Alpacas need to be shorn in the spring before the weather and humidity become intense. The shearing process is not only healthy for your alpacas; it is a source of revenue for your business. If you prepare ahead of time and work with your shearer, you can get maximum return on your alpacas’ fleece.
In this photo you can see that we laid an extra large piece of plastic along side the alpaca’s body so that we could collect the blanket portion in one piece. We did this first before we sheared any other part of his body.
This post explores numerous ideas to make some income while you’re letting your herd grow. Your goal should be to achieve some extra revenue whether you have a small fiber herd or you are starting a breeding business.
Below you will find a list of a few possibilities:
1. Locate a local spinning guild and invite them to shearing day to help and purchase raw fiber.
2. Offer hand spinners the first choice of the raw fiber once it is bagged.
3. Locate local fiber artists and invite them to the ranch to feel your fiber. Show them the different grades of fiber and introduce them to creative ideas of how to use alpaca fiber in crafts projects.
4. Send some of your best fleece to mini-mills and have it converted into beautiful yarn. Introduce your yarn at “Farmer’s Markets”, Craft Faires & Country Festivals.
5. Knit, crochet, felt or weave accessories out of alpaca yarn and start a small farm/ranch Boutique, or take them to the “Markets” & “Faires.”
Here’s a link to our web store. We have it linked through our Ranch Home Page: http://alpacasav.com/alpaca-boutique/
[Side note: Even though I live in a warm & sunny climate, I’m still successful selling my yarn and hand made items at local Faires & Open Aire Markets especially from September through April. The rest of the year I devote to making more items to sell.]
So, with a modest initial investment, you could easily bring in several thousand dollars during the eight months of the year that you are promoting your alpaca items.
It’s a good plan to spend the other months creating items to sell. Or fix up your place so that you can invite the public to see your alpacas and take tours.
These are just a few ideas to get you started thinking about the potential for your situation. In the next post I will continue to explore other possible ways to bring in revenue with your alpaca business.
PS: Do you have an idea that you would like to share? Please post your comments below.