Alpacas are very lovable animals. They are calm, curious and very intelligent. Alpacas are herd animals. They need at least two other companions.
Alpacas are from the camelid family, just like llamas, camels, guanacos and vicunas. They originated from South America. They live in the Andes, mainly in Perou but also in Bolivia and Chili. Its life expectancy is of 20 to 25 years.
Its life expectancy is of 20 to 25 years.
Alpacas have been domesticated for near 6,000 years. Their wool was once strictly reserved for royalty. They eat hay (grass in summer) and grain.
An alpaca is adult around 3 years old. The young male usually breeds his first female around that age. However, the young female is bred around 2 years old to give birth around 3 as the gestation period is of 11 ½ months. The baby, named cria, weighs between 14 and 20 pounds at birth and will reach 110 to 200 pounds as an adult. Their wool is sheared once a year in the spring, usually in May. Each alpaca can give 4 to 10 pounds of nice fiber, and sometimes more.
Alpaca wool is 6 to 7 times warmer than sheep wool, plus the fiber is hypoallergenic because it contains no lanoline.
There are 22 natural colors, from the pure white to true black, and all the in-betweens: fawn, grey, light brown, dark brown, bay black, etc.