Friday, January 15, 2010

Did Somebody Say Free?

I was recently offered some free Suri fiber boys. As this time, I don’t have the pasture and we aren’t living on the land where we want to keep the alpaca. It is a lost opportunity I guess. Don’t want to dwell on it, but it is sort of disappointing still. I don’t even know if ‘fiber only’ fits into my overall plan, because of some research I had to do.

In a class that I was taking, we needed to write a business plan and I wanted to do something fun. Not an extreme business plan, but something that would be of interest, something fun. And a business idea that could be obtained if pursued. I decided on an alpaca ranch. I realize we are east of the Mississippi and we live on farms, but mine is a ranch, just a little one…fine, a really little one.

Anyway, I did hours of research to find information that I needed for the plan, and this caused a domino effect of knowledge and substance I had no intention of knowing; positives and negatives of the different alpaca; feeding; housing; pastures; and the good and bad of fiber only animals. There is so much to know, but I do realize – this isn’t like splitting an atom. As Americans we add two degrees of difficulty to everything we do. Animals can survive in the wild for thousands of generations and we still think we have to play God. Sure, we might provide innovation that advances the subject matter, but boy do we muck it up with details.

The major lesson for today is – The money follows the females. If you can expect to get the purchase price of the mother for selling the cria (babies) and you can expect a cria every 12-13 months, why wouldn’t you want to have females? An accountant even went as far as to say “if fiber is your main focus, I wouldn’t bother getting anything and would just buy the fleece.”

Maybe the real lesson of the day is: I could do this. We could do this. We’ll just have to save for the female.

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