The key to getting started is information gathering. One of the best vehicles AOBA offers is the video “Alpacas: A Rewarding Lifestyle.” This 30 minute video provides an in depth understanding of alpacas and their fiber, from farm requirements to care and nutrition, then concluding with the business and financial aspects of ownership. To order your video call 1-800-213-9522.
Another great way to learn about the joy of owning alpacas is to visit the farms of people who are already in the business. Alpaca breeders are friendly folks and they enjoy sharing their alpacas with the public.
You can find a breeder near you easily. Just visit a farm or ranch right from this website! Search farms by region at our Farm Finder. Also available from AOBA is a free Breeder’s Guide, packed with beautiful 4-color pictures & information from farms and ranches around the country. Call 1-800-213-9522 to get this. You will find that each breeder has his own individual style and method of operation. You can learn a little from each breeder and decide how you personally would like to participate in the alpaca industry and at what level.
You should also read Alpacas magazine; you will gain insights into the alpaca industry and many breeders advertise alpacas for sale in its pages.
We recommend that you join our Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association, or AOBA as it is generally known. Farm memberships which include voting privileges and affiliate memberships (without voting privileges) are available. Each member receives a subscription to Alpacas magazine, a bi-monthly newsletter, a membership directory, access to the AOBA library, and many other breeder support services. AOBA’S membership has grown dramatically.
Each year AOBA holds a national convention, which includes halter and performance class shows. There are many educational opportunities provided at these events, and best of all, you’ll make new friends who share your enthusiasm for alpacas. Breeder enthusiasm for the shows creates additional show venues each year. There will be a regional show near you sometime this year; plan to attend.
Finally, AOBA has produced several informative offerings. These include an alpaca video, a color brochure and a fiber brochure. Navigate the website for many resources rich in information.