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Facts About Alpacas

Updated on October 28, 2012
RGraf profile image

Rebecca Graf is an experienced writer with nearly a decade of writing experience and degrees in accounting, history and creative writing.

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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    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 8 years ago from Texas

      Interesting information! Thank you. I wish I could afford to get one to help me keep my lawn mowed! ;)

    • profile image

      JenArt 8 years ago

      I always wondered why they are the new things, thanks for the info! At least they aren't raising them to be slaughtered.

    • profile image

      JenArt 8 years ago

      I always wondered why they are the new things, thanks for the info! At least they aren't raising them to be slaughtered.

    • RGraf profile image
      Author

      Rebecca Graf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      We thought about getting one, but felt that the expense was too much right now. Raising them for meat? That would be like raising horses for meat. Just doesn't sound right.

    • childcen profile image

      childcen 8 years ago from New Zealand

      Hi RGraf,

      To be honest, i have never seen such creatures before. A Llama, yes...but not Alpaca. And i do find them very adorable too! Alpaca for my pet? Probaby worth considerating...:)

    • RGraf profile image
      Author

      Rebecca Graf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Many people love having them as pets and highly recommend them. Check it out and good luck if you decide to go that way....or you can just admire them from afar :):)

      Thanks for stopping by.

    • profile image

      Eddie Perkins 8 years ago

      Know I didn’t know that.  Barbie and I were all excited about seeing llama’s in the Smoky Mountains and even recorded a video of them going under the Grotto Falls, but I for one didn’t know they had the alpaca as a relative.

      Very informative. Thank you. Thumbs up. ~ eddie

    • RGraf profile image
      Author

      Rebecca Graf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Thank you. Most people don't realize this and some might be looking at alpacas and think that they are llamas. I know I did the first time. There are several alpaca ranches around us and they are so cute.

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      Sara Edens 5 years ago

      I have loved and wanted an alpaca pair for years and years now LOL. Unfortunately my living situation isn't ideal for one, much less a pair. So I have to lust from afar. Thanks for writing of one of my favorite animals.

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