Alpacas are Camelids - cousins to camels , llamas , guanacos , and vicunas.
They are smaller than llamas and guanacos , butlarger than vicunas...
"Vicuna" "Guanaco" "Llama"
Alpacas are about half the size of Llamas and have proportionally smaller ears than their llama cousins. There are two different kinds of alpacas. The "Suri Alpaca" is the very rare alpaca and has very long ,fine , "dredlock-type" fiber. The "Huacaya Alpaca" has thick , dense ,crimpy fiber and resembles a teddy bear when in full coat.
Alpacas are gentle and easy animals to handle. Alpacas are safe;they do not bite or butt. Even if they did bite , without upper incisors ,horns , hoofs , or claws , little harm can be done. Clean-up is easy since alpacas deposit droppings in only a few specific places in thepaddock. They require minimal fencing and can be pastured at five toten animals per acre. They communicate with a variety of "hums" ,
ear , tail and body positions. They are extremely intelligent and verycurious. They do not have strong defenses and rely on "safety in
numbers". They are very strong herd animals , this means you musthave at least two or more at anyone time. If alone they can becomestressed , paranoid or worse , stop eating and die. You can keep a bred female with a gelding (a male who has been neutered) , otherwise males and females should be separated.
Some alpaca facts:
Lifespan 15 to 25 years , average.
Average height 36 inches at the withers.
Average weight 100-175 pounds or about one-half to one-third
the size of a llama.
Average gestation is approximately 335-350 days.
Average birth weight of a baby (cria) 15-17 pounds.
The alpaca comes in eight basic colors - white , light fawn , fawn ,
light grey , natural grey , rose grey , dark brown , and black.
There are approximately 22 recognized color variations and blends.