at Lone Ranch
few Alpaca facts:
Alpacas are earth friendly, they browse
on natural grasses without harming trees or
are safe, easy to handle, they do not butt
are easy to raise, requiring minimal feed,
shelter, fencing, or veterinary care.
are not killed, instead they produce a renewable
cash crop in the form of fiber.
are fully insurable against loss and come
with reproductive guarantees.
have tax advantages such
as expense deduction, depreciation, and the
deferred recognition of accumulating wealth.
15 to 20 years.
height: 36" at the withers.
15 to 19 pounds at birth, they grow to 100 to
175 pounds, less than 1/2 the weight of a Llama.
Gestation: 335 - 350 days and virtually
Babies usually try to stand within 30 minutes
and nurse within 1-2 hours. Birth almost always
occurs between 9am and 2pm allowing you to sleep
comfortably through the night.
Breeding: Alpacas do not come into heat,
allowing ranchers easy control of the birthing
season and planning for extended vacations.
Alpacas come in many colors, more than 22 natural
variations and blends.
were a cherished treasure of the ancient Inca
civilization. They played a central part in the
Incan culture that was located on the high Andean
plateau and mountains of South America. Alpacas,
and their cousins, the Llama, have been domesticated
for some 6,000 years.
alpacas can be purchased as pets for as little
as $600 each. But many people like to breed and
Typical Alpaca-Ranching Investment
are many financial scenarios for beginning alpaca-ranching.
However the one described here would not be unusual.
Initial Cost - $25-$35,000 * * does not
include land, fencing, facilities etc.
Bred (pregnant) female
set up of animal and business operations
Estimated Income - $10-$12,000/year *
* assumes average sale prices and typical expenses
at $200-$400 per alpaca/yr
females - $8-$12,000
males - $2-$5,000
Estimated Tax Benefits - $25-$30,000 plus
* all expenses are deductible, all development
costs are depreciated
I - expenses + $20,000 depreciation.
II - expenses + $5-$10,000 depreciation.
III and on - expenses + remaining depreciable
costs e.g. alpacas, home office, truck, barn,
fence, computer, camera, etc.
Key Ingredients For Success - We have been
very successful as a medium-sized ranch, however
some others have not. Discussions with many newcomers
indicate the following as important ingredients
for fiscal success.
of the animals such that routine care is smoothly
done by the owners without employees.
the business aspect of alpaca-ranching and following
a simple marketing and sales plan.
in a financial position to take full advantage
of the many tax benefits.
- the birth of females facilitates sales and
herd growth. While the odds are 50/50 for males
to females, at times one or the other can seem
to predominate and thus slow or speed the process.
For each of the last several years we have legitimately
paid many thousands of dollars less in taxes
than if we were not in the business of alpaca
ranching. Advice on taxes came from The Farmers
Tax Guide, a publication obtained directly from
the IRS and our tax consultant.
we cannot offer you tax advice, we can share our
experiences with you:
IRS allows deduction of 100% of direct expense
from our taxes. Major expense items for
about 25 cents/animal per day.
- about $25/animal annually. We have kept our
expense down by learning to give our own medications
all of our local and distant business related
and repair - to all business related structures
accounting, tax, legal, education, and advertising.
the portion of our home expenses that
are allocated to our at-home office, i.e. phones,
utilities, insurance, and maintenance.
In addition the IRS allows us to depreciate tangible
personal property off our taxes. Major items for
- 100% of the cost of the alpacas depreciated
over 5 years.
and equipment including computers, cameras,
fax and cell phones.
- the outbuildings used for storage, feeding
and sheltering alpacas.
- of our properties and pastures.
a portion of the cost of construction and use
of our home as an at-home office.
Section 179 of The Farmers Tax Guide
allows us to accelerate depreciation of $20,000
of our startup costs into one year. Section
179 has resulted in a marked reduction in the
taxes that we have ultimately paid each year.
the biggest advantage of all has been our ability
to build net worth on a tax-deferred basis. We
are allowing a portion of our herd to multiply
and grow over time without paying taxes on the
increased size and value until the alpacas are
© Copyright 2005 Alpacas
at Lone Ranch. No unauthorized duplication
without written consent.