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Celebrate National Alpaca Farm Days

Find an alpaca farm near you!
  • Visitors will meet the animals in person, experience luxurious alpaca products at individual farm stores, and learn how alpacas are environmentally friendly.
    Alpaca Owners Association, Inc.

    A unique opportunity

    Alpaca Owners Association, Inc. (AOA) is encouraging the public to visit their member farms and ranches on National Alpaca Farm Days--September 27th and 28th. This is a unique opportunity for the public to explore the many aspects of the alpaca livestock industry in the United States and Canada.

    Visitors will meet the animals in person, experience luxurious alpaca products at individual farm stores, and learn how alpacas are environmentally friendly. 

    Date Published: September 18, 2014
    Date Updated: September 18, 2014
  • Alpacas are alert, intelligent, curious and predictable. Social animals that seek companionship, they communicate most commonly by softly humming.
    Alpaca Owners Association, Inc.

    About alpacas

    Alpacas, cousins to the llama, are beautiful, intelligent animals native to the Andean Mountain range of South America, particularly Peru, Bolivia and Chile.

    Today, the United States boasts two types of alpacas. Although almost physically identical, the two types of alpacas are distinguished by their fiber.

    The Huacaya (wa-Ki'-ah) is the more common of the two and has a fluffy, extremely fine coat. On the other hand, the Suri (SUR-ee) is more rare and has fiber that is silky and resembles pencil-locks.

    Adult alpacas stand at approximately 36 inches at the withers and generally weigh between 150 and 200 pounds. They do not have horns, hooves, claws or incisors.

    Alpacas are alert, intelligent, curious and predictable. Social animals that seek companionship, they communicate most commonly by softly humming.

    Date Published: September 18, 2014
    Date Updated: September 18, 2014
  • Long ago, alpaca fiber was reserved for royalty.
    Alpaca Owners Association, Inc.

    Alpaca fiber

    Long ago, alpaca fiber was reserved for royalty. Today, it is sold several ways. Hand-spinners and fiber artists buy raw fleece. Knitters often purchase alpaca yarn. Fiber cooperatives mills collect alpaca fiber and process it on behalf of the producer.

    Alpacas are shorn, without harm, every twelve to eighteen months. An adult alpaca might produce 50 to 90 oz. of first-quality fiber as well as 50 to 100 oz. of second and third quality fiber. Some alpacas already achieve, or exceed, these levels.

    Date Published: September 18, 2014
    Date Updated: September 18, 2014
  • Socks, scarves, purses, golf shirts, teddy bears and blankets are just a few additional items made from North American alpaca fiber currently on the market.
    Alpaca Owners Association, Inc.

    Performance characteristics

    Containing no lanolin, alpaca fiber is also naturally hypoallergenic. Most people who are sensitive to wool find that they can wear alpaca without the itching or irritation they feel from wool because alpaca fiber is smooth.

    Additional performance characteristics include: stretch, water repellency and odor reduction. For travelers, clothing made from alpaca is desirable because it is wrinkle-resistant.

    Today's consumer searches for high-quality, environmentally sound products made of naturally renewable resources. The alpaca provides fiber, just as it has for thousands of years, to create colorful garments that are soft to the touch. Classically styled alpaca sweaters and suits can last for generations.

    Socks, scarves, purses, golf shirts, teddy bears and blankets are just a few additional items made from North American alpaca fiber currently on the market.

    Date Published: September 18, 2014
    Date Updated: September 18, 2014
  • However, alpacas do not mind eating brush, fallen leaves and other "undesirable" vegetation, leaving the "good stuff" for species that do not have the stomach to digest such roughage.
    Alpaca Owners Association, Inc.

    Environmentally friendly

    Sensitive to their environment in every respect, alpacas have soft padded feet instead of hooves and can leave even the most delicate terrain undamaged. Damage to topsoil decreases long-term soil fertility and in the process, the soil is eroded and weed invasion is encouraged.

    Alpacas prefer to eat tender grasses, which they do not pull up by the roots. Lacking upper teeth, alpacas "cut" the grass with their bottom teeth and upper palate. This vegetation cutting encourages the plants' growth.

    Because they are modified ruminants with a three-compartment stomach, alpacas convert grass and hay to energy very efficiently, and stop eating when they are full, further preserving the landscape on which they live.

    However, alpacas do not mind eating brush, fallen leaves and other "undesirable" vegetation, leaving the "good stuff" for species that do not have the stomach to digest such roughage.

    Alpacas' pellet-like droppings are PH balanced, and an excellent, natural, slow release, low odor fertilizer. This rich fertilizer is perfect for growing fruits and vegetables.

    Because alpacas consolidate their feces in one or two communal spots in the pasture, it is easy to collect and compost, and the spread of parasites is controlled.

     

     

    Date Published: September 18, 2014
    Date Updated: September 18, 2014
  • No chemicals are employed either during feeding or during the industrial production of alpaca fleece into fiber.
    Alpaca Owners Association, Inc.

    Chemical free

    No chemicals are employed either during feeding or during the industrial production of alpaca fleece into fiber. If dying is desired, only 20% of a normal dye quantity is required.

    All fiber from an alpaca can be used, and it is biodegradable.

    Alpacas require no insecticides, herbicides and fertilizers.

    Date Published: September 18, 2014
    Date Updated: September 18, 2014
  • The association represents more than 10,000 members and 230,000 alpacas.
    Alpaca Owners Association, Inc.

    Alpaca Owners Association, Inc.

    Headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska, Alpaca Owners Association, Inc. serves as the national livestock association for alpacas in North America.

    As the largest alpaca association in the world, Alpaca Owners Association facilitates the expansion of a strong and sustainable alpaca industry through the tracking of bloodlines, registration and transfer of alpacas, national educational outreach, the national show system, marketing, public relations and its highly respected judges training program.

    The association represents more than 10,000 members and 230,000 alpacas.

    To find out more about National Alpaca Farm Days, and to find an aplaca farm near you, visit: www.AlpacaFarmDays.com.

    Date Published: September 18, 2014
    Date Updated: September 18, 2014

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