For people who don’t understand, alpacas are small-built mammals standing about 5 feet tall and weighing 100 to 200 pounds. They belong to the camel family, and are about the Asian camel, the South American llama and the vicuna.
When invading Spaniards brought European cattle together, alpacas were forced to migrate into 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 are not just functional, but also have been considered a luxury for centuries.
The alpaca livestock in the usa is mainly of 2 types. One is the huacaya, using a fuzzy, or teddy-bearish, coat. The other type – the suri – has a long coat of lustrous locks, that part down the alpaca’s rear and cascade down either side.
The small number of the present animals, compared to other grazing farm cows, has helped keep the expense of alpaca fiber high. This has made Alpaca rearing commercially viable.
Alpaca fiber can be utilised in its normal shade, or, in the case of the lighter tints, be dyed darker. This, combined with the fact that alpacas have more color variations than any other mammal, makes them even more commercially viable.
They are present in more than 22 colours, with beige, white, fawn, brown, grey, and black being the main ones. Spots are also prevalent, similar to pinto and appaloosa horses, as also different color legs and face from the rest of the body.
Apart from having enough finances, you must also have the right capability to back alpacas. You have to love animals, and the outdoors, and be attuned to raising pets. To put it differently, you must make sure that you give them love and affection, and treat them as”family”.
On their part, alpacas are perfect gentle pets. They do not bite like camels, but may spit at you in case you confine them in a small area. They are extra caring with little children, and gregarious – they combine well with other animals and people.
They communicate with one another by humming. They emit a high pitched bray, or alarm call, when a stray dog or another 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. The elderly, children and petite women will find it easy to lead these animals.
You can have a look at alpacas, live, at various shows, where you are able to see for yourself what good breeding can perform. You can even have the feel of genuine luxurious alpacas fleece.