Alpacas in general – Adorable creatures
- Alpacas are native to South America farmed in the Andean mountains
- Alpacas are part of the camelid family
- Alpacas were domesticated over 6000 years ago
- Alpacas can live up to 25 years
- Alpacas are induced ovulators and can be mated any time of the year. Gestation is 11.5 months, twins are rare.
- Alpaca babies are called Crias
- Birthing normally takes place in the morning on fine days. The cria has a chance to dry before the cold of night.
- Alpacas are curious intelligent animals, they are easily halter trained. You can transport them in a horse float or the back of a van.
Farming Alpacas – Anyone can do it
- Alpacas are opportunist browsers, they eat leaves (willow, poplar, beach, hebes etc) as well as pasture
- Alpacas are pseudo ruminants –only 3 stomachs. Alpacas are very efficient feed converters
- Alpacas have soft padded feet, are gentle on pasture and do not suffer from foot-rot
- Alpacas are shorn once a year, and need toe clipping every 2-6 months depending on the animal.
- Alpacas need annual vaccinations. Drenching is done as needed.
- Alpacas come from a high selenium, high vitamin D environment, and may need supplements.
- Alpacas have a communal dung pile
- Standard sheep fencing is suitable for alpacas
Alpaca Fibre - Fibre of the Gods
- Alpaca is a protein fibre and contains little or no lanolin.
- The absence of barb-like cuticles make alpaca a great fibre for people with sensitive skins
- Alpaca is stronger and warmer than merino. Micron for micron alpaca feels softer than merino
- Alpacas produce 2.5 -5 kg of (unskirted) fibre, depending on size of animal and micron
- Alpaca fibre has a memory, so your alpaca garment will return to their original shape and size after washing. But make sure you dry them flat
- Alpaca garments are incredibly warm. Beware of thick heavy garments, they may be too warm!
- Alpaca fibre is truly The fibre of the Gods
For more information go to www.alpaca.org.nz