Alpacas are small and friendly relatives of llamas from the Andes Mountains of Peru. Imported to the U.S. in 1984, they instantly became a highly desirable fiber animal. After many farms bred alpacas and their numbers increased they became more affordable, and now are easily available as pets or livestock.
Alpacas are very clean and easy to care for. They require shearing once a year to keep them cool in the summer, and nail trimming as needed. Alpacas don't have hooves; instead they have tough padded feet with two toes each covered by a hard nail. Their feet are gentle on pastures and do not cause injury if they kick a person. Alpaca manure is easy to clean up, since they use community piles. Alpacas eat grassy hay, pasture and sometimes grain.
Alpacas are very intelligent and can easily be trained to walk on a halter and lead. They do spit like llamas, but mostly at each other and rarely at a human. Usually alpacas spit to protect their food or personal space from other alpacas.
Alpaca fiber is soft, lightweight, and hypoallergenic. It is said that alpaca fiber is 7x warmer than wool! Their fiber is used to make yarn, sweaters, dryer balls, felt, and much more.
Follow my Instagram account @fancifelt for alpaca photos and weekly alpaca facts posted every Friday with the hastag #alpacafactfriday.
Cynnabar is the "leader of the herd". He is serious and alert, but he enjoys getting special attention and likes hugs. He has the softest, finest fleece of our three alpacas and is a dark, rich brown/red color.
Monique is the popular one. She is a big huggable creampuff with a fluffy hairdo. She is a beautiful light fawn color with multiple hues of white, tan and red. Monique is our friendliest alpaca. She gives alpaca kisses and allows her hair to be brushed.
Tallulah is our shy alpaca who came from a large alpaca ranch. She is a dark fawn / red color with a grey face and ears. She has gained confidence and trust in people, allowing us to halter her and stroke her neck. She says hello by touching your hand with her nose.