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The straight scoop ...
about breeding llamas
Who will buy the llamas if I breed them?
What kind of work would be involved?
Would I make any profit?
Can I at least break even?
Good for you! These are important questions — the kind that intelligent people ask BEFORE they breed!
The answers depends entirely on what kind of llamas you are actually breeding (not what you plan to breed — what you actually get!), which is directly linked to the quality of your initial breeding stock. Good breeding stock for any purpose is not found easily, nor at bargain prices. For some markets, it will also depend on how well those llamas are trained. It is also dependent on the age you plan to sell those llamas.
Is there even room for more breeders?
Those who have an overcrowded pasture of untrained, no-purpose female llamas for sale certainly hope they can convince you to think so! The real answer lies in examining which end uses for llamas currently have an oversupply of "qualified applicants."
End-use-specific considerations for prospective llama breeders
So many answers depend on what a llama is going to be bred and sold FOR!
Companion llamas (including therapy llamas)
Show llamas (includes both halter/fashion and performance)
Considerations that will affect all current and future llama breeders:
The economy and increasing price of fuel can easily depress potential demand for those llamas whose purpose requires travel, particularly showing, packing and therapy.
The economy and increasing price of fuel drives up the prices of hay and feed, both for buyers and for producers of all llamas. As costs increase, not only will there be fewer buyers, but also more llamas on the market as costs drive current owners to reduce their herds or even move away from rural areas that permit keeping llamas.
Whether alternative fuels come to pass, and if so, whether those energies become affordably available to small farm equipment and livestock-hauling vehicles in rural areas is a practical concern that will directly affect both the cost of keeping llamas and the practicality of moving them.
Realistically, llamas (along with all other luxuries) have a diminishing niche in North America. Yes, disposable income and financial confidence have taken a severe hit in recent years. But during the time the economy can be reasonably expected to recover, it's not hard to see that additional large-scale changes will continue to negatively affect potential llama use and sales. Climate change is one. Millenials' interest in all things electronic is another.