Facts About Alpacas
You'll Pack a What?
You might be a packing, but you won't see these gentle animals being a beast of burden.
The alpaca is related to the well-known llama and the camel (did you know that?). They come from the Andes mountains in Ecaudor, Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. The Incan civilization prized these creatures and only the royalty could wear the fibers from them. Their meat was also prized until recently when the govenments put them under protected status. They are known for their gentleness and very soft, warm fibers.
They grow to only about 3 feet and weigh anywhere from 100 to 200 pounds. They can live for 20 years and have a gestation period of 11.5 months. (No, thank you!!!!)
Why Dont' You Raise Alpacas?
Believe it or not raising alpacas is now a big thing in the US and is growing. Their fiber is used is so many articles of clothing today. The fibers come in about 22 basic colors and many variations within. Many people like the ease of raising them since they don't take up a lot of space and love to have one section reserved for their bathroom area. In fact, due to that fact alone, some have actually managed to get them housebroken.
They can product 5-10 pounds of fibers that was once reserved only for royalty.
You can purchase an alpaca for about $20 thousand. That is a lot, but you sell one baby and you have it recovered. But don't jump into this with your eyes closed. Research, research, research. These are gentle creatures that cannot be just left alone in the pasture and shorn periodically. They need to be loved for.
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