Alpacas have become the darlings of American animal lovers! Indigenous to the Andes Mountains of South America, Alpacas were first imported to the United States in 1984.
Because alpacas have adapted to living at a very high altitude in the Andes, where it can get very cold, they have evolved to produce a warm, soft and luxurious fiber that is an absolute pleasure to wear.
Alpaca fiber is a renewable resource that grows yearly.
Alpacas are sheared annually and produce 4 to 6 pounds of one of the world©s most luxurious fibers. Soft as silk and warmer, lighter and stronger than wool, it comes in 22 colors, more than any other fiber producing animal. Spinners and weavers around the world now enjoy this luxurious fleece, once reserved for Incan royalty.
The harsh environment of the Andes has created an extremely hardy animal, so minimal housing is needed. The alpaca©s three-chambered stomachs allow for extremely efficient digestion. Because there are no viable seeds in the manure, alpaca manure does not need composting to enrich pastures or ornamental landscaping. Alpacas have only lower teeth at the front of their mouths; therefore, they do not pull grass up by the roots.
Adult alpacas are about 36" tall at the withers and generally weigh between 100 and 200 pounds. They are gentle and easy to handle and can be pastured at 5 to 10 per acre.
The joy, ease of care and potential profitability of raising alpacas has attracted people from many walks of life to become owners and breeders. Some raise alpacas for fiber, some as a business, still others, an enjoyable pastime. Regardless of the reason, raising these gentle animals brings endless pleasure to one©s life.
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