Alpaca Farm in Nevada- Brokering, Boarding

Alpaca breeding, brokering, and boarding – for profit and pleasure: Alpacas produce fabulous fiber which is warmer, softer, and stronger than wool and “best-for-you” as it is organically grown in the USA, comes in many natural colors and is hypoallergenic. Magical creatures with distinct personalities, alpacas are full of curiosity and endearing traits – livestock with pet qualities. They offer tremendous financial potential for those who are interested in a country lifestyle and an investment that can be admired, insured, and which grows…naturally
Established in 1998 in California, the Alpaca Mining Company is now an alpaca farm in Nevada. This is a full time business specializing as alpaca brokers and in alpaca boarding. We have acquired an extensive amount of knowledge and experience with most aspects of the alpaca industry over the years.
Of course, we still get new things that surprise us from time to time, but there is very little that we have not been exposed to.

Alpaca Mining Company offers these services:

 Alpaca Brokering Service
Sands, by using her high end sales and marketing experience, rapidly became one of the top names in the alpaca brokering business. Usually the alpacas for sale we have listed are being sold for others.
We have sold and facilitated sales of alpacas into almost every state in the country.
Boarding alpacas is a corner stone of the Alpaca Mining Company business. Boarding is often called agisting or agistment.  Many people boarding with us are passive owners taking advantage of our brokering service or our 24/7 presence.
We are located in one of the most productive agricultural valleys in Nevada so access to feed and top notch veterinary care is always available.
We have sold many hundreds of alpacas and are very experienced with the process of certificate transfers, state requirements for vet health checks,  and transportation issues.
If you are looking for an alpaca with particular characteristics, we might be able to help. If you are looking for alpacas for sale in Nevada, give us a call. We have some here, and we know almost every other alpaca farm around.
Mining for Alpacas in the High Desert –
Yerington, NV

Livestock Supplies

Raising alpacas or any other farm animal sure takes a lot of stuff. Keeping your herd healthy and happy takes work. Having the proper tools and equipment makes the work easier and makes for a happy alpaca owner.

Here I’m going to review what materials and supplies the we at AMC have settled on after years of trial and error.

Let’s start with water buckets for alpacas

Having a steady and reliable supply of water is critical. Here is what we do; for any pasture with five or more alpacas, get a 100 gallon stock waterer with a drain plug. At only 25 inches high, all but baby alpacas can reach to the bottom.

On one hot summer day, a herd of 40 or so can drain one of these dry.  Water buckets get pretty nasty if they are not cleaned out regularly, the drain plug makes that job easier.

These water tanks come in 50gal, 70gal, 100gal, and 150gal sizes. For a field with 2 or 3 alpacas,  a 50 gallon tank is fine. There are a lot of larger sizes but moving, emptying, or cleaning them is too difficult. Some large waterers do make for good hay feeders though.

For winter, the plug hole will accept a heating element.

Here is the best garden hose we have ever used

Many alpaca ranches have a hose bibb in every  pasture. That is ideal! However, we have to use hoses to water our 11 different pens. Over the years we have purchased many different brands of garden hose. One brand stands out, Gilmour.

Products from

Most of our Gilmour hoses were purchased 15 years ago or so and are starting to show their age. But 15+ years of daily use; amazing!

The large 3/4 inch hose has great flow even when two 100 footers are hooked together.

We also have an emergency water supply

Are we paranoid or what? I call it ‘peace of mind’. The power here isn’t the most reliable. No power: no well water. What I set up looks just like a swimming pool.

Sands calls it a swimming pool, so I play along. To make my emergency water supply useful I use a submersible pump that has a fitting for a garden hose. This came in handy one time when the well pump failed and it took a few days to get a new one. See, paranoia pays off…

Ah, but what happens when the power goes out? For that we have a generator. Actually a generator is also good when an outlet is not nearby or easily accessible. This is the what we have, except ours has bigger wheels:

This generator is big enough to run almost anything household related, including the well pump with some wiring modifications. The generator is always standing by on shearing days. That would be a very bad time to lose power!

How about alpaca farm security?

Ranch layout is an important consideration. For instance here we have no gates from any pen or pasture that opens to an unfenced area. Every gate opens to another fenced area and exterior gates from theses areas are locked. We can see all of the exterior gates and most of the interior spaces with this…

This camera does it all; up, down, left, right. zoom in or out and with night vision. Very nice! You can control all of this from your mobile device from anywhere or just use your home computer. Very nice! If you have blind spots, you can add more of these cameras and choose the camera view with the phone app.

Now the important stuff; poop scooping!

