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Alpaca FAQ

  • Alpaca are members of a scientific family Camelids and most closely related to the wild Vicuna.
  • The difference between Alpacas and llamas? Alpacas are raised for their wonderful fiber, smaller in stature than llamas, and are calmer in nature. Llamas are about 2/3 larger and used mainly as pack animals.
  • Alpacas have padded feet similar to a dog or cat, and 2 large toenails on each foot.
  • Alpacas are ruminants like cows but with three stomach compartments. The hay and grass consumed by alpacas is put to very efficient use. There is very little waste and nearly all is converted to energy during digestion. It would take ten alpacas to eat as much a single, average cow!
  • Alpaca is the only animal in the world that produces more than 20 natural shades from off white, cream to brown, gray, and black. These animals, natives to the Andes mountains in Peru, are 80% of the total population of Alpacas in the world.
  • Alpaca fiber rivals cashmere, is known for its softness, drape and sheen, and comes in 22 different colors
  • Alpaca fiber is extremely strong and resilient. An evolution spent in freezing temperatures at high altitudes has given alpaca fiber more thermal capacity than nearly any other animal. The fiber contains microscopic air pockets which create powerful insulating value making it ideal for clothing, not to mention its light weight.
  • The Alpaca’s first clip is called "baby Alpaca" and commands high prices.
  • The international market for alpaca fiber recognizes 22 natural shades ranging from creams to browns to blacks and grays, with many shades in between. Alpaca fiber can be dyed to any color without losing its beautiful natural luster.
  • Long ago, the unique qualities of Alpaca fiber were reserved only for Incan Kings and the royal court.
  • Alpacas are well-developed social animals that communicate with one another using a gentle humming sound, as well as combining that with body positioning. They also make a unique clicking sound to their cria (baby alpaca).
  • Alpacas are shorn once each year in the spring with an annual clip of 3 to 14 lbs. Why are they so popular?
  • Other than being so darn cute, they are economical to raise and easy on the environment.
  • Alpacas are gentle and easy to work with making them well-suited for families with children.
  • Because you can raise 8 to 10 alpacas per acre, they are ideal for a small farm.
  • Alpaca ownership offers generous tax advantages including the purchase of livestock, fencing, barns, pastures and equipment. And just one more benefit …
    • Alpaca "beans" (poo) is great fertilizer – it’s not hot so can be put around your plants right from the bean pile.
    • Lee is incredibly proud of his garden! He has grown 40 and 50 lb. watermelons using beans as fertilizer!! And they were delicious ...
    • Lee stands 6'1 but will definitely need a ladder to harvest his corn crop! Believe it or not ...
    • And his first attempt at giant pumpkins brought this 91.2# specimen! Had it not been for Mother Nature sending wind shear down the creek, he may have done better but she dropped a large tree right on top of his pumpkin patch. Awww......
  • Alpacas offer the “back to basics” lifestyle many people are yearning for. We have never looked back and neither will you!

 


Updated March 03, 2012