Alpacas are a member of the camelid(camel) family. They have an inquisitive nature and are mild-tempered.
There are two breed types: the Huacayaand the Suri.
The difference is in the fleece.
Huacaya fleece has a crimp to it. This gives it a fluffy or "Teddy Bear" appearance. Suris have no crimp in their fleece, so the fiber clings to itself, forming long pencil locks.
Alpacas have no upper teeth. They have lower teeth
and an upper dental pad.
They have soft padded feet with two
toenails on each foot.
Being ruminants, they chew a cud and have three
compartments to their stomachs.
Alpacas are about 36" tall at the withers and weigh between 100-200 pounds.
They can live up to 20 years.
Alpacas are raised for their exquisite wool, called
fleece, that is comparable to angora and
It comes in 22 natural colors from
white to every shade of brown, black, gray, and rose-grays.
There is no need to dye it.
This fiber is strong, soft and resilient. It has no lanolin, or grease, likes sheep's wool. It does not need cleaning except for dirt, this makes it easier and less expensive to process.
Fiber is sorted by
fineness and crimp. Crimp is the regular wave
formation found in the locks. The crimp is what makes the fiber resilient and makes garments keep their shape.
It is believed that crimp is an indication of fiber density and will have a more dense and higher fiber yield.
Alpacas are herd animals and their social structure
requires that they live in the company of other alpacas. An alpaca will be
lonely, and may even sicken and die if taken away to live by itself.
Alpacas can be halter trained and will walk on a lead.
Steve enjoys having his Alpacas rub their faces on his beard!
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