Alpacas

The Alpaca (Vicugna Pacos) is actually a domesticated species of the Camel family (camelids) from South America, and not a closely related species to sheep as many people seem to think. They are fairly closely related to llamas and look very similar, although alpacas tend to be smaller.

Alpacas were first kept in herds that grazed on parts of the Andes in South Peru, but have since spread to other parts of the world. They can still be found in certain parts of the Andes.

Many people now keep alpacas as pets due to their lovable nature and extraordinary appearance. They are also a popular choice for wool farms due to their lush fur, which they were bred specifically for. They come in many colours.

Alpacas play a big part in many peoples’ culture around the Andes. For example, alpacas feature heavily in the artwork of The Moche people.

In some Andean places alpaca meat was considered a delicacy. It is now illegal to kill an alpaca for meat and/or trade alpaca meat, due to the protective status the Peruvian law granted to alpacas in order to protect them. Unfortunately, more and more alpacas are being smuggled into countries illegally.

Alpacas are naturally social herd animals and will live in tight-knit groups consisting of the alpha male, females and their young.
he diet of an alpaca generally consists of grass and hay and sometimes a few leaves. Alpacas have been known to try and chew almost anything.

Heard of Alpacas spitting at one another? Yes, they do. Alpacas will spit at other alpacas and sometimes humans if they feel they want to make a point or are annoyed, some individuals may do it for fun. The ‘spit’ often consists of water, air and sometimes the acidic parts of their stomach.

Alpacas are very hygienic and fussy about where they go to the toilet. A whole herd will nearly always use the same place. Male alpacas tend to be cleaner and more tidier than the females, who will generally stand in a line and all go at once. If a female alpaca of a herd starts to go to the toilet, the other females will nearly always follow the example and copy her! Many people have found that alpacas can easily be house trained easily because of them always excreting in the same place.

July 24, 2010 · Maddia (Admin) · 2 Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: Alpacas

2 Responses

  1. Maddie - August 1, 2010

    What adorable pictures!

  2. Zarah - August 18, 2010

    thanks for the blog post MadelineDyer.com on Alpacas – keep up the good work.