For those who don’t know, alpacas are small-built mammals standing about 5 feet tall and weighing 100 to 200 lbs. They belong to the camel family, and are related to the Asian camel, the South American llama and the vicuna.
They filmed in Bolivia, Chile and Peru in South America. When invading Spaniards brought European cattle with them, alpacas were forced to migrate to the Andes mountains where they settled down and bred.
These gentle and docile animals are mainly raised for their luxurious fleece or fiber. Alpaca fiber is woven to provide warm clothes that’s deemed superior to wool.
Fabrics made of alpaca wool aren’t only functional, but also have been considered a luxury for centuries.
In the 1980’s, these animals were exported from South America, to other countries, including the US, which started maintaining their own herds.
The alpaca livestock in the usa is mainly of two types. One is the huacaya, using a fuzzy, or teddy-bearish, coat. The other kind – the suri – includes a long coat of glistening locks, that part down the alpaca’s back and cascade down both sides.
The few of the present animals, compared to other grazing farm cows, has helped keep the cost of alpaca fiber . This has made Alpaca rearing commercially viable.
Alpaca fiber can be used in its normal shade, or, in the case of the lighter tints, be dyed darker. This, together with the fact that alpacas have more colour variations than any other mammal, makes them even more commercially viable.
They are found in more than 22 colors, with beige, white, fawn, brown, gray, and black being the main ones. Spots are also widespread, much like pinto and appaloosa horses, as well as various color face and legs from the rest of the body.
Aside from having enough finances, you also have to have the right aptitude to rear alpacas. You have to love animals, and the outdoors, and be conducive to raising pets. In other words, you must be sure that you give them love and affection, and treat them as”family”.
On their part, alpacas are ideal gentle pets. They don’t bite like camels, but may spit at you in case you confine them in a small place. They are extra caring with little children, and gregarious – they mix well with other animals and people.
Alpacas are playful. They communicate with each other by humming. They emit a high pitched bray, or alarm call, when a stray dog or some other animal, enters their pasture.
The young ones or crias gambol like lambs, possibly in order to build up body heat, which is necessary in the cold nights of the mountain ranges. Alternatively, it may just be a case of high spirits.
Their small size is another point in favor of breeding alpacas. They can be transported easily. The elderly, children and petite girls will find it easy to lead these creatures.
You can have a look at alpacas, live, at different shows, where you are able to see for yourself what good breeding can do. You can also have the feel of genuine luxurious alpacas fleece.