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Interesting facts about alpacas

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We found 16 interesting facts about alpacas

Very smart, quick to learn, gentle animals.

Most of the world's alpaca population lives in South America, in the Altiplano region of Peru-Chile-Bolivia, where they are currently found only on small farms located high on the slopes of the Andes.

Their natural habitat is steppe plateaus at an altitude of 4 to 5 m. msl Since they live in rather difficult climatic conditions, they have adapted to low-quality plant food, dry and cold air and hot temperatures.

They are popular all over the world because of their fleece, which is especially prized in the textile industry.


Alpacas belong to the camelid family.

These are herbivorous artiodactyl mammals, relatives of llamas, vicuñas and guanacos. They feed on grasses, forbs, young shoots and twigs.

Alpacas were domesticated 4-5 thousand years ago. years BC in the Peruvian-Bolivian Altiplano region.

The development of alpaca cultivation for fiber on other continents began in 1980.

Outside of South America, most alpacas are raised in New Zealand, Australia, the United States, Canada and Europe.

In recent years they have also appeared in Poland.

Alpaca reaches 128-151 cm in length and weighs 55-85 kg.

Height at the withers is 80-100 cm. The color of alpacas is most often black or brown-black, sometimes white. In general, there are 20 natural colors and about 200 shades of these colors.

Alpacas can live 15 to 25 years in favorable conditions.


Alpacas are herd animals.

The bond between alpacas and the rest of the herd is so strong that individuals raised separately quickly deteriorate in health and show signs of emotional distress.

A typical family group consists of a dominant male, several adult females and numerous offspring.

Alpaca pregnancy lasts approximately 335-340 days, and usually one offspring is born weighing up to 9 kg. The female feeds the cubs for 6-8 months. Young alpacas reach sexual maturity between one and two years of age.

Alpacas have the typical camelid double lip and ever-growing teeth that need to be trimmed.

Alpacas eat plants rich in silica and partially wear down their teeth.

Alpacas have three eyelids.

The third eyelid is the so-called flicker, which moves horizontally.

Alpacas do not damage pastures due to the soft pads on the underside of their hooves.

They also have a nail on the forefoot that is constantly growing. In natural conditions, alpacas scratch their claws on hard ground.

Alpacas are smart, get used to their owners, learn quickly and adapt to new living conditions.

These animals are used for so-called alpacatherapy with the participation of healthy and disabled children, as well as the elderly. The alpaca company has a very positive effect on everyone, and the breeders claim that it is impossible not to love alpacas. You love them simply for what they are.

In the UK, alpacas sometimes act as rangers on pastures.

Although they are rarely aggressive, they are included in free-ranging sheep herds, where they sometimes protect other animals from possible predators. When threatened, herds can pounce on an attacker and scare him off with their behavior alone, since they do not have horns or sharp hooves.

Alpacas are bred for their wool, which is the main raw material obtained from them.

Alpacas are sheared once a year and receive 3 to 5 kg of fiber.

Alpaca fiber is extremely thin and belongs to the group of special fibers.

It has excellent thermal insulation properties, warms much better than sheep's wool and is several times lighter. Recommended for allergy sufferers as it does not cause allergic reactions. Due to its low lanolin (animal wax) content, it is stain-resistant, does not harbor mites, and no chemicals are used in its production and care. Because of its special value. Alpaca wool is considered a luxury item throughout the world.

There are two breeds of alpacas: Suri and Huacaya, which differ in their wool.

Suri hair grows up to 50 cm long and grows along the body, while huacaya hair grows perpendicular to the body. Both breeds can be found in breeding, but the Suri is less popular.

Once dried, alpaca droppings are used by shepherds as fuel.

Alpaca fertilizer is also successfully used in gardening.

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