Category Archives: Alpaca Industry

Starving Alpacas Taken In By Washington State Humane Society

Starving alpacas
Decidedly Not Cool: Undernourished alpacas were found by Humane Society of Cowlitz County.

Yet another well-meaning but misguided “alpaca lifestyle” experiment has resulted in a farm full of starving alpacas, this time in the Woodland area of Cowlitz County in the state of Washington.

More than 20 of my brethren were found undernourished, one of whom died and all of whom were “in very rough shape,” according to the director of the local Human Society.

Harvey said that at one point, the Woodland-area alpaca farm was “a good operation.” He said he never had any suspicion the farm wasn’t being properly run. However, Shari Bond, co-founder of Cross Creek Alpaca Rescue, said she believes the farm has been operating poorly “for a very long time — a lot longer than anyone realized.”

This incompetent Woodland alpaca farm owner joins a sorry parade of jackasses who mistreated the animals they never should have owned in the first place. Although in my opinion such morons deserve to be dropped from a high cliff in the Andes, there is some consolation in the fact they likely lost a massive amount of cash on the venture and will pay for the mistake for years to come. But I am an animal lover, and an animal, so there is some bias.

A major irony lies in the fact the whole nasty mess could have been avoided if this misguided farmer and so many others had simply discovered the book with the answer to most alpaca-related problems. We, like you, would rather be killed humanely than starved.

Alpaca Business Reporting Shows Why We Don’t Trust Reporting

alpaca business in northwest
There but for the grace of the Alpaca Burger Cookbook ….

The annual Northwest Alpaca Showcase is in Washington this week, for a competition – as the local CBS News reports – for the highest quality fleece award.

Alpacas fleece is used in the making of high-end apparel…

The breeders say some of the alpacas cost as much as seven thousand dollars to breed with.

But the return is definitely worth the investment.

I will take this opportunity to point out, once again, that alpaca fleece may be wonderful in a thousand different ways, but even selling at the highest price point, the average alpaca farmer is unlikely to earn more than $80 per year from selling fleece.

As this 2011 study found, that is less than half the annual maintenance cost of an alpaca – not to mention the “seven thousand dollars” investment noted in the CBS report. Some might say that is a simple oversight, while others might say it is a pretty important metric.

An yet others might say, “Gee, if there were only some other use for those alpacas ….”

When The Alpaca Bubble Burst, A Burger Emerged

alpaca bubble burst
Here is another look at the failure of the fleece, the tumbling tetrahedron, the burst alpaca bubble … ultimately, the birth of the burger.

Like the ostriches, chinchillas, Dutch tulips, miniature pigs, and monorails, alpacas seemed like a good idea at the time.

Known for their calm temperaments and soft fleece, alpacas looked like the next hot thing to backyard farmers. The market was frenetic, with some top of the line animals selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

But the bubble burst, leaving thousands of alpaca breeders with near-worthless herds.

Click here to read the whole thing.

All joshing aside, there has been plenty of tragedy to go around, with this alpaca deal. In the story, there are supposedly alpacas being sold on Craigslist for a buck, and one of those interviewed is trying to sell his for $100 each. Back in the day, in the early 2000s, when everyone apparently was high on ayahuasca, alpacas were selling for $10,000 or more each.

For $10,000, an alpaca yields around 150 delicious, albeit shockingly pricey, burgers.

At $100 per alpaca, the equation changes remarkably.

So as much as we hate to see people lose their savings, we are pleased to be able to offer a road map to a practical solution.

The long, sad American alpaca business story

alpaca business decline
For anyone still wondering why the world needs a good alpaca cookbook right about now, a perusal of the current state of the alpaca industry in America might answer the question. The story of the alpaca business is a poignant tale, indeed.

The long, sad decline of the United States’ alpacas

The fall 2015 cover of Modern Farmer features a svelte model with the hair of Lyle Lovett and the eyes of a seal pup. Her neck is long, her lashes are full, and skin looks like a fine sweater. She is an alpaca, and according to the cover, her time has come.

Alas, Modern Farmer is a little late to the game on this one. After a surge in alpaca popularity gave breeders hope of cashing in and retiring to the islands, the fuzzy guys are on their way out …

Click here to read the whole thing.

The Great Alpaca Bubble

A key argument for getting on the Alpaca Burger bandwagon is that, considering the financial state of some of those who invested in alpacas, burgerizing the beasts might be the next best use for them. But the alpaca bubble, alas, may have burst.

This article from August gives a good summation of where things stand in the industry as a whole, and the farmers whose sad fate is described in Joe’s Original Alpaca Burger Cookbook as “like you’re just a building block in the great pyramid of life.”

….Not long ago, alpaca farming was a booming industry, with the top breeding alpacas selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Nowadays, the few remaining alpaca farmers struggle to stay afloat. Alpaca rescues have cropped up to save the animals who have outlived their economic utility.

“Some owners have found they can’t give the animals away for free,” Modern Farmer reported in 2014.

How did this happen? The alpaca industry experienced a major speculative bubble. And, as bubbles tend to do, that bubble burst…

Click here to read the whole thing.