More farms are raising 'cute,' lucrative alpacas

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December 17, 2009 6:26:17 AM PST
Alpaca farms are springing up across Missouri and Kansas as landowners realize the financial gains to be won from breeding the llama-like animals.

Pat Mujica says he and his parents bought a pair of pregnant females in 2002 and since then their farm, near Agency in northwest Missouri - a region more accustomed to cattle - has grown to become home to more than 70 alpacas.

And the Mujicas are not alone.

According to the Midwest Alpaca Owner and Breeder's Association, the Mujica's farm is just one of 81 properties raising alpacas in Missouri and Kansas.

Native to the Andes, the animals are prized for their wool, and high-quality young - known as crias - can sell for thousands of dollars at auction.


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