Focus on Alpaca
Introduction to Alpaca
Alpaca are a domesticated specifies of camelid and originate from South America. They are closely related to the other domesticated camelid - llama and the wild species of vicuna and guanaco.
The easy care nature of alpaca makes them perfect for busy people who want to enjoy animals. Compared with other livestock alpaca are very low maintenance.
Alpaca are primarily farmed for their fibre and there is huge potential for the future. With increasing demand for natural, sustainable products that have been ethically farmed and the luxurious qualities of alpaca fibre, there are great opportunities ahead as the industry develops.
Types of Alpaca
There are two types of alpaca, the Huacaya and the Suri.
The Huacaya (pronounced Wah-ky-ya) make up approximately 90% of alpacas in the UK. They are characterised by a thick dense fleece growing perpendicular from the body, similar to merino wool. Good Huacaya fibre has a soft handle, brightness and a defined crimp throughout the blanket area.
The Suri (pronounced soo-ree) is distinguished by its long silky fibre that grows parallel to the body and hangs in distinctive locks.
Alpaca fibre is renowned for its luxury character and style and ensures a premium price on the world fibre market.
Pemberley Alpacas breed huacaya alpacas.
Alpaca have a slightly different reproductive cycle than other livestock. They are induced ovulators, so only ovulate once mated - meaning they don’t come into season as such and can be mated at any time of the year. This has the convenience of being able to choose a convenient time of year to have your birthing season.
Pregnancy tends to last 11 to 11.5 months. Birthing is predominantly during the day and alpaca mothers will often wait until fine weather to give birth.
Baby alpaca are called cria (pronounced cree-ah). They are approximately 6-10kg at birth and are standing, drinking and running within a few hours.
Why you should get alpaca
Alpaca can make great pets and provide hours of fun and enjoyment for their owners.
Alpaca have a luxurious soft warm fleece that can be made into a range of products from duvets through to luxurious clothing.
Alpaca are an easy care alternative to traditional livestock. An alpaca will eat about the same amount as a sheep.
Not forgetting ….
Alpaca can be used for therapy and relaxation or you can get competitive in the many shows around the UK. Owning alpacas have changed many peoples lives, making new friends, developing new hobbies, interests and skills.