First, determine your goals for alpaca ownership. Would you like to own an inexpensive pair of gelding males for fiber production or as pets for you and your family? Are you going to be a full-time or part-time breeder? Will you invest in alpacas for current financial returns, or are you going to build a herd toward the goal of being a full-time breeder? Once you've decided on your goal, the path to alpaca ownership will be more easily defined.
If you're interested in acquiring a producing alpaca herd with immediate sales, you may want to consider a larger initial outlay. You would probably buy a number of pregnant females who would deliver a cash crop of crias immediately. This larger expenditure might also encourage you to become more involved in the industry and spend more time marketing your herd. Some breeders with larger herds have full-time ranch managers or hire additional labor to assist them with the day-to-day chores. However you choose to be involved, there is an "Alpaca Approach" suitable for you. The industry is young and innovative strategies abound. Very few assets have the potential to reproduce themselves every year as an alpaca does. Today's smaller breeder can choose to be almost any size in the future. An owner who likes the return alpacas offer, or the lifestyle they provide, can choose any level of ownership.