Alpacas come from South American countries: Peru, Chile and Bolivia.
It was there, more than 6 000 years ago, domesticated them for the first time. Unfortunately, in their homeland they have been dramatically decimated by the Spanish conquerors and replaced by sheep. Currently they are working on the re-stabilization alpaca population.
Alpacas belong to the camel family and are related to the llama, guanaco, vicuña, as well as well known to us camels.
In alpacas there is a particularly diverse sexual dimorphism: males and females usually measure approx. 1 m, the only difference is the weight. For females, it is between 50 to 70 kg for males from 60 to 90 kg. They are animals with a long life span which can live up to 20 years. During the year, due to the long lasting 11.5 months pregnancy females can give birth to only one foal, also known as cria (young).
Birth usually takes place during the day when the sun can dry the foal. It is also dictated by the need for safety, because in countries where they come from alpaca’s main enemies (eg. Pumas) hunt primarily at night. In the case of pregnant females in breeding farms, she should be constantly monitored because there are exceptions to the day births.
Alpacas fascinate by their charming appearance, intelligence and calm, sometimes timid behavior. They are extremely vigilant, but also animals curious about the world. They communicate with each other by means of posture, movement of the tail and ears, as well as by many sounds, most of the time by delicate murmuring. This way of communication makes alpacas appear so nice and their attitude to the world makes them unique animals.
Not only the extraordinary attitude to the world makes alpacas unique animals.
They are valued primarily because of its high quality fiber. It is best known for their softness, gentleness and gloss and unique properties: ideal for allergy sufferers. They referred to them as well as fleece gods, because the clothing from alpaca fiber were previously reserved only for the royal house of the Incas and their priests. The color range of alpaca fiber starts from pure white and reaches to the deep blacks. Between the two extremes there are more than twenty other colors.
“Alpacas are easy to farm, contact with them is relatively easy, they do not require special care” – such statements we hear from almost every breeder or seller. These opinions are partly justified by the minimal living requirements for these animals. As breeders dealing with alpacas, we know that these animals have their specific needs. Even their seemingly uncomplicated lifestyle conceals a serious responsibility for breeders whose failure may cause illness or death to alpacas.