10 Cool Alpaca Facts

Alpacas are long-necked, doe-eyed creatures that look like a camel mixed with a Goldendoodle. And yes, they are as adorable as that sounds! Native to the Andes Mountains of South America, here are 10 interesting alpaca facts I learned by visiting the Seven Stars Alpaca Ranch in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

This article was originally published at Everyday Wanderer on September 26, 2018.

      

  

Do You Love Alpacas?

Share your favorite photo with me by tagging @sagescott.kc on Instagram and using the hashtag #silversightseer

    

 

 

Brown Alpaca

…still look like Mother Nature paired a camel…

Two camels in the desert

…with a Goldendoodle!

Goldendoodle with tennis ball

2. Alpacas Come in Only Two Varieties

          

  

3. Alpaca Fiber is Practically Magical

      

Alpaca Being Sheared
Alpacas are sheared once a year, usually in May or June as the warmest months of the year approach.

4. Alpaca Fiber Comes in a Rainbow of Colors

    

Alpaca Wool Drying After Tinting
A rack of alpaca wood drying after being tinted

   

5. They Could Probably Write a Travel Blog

         

A Group Of Alpacas
Roughly 99% of the world's alpacas still live in South America.

6. Alpacas Are Like Goldendoodles in Two More Ways

    

7. Alpacas Eat Like Supermodels...

   

Alpacas Grazing in Green Grass

8. ...and Drink Like Camels

 

   

9. They are Relatively Easy to Clean Up After

 

   

10. Momma Alpacas Give Birth Over Their Lunch Hour

   

A Cria Is A Baby Alpaca
A baby alpaca is called a cria. And they are even more adorable than a full grown alpaca!

Frequently Asked Questions About Alpacas

Are alpacas and llamas the same animal?

While both part of the camel family, alpacas and llamas are different animals.

How much do alpacas weigh?

An adult alpaca is typically between 105 and 185 pounds when fully grown. Baby alpacas, known as cria, weigh about 18 to 20 pounds at birth.

Why do alpacas spit?

An alpaca might spit for a variety of reasons. If the animal feels threatened, is stressed, or is protecting food, it might spit. Most commonly, alpacas spit at each other, but they will spit at humans for the same reasons.

Can alpacas be pets?

Alpacas are primarily raised for their fiber (or wool). It’s deliciously soft, incredibly warm, and super breathable. But alpacas can also be great pets. (Although I wouldn’t recommend keeping one in the house.) But before you get an alpaca as a pet, know that they are pack animals. So, if you plan to get an alpaca, you’ll need to plan on purchasing at least two! And as a general rule, one acre of land is enough space for up to ten alpacas.

Can alpacas be house trained?

I wouldn’t keep an alpaca in the house. But outside in the pasture or barn, alpacas will designate a spot that they’ll consistently use as a toilet. This makes it easy to clean up after your pack of alpacas (and you have less landminds to watch for in the yard!

Do You Have Another Fun Fact About Alpacas?

  

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14 thoughts on “10 Cool Alpaca Facts”

  1. I love alpacas! And yes, jumpers and scarves and shawls made from their wool are so soft and lovely. I saw the animals (and llamas) a lot in South America, particularly in Peru. Watch out for scams when buying alpaca wool, a lot of souvenirs labelled as such are not, though you should be able to tell from the feel and the price! LOOK AT THEIR CUTE LITTLE FACES!!!!

  2. I took a lot of ag classes in college and even worked on a petting zoo farm during that time and I did not know you could crossbreed llamas and alpacas! Also, I love any animal that picks one place to poop! Our old lab was like that.

  3. Thanks for the reminder about the farm days! We’ve done this before and it is such a fun experience to see their cute and cuddly faces!

  4. Oh my goodness these pictures are precious. There was an Alpaca farm close to where my grandparents live. I did not know all of this about them, much mroe interesting animals than I realized

  5. Oooh, the alpaca fiber does sound magical! Sounds like the perfect type of material for the coming fall weather. Baby alpacas are the cutest!

  6. Humming is the most common sound alpacas make. They hum softly when they e curious, content, worried, bored, distressed, or cautious. When startled or in danger, one of them will announce a threat with a staccato alarm call and the rest will follow suit. When they breed, the male emits a unique throaty vocalization known to the alpaca-raising community as “orgling.”

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