Safe for the yard
Alpacas have soft, padded hooves that will do little damage to your yard and pastures. Alpacas will selectively graze in pastures eating grasses and hay. This means that feeding an alpaca is pretty inexpensive. They’ll need some sort of daily mineral or vitamin supplement to make sure they have a balanced diet.Date Published: April 8, 2015Date Updated: April 8, 2015
Two types of alpacas
There are two different types of alpacas: the suri and the huacaya. The suri has longer, silky hair, while the huacaya has shorter fleece that is very woolly.Date Published: April 8, 2015Date Updated: April 8, 2015
Alpacas are known for their fine, dense fleece that can be sheared off the animal once a year. The hollow fiber is known to be very warm and virtually tangle-free. An alpaca can produce anywhere from five to six inches of fiber and seven to ten pounds of fleece in just one year.
Their fleece is also hypoallergenic. This means it can be processed without high temperatures or any harsh chemicals when washing the fleece.
An alpaca will be very gentle and submissive when you want to shear it. And since alpacas come in over 20 colors, you won’t have to dye the fiber you collect from them.Date Published: April 8, 2015Date Updated: April 8, 2015
There has also been an increase in the demand for alpaca fleece. Since it has a limited supply, the market for shearing and selling the fiber can be very lucrative. In fact, selling alpaca fiber can pay for the maintenance of your alpacas each year.Date Published: April 8, 2015Date Updated: April 8, 2015
Alpacas vs. llamas
Contrary to popular belief, alpacas are different from llamas. They’re cousins, but llamas are actually much bigger than alpacas. Llamas have coarse fleece, where an alpaca’s fleece is softer. Llamas are also very brave and can take care of themselves and be the leader of their heard, while alpacas need protection.Date Published: April 8, 2015Date Updated: April 8, 2015
Alpacas are use to harsh weather and being outside most of the time. Putting up fencing or a corral is a good place to start. Most alpaca breeders construct open shelters for the alpacas to come and go as they please. This insures that they will have a dry place to go depending on the weather and a place to eat and rest.Date Published: April 8, 2015Date Updated: April 8, 2015
In general, alpacas are friendly, calm, alert, and curious. They are also very predictable. They want to be with other alpacas so they can be together if they are tired or scared.
Alpacas are very expressive creatures, too. They communicate with a soft hum and will make loud noises if they think they’re in danger and they need your attention. Alpacas will also use their body language to communicate with their owners.Date Published: April 8, 2015Date Updated: April 8, 2015
Alpaca terms to know
Date Published: April 8, 2015Date Updated: April 8, 2015
- Blanket- The highest quality of fleece an alpaca can produce. The section begins at an alpaca’s shoulder, runs the length of their back and down each side until it reaches their belly.
- Cria- An alpaca that’s less than a year old.
- Juvenile- An alpaca between the age of six months and a year old.
- Culling- The process that will determine which alpacas in the group will not be bred.
- Dam- An alpaca’s mother.
- Sire- An alpaca’s father.
- Fiber- Another name for the fleece from an alpaca.
- Guard hair- A second coat of fiber found in camelids like alpacas and llamas. It’s often coarse, unlike the fiber that’s sold from alpacas.
- Pinto- A two-colored alpaca with large patches of different colored fleece.
- Tui fleece- The first fleece that is ever sheared from an alpaca. It will always be the finest fleece sheared from them.
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