Thursday, January 14, 2010


$22 for a bag of feed. $8 for a bale of hay. Alpacas in an American Express Commercial - PRICELESS. . . . .

Once again, alpacas will be hitting the air waves! RFD TV’s national series “Time Well Spent” will include a segment about alpacas this Friday, January 15th at 10 p.m. Eastern Standard Time and Saturday, January 16th at 1:30 p.m. EST.

Also recently launched is a new American Express commercial starring alpacas. Now that’s priceless!

See the latest alpaca TV special "It's a green Christmas"

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Are Alpacas Really Native to South America?

A large llama-like fossil was found in Florida that dates some 9 million years ago. While much larger than today's llamas, the similarities are remarkable. Other camelid fossils have been found around North America and 50 different species have been categorized. They range in size from 3 ft to 17 ft tall. Today only 6 species remain: Llama, Alpaca, Vicuna, Guanaco, Dromedary and Bactrian camels. To read more about this amazing llama-like fossil click here.

Prehistoric camel bones found at a future Wal-Mart site in Arizona. Click to read about the Wal-Mart Camel.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Alpaca Bargains Galore!

Looking for great alpaca bargains? We have lowered prices on all our animals! Please see our site, packages to be updated soon:

Click here ---> Sale Animals

Friday, January 8, 2010

Great Site for the health of your Camelid

This site is part of Ohio State University and is doing great research that Camelids and their humans can benefit from all over the world!

Check out this great book while your at it - a great resource for any breeders library!! 

Reduce Your Taxes in 2010!!

Most new business equipment can be either depreciated over its useful life, but with Section 179, you can take that deduction all in one year!  In 2010 - the maximum deduction amount is $134,000.   Don't delay - it is scheduled to be reduced to $25,000 for 2011.

What does this mean for you?

Let's assume you are in a 35% tax bracket and you make these purchases in 2010:
- $20,000 for a barn
- $7,500 in fencing, other property prep, equipment
- $50,000 in alpacas -
         - 8 breeding pregnant females for $5,000 per female
         - 4 companion animals for $250 per animal
         - 1 llama for guarding $500
         - 1 herdsire for $2,500
         - 1 proven herdsire for $6,000
Total - $77,500
Deduction $27,125

Price you actual paid for the animals and equipment:  $50,375

The government has wasted so much of our money and taxes are crazy, especially in NJ!!  Why not let them partially fund your next business venture!

Best part is that the animals pay for themselves with their fiber and pay you dividends in terms of babies year after year.

They can be fully insured against mortality and theft!

Interested in learning more?  Drop me a line and lets chat!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Join us for our First Event of 2010

Hi all - join us for our first event of 2010!  It is located at the beautiful Horse Park of NJ in Allentown, NJ.   There will be animals for sale, herdsires to view and products to buy!!

For more info check the EAAS website. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Market for Alpacas

My graduate work was in Economics. Economics is not a pure science as there needs to be a little interpretation to make sense of the graphs and numbers, which is probably why I still find it more fascinating than another other subject I have studied in my life. 

I predicted this recession, the foreclosure crisis and the fall of the real estate market well before it materialized last year.  Within my circle of friends I am considered Nostradamus when it comes to the financial markets.   So when people ask me about the Alpaca Market today and in the future, I thought I would do some research and pondering and come up with my predictions for the future of the industry. 

Many nay-sayers would tell you that the alpaca market is a speculative bubble.   A "speculative bubble" is defined by Webster's as "A rapid but often short-lived run-up in prices that is caused by irrational exuberance, rather than the basic underlying fundamentals of the market."  Tulips in the 1630s and internet stocks in the 1990s are examples of this.  Both these events were short lived and prices went up rapidly and when the bubble burst prices came down even more rapidly.

Let's break down this definition into two parts:  
  • A rapid but often short-lived run-up in prices:  Alpaca prices have been stable for 15+ years in the United States and only recently have seen a decrease in price.  There was never a run-up in prices and the decrease has been gradual and not rapid by any means.  I attribute this both to the economic downturn as well as panic selling by smaller breeders who were not well capitalized from the start.  
  • Caused by irrational exuberance, rather than the basic underlying fundamentals of the market: Exuberance is what all alpaca breeders feel every time a cria is born!  However, irrational exuberance would not describe me or any of my fellow quality breeders.  There is a solid underlying fundamental in the alpaca market in the form of fiber.  My fiber and yarn sales account for a large portion of my overall income and even more so in this economy.   If  alpaca breeding for investment and livelihood was irrational, then so is every livestock and agricultural model in the country. 
In the stock market, right before a bottom happens often seen is a "capitulation event" which is evidenced by steep price declines on abnormally high trading .  I believe that this has occurred in 3Q09  in the alpaca business.   It seemed that everyday, someone else was dispersing a herd, needing to sell due to ill health or downsizing for retirement.    I was like come on, lets call it the truth!  I read between the lines in those email and read "I am scared about the future and I really want to sell these animals at any price now!!"   Those emails have stopped (bottom predicted) and those folks are no longer in the alpaca business.  Many new people got into the business by buying those dispersed animals for a good price and many other breeders took the opportunity to increase their herds for a song.   I am glad that those folks sold out because I believe in Darwin's theory of evolution"  "Only the strong survive".   Many people fall in love with the cute faces of these animals but never treat it like a business.

My predictions:

  • Prices will continue to stabilize in 2Q and 3Q 2010 and will be more realistic for the average consumer.   
  • Sales of breeding stock will increase in 2010 year over year
  • Sales of breeding stock will increase in 2011 and eclipse 2009 and prior years due to lower entry points and more "average" folks getting involved
  • Local and regional organizations will find creative ways to make showing more affordable for the smaller farm or risk not getting the participation enjoyed in the past
  • Newer breeders coming into the business in 2010 and 2011 will treat it as a business and make the industry stronger for that
  • Breeders will come together in more cooperatives in order to propel the fiber industry forward. There is gold in that fleece and we need to mine it! 
  • Auctions will no longer feature the best of the industry and will become a clearing house for lower quality animals

Please let me know your thoughts!!!


Monday, January 4, 2010

Blog Overhaul

Hi all - over the next few days and weeks, I will be doing a lot of changes to this blog.  As you know I do not post as often as I should and one reason is because I myself find my blog to be boring and uninviting! 

Here is what I have in mind:
- creating multiple tabs (pages) to break up content for different areas of interest such as
  • knitting pattern, yarn etc
  • Camelidynamics
  • alpaca health etc
  • new cria pics when applicable
  • My new alpaca book launch
  • off topic and other topics of interest
- changing color and graphics to make it more pleasing to the eye
- creating a 3 or 4 column design to add more content

Once I have this modified, I will be doing some promotional give aways of roving or yarn. 

Any suggestions are welcome!!