's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
I understand there is a BBQ at a large farm and the main dish is alpaca. It is probably attended by a LOT of alpaca owners.


Margaret Laird
Lighthouse Alpacas
Jamestown, Pa 16134
lapaca@windstream.net
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TheAlpacaRosa

571 Posts

Posted - 01/09/2012 :  10:21:39 AM  Show Profile  Visit TheAlpacaRosa's Homepage  Reply with Quote
fyi......I keep hearing about meat and hide markets on the boards. I saw a very lovely sheepskin at Sam's Club while Christmas shopping. Very pretty and looked like one I was given several years ago to top my leather armchair. Nice creamy color, dense and crimpy.

$28. How much do you think the farmer made off it?

Carolyn

Don Marquette
The AlpacaRosa
Ohio
www.alpacanation.com/thealpacarosa
www.TheAlpacaRosa.com
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johnson

219 Posts

Posted - 01/09/2012 :  10:49:34 AM  Show Profile  Visit johnson's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hey folks,
I have a new idea for you. How about the alpaca industry build a strong cottage industry which will eventually move to a stable commericial industry, for alpaca fiber. Just a idea off the cuff rather than constantly talking about slaughter and hides (although I think a nice alpaca hide would be lovely on my arm chair also).

The exact reason why we are doing what we are doing at the present time. Investing more $ into the fiber end of this business than we EVER did in any single or group purchase of alpacas.

I will make a statement (that will get me hundreds of emails I am sure)- WE LOVE THE BOYS ! Wanna know why, because our primary focus is fiber and fiber products and guess what, boys make it nice every year.

Again, to each their own. We still have alpacas for sale but... we market our products and support our farm from our fiber more than we have ever done with selling alpacas. Please feel free to check our AN site we have sold many alpacas since 2005.

I am not in any way trying to toot my own horn. When we first started looking into alpacas we went to many seminars, farm visits and did a lot of research. It was obvious to me in 2005 where this industry was going. FIBER. It is the only thing sustainable about alpaca farming. Meat, no. It won't take off. Go ahead and try it if you like, make a speciality market if you can. I wish you well and hope you make a million, good luck. Fiber, yes. I will continue to do what is right for sustainable alpaca farming as a whole, build a strong cottage industry market that will eventually work into a stable commercial market and I will continue to do it with the renewable resource from our boys and girls, FIBER !

I will also continue to sell a few alpacas to a select few individuals that we feel comfortable will take care of the alpacas we sell to them. Yep, you guessed it. If we are not comfortable with you I will not sell to you. Sorry, we didn't start this way but we have learned with experience.

I am a farmer. I am not opposed to humane slaughter to add to our food chain. I support local agriculture and purchase local meats raised for slaughter. I understand the concept and come from a long standing tradition of farming. When our dairy cows produced milk then continued to produce milk year to year, every day. When the cow dried up it went into the freezer. No different from your alpacas. They produce fiber year to year. They just never dry up ! There is a purpose for all grades and qualities of fiber.

Good luck to you all. I really mean it. I want you to succeed so the industry continues to grow.
Craig

Craig & Jane Johnson Worthington Acres Alpacas
FeltPAC LLC.
Unityville, Pa.
ff1730@dishmail.net
www.worthingtonacresalpacas.com
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BOlsen

93 Posts

Posted - 01/09/2012 :  10:58:56 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I quite agree with Jill, here. I would rather utilize the animal than give it away to an unknown fate. So many alpacas on craigslist here in WI for $500 or less and they don't necessarily sell either and one llama farm that sells their ARI reg female alpacas for $500.

Just to satisfy my curiosity, I checked around with some local taxidermists on what they would charge for tanning an alpaca pelt.
The cost estimates ranged from $175 to $198+. Would anyone pay a retail cost of twice that to buy it? I'm not so sure. I'd like to be able to utilize the hide if I choose to slaughter but at this significant cost, I don't know.

Everything comes down to costs. Now where is that fiber retirement farm?


Brian Olsen
Haven Rest Farm, WI
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jillmcm

3204 Posts

Posted - 01/09/2012 :  11:31:28 AM  Show Profile  Visit jillmcm's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Personally, I'm trying for economies of scale here on my farm - I don't have to sell my fiber males, and won't unless they're going somewhere where they will be cherished fiber animals. Having said that, I still won't recoup my investment in my lifetime. I'll be happy when I can make my operating costs from fiber - and I believe that eventually I'll be able to. I don't plan to eat mine, but I would skin one that died. I also don't plan on reviling people for farming alpacas, rather than keeping them as very expensive pets, as long as the animals live happy, healthy lives until whatever their eventual end is.

Jill McElderry-Maxwell
Bag End Suri Alpacas of Maine - ĦBESAME!
Benton, ME
(207) 453-0109
bagendsuris@roadrunner.com
http://www.bagendsuris.com
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gracelandnorthalpacas

271 Posts

Posted - 01/09/2012 :  2:12:50 PM  Show Profile  Visit gracelandnorthalpacas's Homepage  Reply with Quote
If the males are going to be sold to a farm that would be running as a fiber only farm to make a profit, I believe fiber male prices would need to be priced well below $500 to be cost effective for the the purchasing fiber farm, especially if that fiber farm is running a large scale operation with a large amount of fleece to be processed that can't be processed personally by the farm owners, their profit margin would be low. Profit margin for a fiber farm would be much less for the farm looking to make profit from breeding alpacas. Unless they have their own mill equipment to process their own fleece, which would have a very high start up cost which is cost prohibitive to many. Fiber animals should be priced so as to be affordable to that fiber farm but still bring in some income for the farm that is selling them. Higher quality animals sold for breeding would be priced higher because their end product is offspring. Farms who prefer breeding would have an animal friendly outlet for their non-breeding animals that are affordable to those fiber farms, but they are making the majority of their profits from breeding stock. If you are a farm that wishes to value add and sell your own products, as our farm is striving to do, then your price point for the fiber males would be higher than what you could make from that animals fiber, as was stated in others posts.



Pam Schaber
Graceland North Alpacas and Angora Rabbits
Cushing, Wisconsin
715-648-5150

www.gracelandnorthalpacas.com
jerry.schaber@lakeland.ws

Edited by - gracelandnorthalpacas on 01/09/2012 3:08:32 PM
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