What is an Alpaca you ask?
Alpacas are a member of the camelid family and come from South America. They are close relatives to camels, llamas, vicunas, and guanacos. They are so close they can inter breed!
There are two types of alpacas the Huacaya (wa-kai-a) is the most common type of Alpaca. The fleece is dense and highly crimped. It stands straight off of the body much like a sheep and the Suri (sur-ry) which has a longer staple length is straighter with less crimp. It is extremely soft and lustrous.
Alpacas weigh 110-170 pounds and stand about 34-38 inches tall at the shoulders.
Alpacas have a life span of about 25 years. Their reproductive life is extremely long and can have babies starting at one year of age and well into their old age. (Glad I’m not an alpaca!)go to alpaca birthing for more information
They have a cria (baby) once a year with a long gestation period of approximately eleven months give or take a month. Twins are extremely rare. One interesting thing about birthing alpacas is that generally the births happen during the day around lunchtime give or take four hours.
Like cows, they are a ruminant but have one stomach with three compartments and love to chew their cud. One can graze up to eight animals per acre of good pasture because of their soft padded feet, making them gentle on their pastures.