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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Alpaca Facts - What Do You Need To Know About?

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The joy, ease of care and profitability of raising alpacas has attracted many people to become breeders.

These gently and unique animals can provide both income and pleasure, along with a peaceful, stress free lifestyle.

Alpacas can be raised on relatively small acreage.

With their soft padded feet they are gentle on the land. They are clean, safe, quiet, intelligent and virtually disease resistant.

Alpacas are a member of the camelid family, which includes camels, llamas, vicunas and guanacos.

They are a modified ruminant animal which means they chew their cud similar to a cow. Alpacas have three stomachs rather than a true ruminant which has four. Alpacas graze, eating pasture grasses and hay. A little grain given daily makes feeding alpacas relatively inexpensive.

There are two types of alpacas - the Huacaya and the Suri alpaca.

The Huacaya has dense, crimp fleece giving it a very wooly appearance.

The Suri has fiber that grows quite long and forms silky, pencil-like locks.

Both offer one of the world's finest and most luxurious natural fibers.

There are approximately 22 basic colors with many variations and blends. The fiber is as soft as cashmere yet warmer and lighter than wool.

Alpacas have an average life span of about 20 years.

An Alpaca's gestation period is 11 to 12 months with single births. Twins are extremely rare.

A baby alpaca, called a cria, usually weighs between 15 and 20 pounds. Adult alpacas generally weigh between 100-200 pounds.

Whether you are interested in breeding alpacas or just want to have some as pets, you will thoroughly enjoy these lovable animals.

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