I know a LOT about this…

To keep the alpacas healthy and happy daily manure removal is a must. If you are running them on very large acreage this could be impractical. To break  parasite life cycles and to keep flies down, regular poop scooping is necessary.  Here are my tools of the trade. The wheelbarrow; the two wheels are a huge help on hilly or uneven ground. A big bucket minimizes trips back and forth.

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To get the “goods” into the wheelbarrow I use

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This shovel hold a lot more than a regular shovel but not so much you can’t lift it. To help load up the shovel I use this little shrub rake: To get all of your crap together from over a wider area, this is the ticket: You now have the basic equipment needed for your alpaca poop removal business. As I say “business is picking up”…




About Us

“Hi There!”



Home of Alpaca Mining Company
Yerington, NV

After our happy beginnings  in Grass Valley, CA  and  successfully breeding, brokering and growing at a steady rate,  we decided to move our alpaca farm to Nevada, choosing Yerington as our new rural home.  Yerington is about an hour and a half from either Lake Tahoe to the west or Reno to the North.   At 4500′ elevation is is an ag valley fed by two rivers carrying the runoff from the grand High Sierra Mountains.    The rural atmosphere and wide open spaces are wonderful for alpacas,  owners and visitors alike.  We are enjoying our ranch in Yerington and continue with the activities we have practiced since our beginnings almost 20 years ago…..brokering, breeding, and loving these incredible animals. If you wish to visit us, please contact us for more information and a map.

photo by J. Smith

Our Story: The Gold Rush Begins…

In the mid-80s, Sands saw  television coverage of the first alpacas imported to the U.S.  and was so intrigued with the wonderful nature of these “cuddly” creatures and the financial rewards of breeding them, she walked into the office of her then boss and said “let’s quit our jobs and raise alpacas.” The reply was “so what’s an alpaca?” Over ten years later, her dream reached fruition.
Typical of those attracted to alpaca ranching, Paul and Sands were looking for a change of lifestyle…a simpler way of life.  We knew we would love to own a few acres, but what would we do if we moved somewhere with some acreage, other than raise some of our own vegetables and fruits? It was then that the perfect picture of a gorgeous, fuzzy animal returned to Sands’ memory and the answer was…”we’ll raise alpacas!”
We decided on Grass Valley due to its proximity to major population areas, seasonal tourist population, and its green rolling hills with oaks and pine along the ridgelines.  We also began visiting as many alpacas ranches as possible. As most “wanabe alpaca owners” relate, we were very impressed with the professionalism, friendliness and underlying sense of financial adventure of the alpaca owners we contacted.
We moved into our modest 2-bedroom, 2 bath home on a 5-acre parcel in late July, 1998 and ideas and methods for growth came fast and furious in this new fuzzy world.  We quickly expanded our operation to include agisting (boarding), brokering, and breeding alpacas. It was our hope to be able to live off the income from the alpacas in about 4 or 5 years, and that goal was achieved much more rapidly than we had dared hope.  We  have never regretted our decision to change our lifestyle and work focus.
Why did we choose ” Alpaca Mining Company” as our breeder name? Others looked for gold in the ground in the West and have for many, many years. We hoped to start a new trend by “mining” for alpacas…hence, the “discovery” of our first “Nugget!” (The name for the first cria born at the ranch).  Eureka!  The Gold Rush Begins!

And so it began….the story continues…in Yerington!

Yerington can be very cold, no doubt, but the winters have been bearable and our neighbors and the community are warm and receptive.   We are blessed with exceptionally beautiful sunrises and sunsets and if you’re on facebook you can view some photos on the  Sands Bellizzi page.   While our focus has changed over the passing years, boarding and supplying livestock information regarding alpaca husbandry and care remain a mainstay and a pleasure. 
Please let us know if you would like to be added to our information database. We are convinced alpacas remain a solid tangible and healthy asset for your portfolio. 
Come and enjoy the alpacas with us…you are invited – just give us a call and we will put the coffeepot on.
Alpaca Mining Company
17 N. Willhoyt Lane, Yerington, NV 89447
We’ve Been Featured In: CNN USA and CNN Headline News Aug. 3-5. Countryside Magazine, American Small Farms Magazine, Hobby Farms Magazine, Fortune Small Business online Magazine (, Alpacas Magazine, American Livestock Magazine, House of Business Magazine, The New York Times.,,, (Wall Street Journal), FineLiving Channel, Radical Sabbatical Show, carried by DirecTV on Channel 232, Times Warner Cable and various other cable channels throughout the nation – look for our Show #206… for schedule. KCRA Channel 3 Evening News, UPN, Channel 31 News, and in the Tracy Press and Lodi Chronicle. December, 2007, issue of Fortune Small Business Magazine (online, too) by writer Phaedra Hise.


E-Guide to Alpaca Ownership

Alpacas: Frequently Asked Questions–FAQ

What is an Alpaca?
What do alpacas eat?

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