are America�s fastest growing livestock option!
- Alpacas are members
of camelid family - yes, like camels - and so are llamas. They have
a split lip, soft padded feet, and are modified ruminants that chew
- There are two types
of alpacas - Huacaya with fluffy fiber, and Suri with silky locks. They
are sheared once a year and produce fiber that can be sold for as much
as $60 per pound. Fiber is highly desired by hand spinners and makes
an excellent felt.
- Alpaca fleece comes
in a wide variety of colors from white to black.
- Alpaca fleece is
judged by the feel, crimp, fineness, density, and luster.
- Alpacas originated
in South America �in Peru, Chile, and Bolivia. They have been raised
in the US for less than 20 years and number about 35,00 now. Alpacas
are not imported from South America into the US.
- They are herd animals,
and live for about 20 years.
- Alpacas are considered
to be livestock with associated tax advantages for farmers. They are
insurable and can be depreciated.
- Gestation is
about 11 1/2 months, and the offspring are called crias.
- They are quiet
animals and make a humming sound.
- Alpacas are easily
trained to lead and go thru obstacle courses.
- Alpacas thrive
on pasture or hay, small amounts of feed and mineral supplements. They
are easily sheltered, but require special attention in hot humid weather.