While up in rochester we visited an open house at a local Alpaca farm. We hung out there for a few hours and visited with the owners. They were very sweet, and were quite frank about the costs and profits of running their farm. It's apparently a very profitable business if you can do it right.
Each llama produces about 8 lbs of fiber during the year, which fetches a premium based on its color and quality, but the real money is made on the breeding. They bought their first female while she was pregnant for around $20,000. Apparently, they're charging $2,500 for each successful breeding with their male, and prize-winning males can fetch up to $7,500 per breeding!
We asked how long they had to wait between breedings, and the owner said "well, we brought our male over there to a farm for two breedings. They brought in the first female and she went right down, we gave him about an hour break, and then he did his business with the second. Both pregnancies took, so we didn't even have to go back. Not bad for a days work, huh?"
So what's the most you'd pay for a top-prize winning male Alpaca? They told us while we were there, but make your guess, and I'll put the answer after the picture.
Did you guess? Let's see how close you came.
The top prize winning male this year apparently went for a whopping $750,000! That's one expensive Alpaca!