FAQ & Fun Facts

Alpaca are of the camelid family and are native to the mountainous regions of South America. They are the oldest domesticated animals in the Americas where they have been raised and bred for their fiber. The finest quality alpaca fiber has been found in ancient grave sites; even finer than we have today. This loss in quality is because the Spanish that invaded South America didn’t recognize the quality and benefits alpaca provide. They saw the alpaca as a threat to the sheep and decimated the herd.
Alpacas graze on grasses and other types of forage. They do not pull up the grass roots so pastures renew if the animals can be rotated around. If pastures are not available, a low protein grass hay is best. Alpacas will consume approximately one, 100-lb bale of grass hay per month, per adult. High protein forage such as alfalfa or clover is detrimental to animal health and quality fiber production.
Alpacas will occasionally spit at each other. This is usually exhibited during feeding and other times when dominance is being asserted. This does not injure the other alpacas and no member of the herd seems to take the spitting too seriously. Alpacas, unlike llamas, usually do not spit on people unless they feel threatened. If they do spit at each other, you don’t want to get caught in the crossfire–alpaca spit is actually rumen from the gut and is not pleasant at all.
Alpacas are intelligent, inquisitive, curious, and highly adaptable. They tend to follow the lead of the dominant members of their herd, but cooperate with their handlers during halter training, loading for shipment, and at other times when on a halter and lead. They learn new tasks quickly and seem to enjoy interacting with humans.
Llamas are a cousin to the alpaca, but are almost double in size. An adult alpaca weights between 100 to 200 pounds, whereas a llama can grow to approximately 400 lbs. Llamas were domesticated to be beasts of burden and to haul heavy loads on their backs. Alpacas were domesticated for their ultra soft, warm fleece which is made into textiles. The alpaca’s closest relative is the wild vicuna, which is a protected animal in South America. The vicuna’s fleece is the most luxurious animal fiber in the world.

We have a wonderfully diverse group of alpaca at our farm. The foundation herd are all full Peruvian that come from quality stock. We have a fiber herd that is more diverse but still has excellent fiber; which is used to make many wonderful products.