Affiliate Member of AOBA Alpaca farms in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana

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Alpaca farming in northwest United States

Lifestyle

Alpaca Lifestyle

 

 

Alpacas were a cherished treasure of the ancient Incan civilization and played a central role in the Incan culture that was located on the high Andean Plateau and mountains of South America.  Alpacas were first imported to the Unites States in 1984.  All were registered and DNA tested, and progeny are DNA tested to ensure integrity of the breed. 

Alpacas are now being successfully raised and enjoyed throughout North America and in many countries abroad.  There are two types of alpaca - the Huacaya and the Suri.  The difference is in the type of fleece carried by the alpaca.  The lifespan of the alpaca is averaging 20 years, and gestation is averaging 11.5 months.  Alpacas eat grasses and chew a cud.  Adult alpacas are about 36" tall at the withers and generally weigh between 100 and 200 lbs.  They are gentle and easy to handle.  They do not have incisors, horns, hooves or claws.  Clean-up is fairly easy since alpacas use communal dung piles.  they require fencing to keep predators out, and depending on the quality of forage, can be pastured at 4 to 8 per acres.

Alpacas produce one of the world's finest and most luxurious natural fibers. It is clipped from the animal without causing it injury. Soft as cashmere and warmer, lighter and stronger than wool, it comes in more colors than any other fiber producing animal (approximately 22 basic colors with many variations and blends).This cashmere-like fleece, once reserved for Incan royalty, is now enjoyed by spinners and weavers around the world.