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Cas-Cad-Nac Farm
Alpaca Excellence in the Green Mountains of Vermont

LancelotDomesticated some 6,000 years ago by the native people of the Andean Altiplano, the alpaca has always been cherished for its luxurious fiber. The alpaca was derived primarily from its wild cousin, the Vicuna (the family of South American Camelids includes Vicunas, Guanacos, Llamas, and Alpacas), through generations of selective breeding. Today, in the 21st century, the modern alpaca is now equally at home in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand as in their native lands with registered animals numbering approximately 185,000+ in the United States & Canada. Here in the US, these amazing animals can be found in all regions of the country with farms located in locales as disparate as Alaska and Florida

Blessed with gentle dispositions and high levels of intelligence, alpacas are truly a joy to keep. The cycles of life that transpire on an alpaca farm and the lifestyle that comes from managing livestock also helps to create a wonderful environment for raising a family, all while working with non-aggressive animals that are easily trained and handled (our son Sam was leading geldings at age 2!).

Alpacas are an earth friendly animal, consuming very little feed and having a minimal impact on the land itself. Compared to cattle or horses that routinely consume 50+ pounds of feed per day, the alpaca's daily consumption of just @4 pounds of hay seems a pittance. While there is obviously some greater initial expense in setting up the necessary farm infrastructure of barns/sheds and fencing, the actual costs of care and feed are very conservatively only about $500/year per animal once you are going.

Golden RuleWhile certainly not for everyone, from a business perspective the alpaca is attractive as well, with the sale of high end breeding stock returning decent profits for breeders throughout the country. When one considers that breeding age females routinely sell in a range from $5,000 to $12,000 as well as the growing domestic market for both raw alpaca fiber as well as finished textiles, you start to see why folks are drawn to owning and working with these wondrous animals. Few commodities can potentially split once a year (11+ month gestation) yet are fully insurable against loss. It is a business that can be done at home, part time or full time really on any scale. While there are certainly large breeding farms and ranches of 1000+ animals to be found in North America the great thing about owning alpacas is that it is possible to have just as rewarding an experience with just two! Whether breeding as a hobby or for profit, or just working with non breeding fiber animals (usually gelded males), alpacas are really in a class by themselves.

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