Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Al-Pac-A what?

What's four-legged, looks like a llama, spits like a camel and comes in different colors? It's an Alpaca. Alpacas may not be your ordinary domestic animal, but they are making quite an appearance throughout Central New York.

Alpacas are even more popular today than their first appearance 23 years ago. According to a website for alpaca lovers, the first group of Alpacas was brought to the U.S. from the Andes Mountain in South America. Once farmers realized how profitable they were, Alpacas have been popping up on farms throughout the country. Central New York is no exception. Just like most pets, Alpacas must be registered. Registering an Alpaca with Alpaca Registry, Inc.(ARI) protects owners against bad investments.

FoxRun Farm owner, Dick McCoy, who owns 100 Alpacas says, feeding hay to Alpacas can be very costly. Despite the high cost, McCoy says these animals have proven to be big money makers. Alpacas can cost anywhere between 12 and 40 thousand dollars each. Similar to sheep, Alpacas thick wool can be sheared and spun into wool for hats, scarves, socks, sweaters and even teddy bears.

If Alpacas continue to become popular, some veterinarians could be targeting more than just cats and dogs. According to alpcanation's website many veterinarians are already seeing these camelid animals.

Alpacas are not just farm animals. Many are entered into shows like the Empire Extravaganza Alpaca Show. If you have never seen an Alpaca, the show's organizer says he's expecting about 900 of them. The event will be held at the Fairgrounds in Syracuse October 20th through the 21st.


Karin Davenport said...


I thought your post was really interesting! I've heard of Alpacas before, but I never realized how cute they were! :)

A couple of quick criticisms of your post: one link, the Alpacanation one, didn't really seem to have much info for the ordinary reader... it seemed like it was geared towards alpaca owners.

Also, you only mention the show at the Fairgrounds in the last paragraph. I think it would have been better to incorporate that in the beginning of the post so readers know why they're reading about alpacas!

I was really surprised to see that there is actually an Alpaca registry! How did you come up with this idea? Seems like there's so much to learn about alpacas that I never even realized. I got a kick out of the FoxRun Farm website... there were so many great pictures, and it had so much interesting information about alpacas!

Finally, I'm really shocked at the Extravaganza that's going to be held here at the Fairgrounds... from the website, it seems like it's quite a big deal... kind of neat that it's being held right here in Syracuse!

Good story... I really enjoyed learning about alpacas!

Ashley Kalena said...

First of all, I love alpacas and llamas, so that drew me to your story.

You story is well composed. I think the writing is easy to understand and to the point.

I really enjoyed the FoxRun Farm website. It had a lot of information that was not included in the previous links. It also gave the story more personality.

However, I do not think the paragraph about the veternarians and the links included in that paragraph worked. I personally know that alpacas have already been popular, especially in New York. So, I do not think this paragraph really fit the story.

I really liked the closing to your story. I think including information about the upcoming alpaca event added a local touch but also brought finality to the story. Overall: great job...very enjoyable read!

Anala Tuenge said...


I knew what Alpacas were, but when I followed the link to, I learned that they were "the world's finest livestock investment." I don't know why, but I never thought of them that way. I just thought they were something you saw at the zoo. According to the website, alpacas are depreciable over five years, when means the investor sees tax saving returns while the herd is growing. What's more is that alpacas are inexpensive to raise and they require little acreage, which is the opposite of what I would have thought. Considering all that, I would think a lot more people would invest in them. Not only are they finance-friendly, they are also adorable! Nice job on an interesting story!