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Alpaca Yarnings

( we used to be called Otaio Bridge Alpacas)

About Alpacas

Alpacas in general – Adorable creatures

  1. Alpacas are native to South America farmed in the Andean mountains
  2. Alpacas are part of the camelid family
  3. Alpacas were domesticated over 6000 years ago
  4. Alpacas can live up to 25 years
  5. Alpacas are induced ovulators and can be mated any time of the year. Gestation is 11.5 months, twins are rare.
  6. Alpaca babies are called Crias
  7. Birthing normally takes place in the morning on fine days. The cria has a chance to dry before the cold of night.
  8. Alpacas are curious intelligent animals, they are easily halter trained. You can transport them in a horse float or the back of a van.

Farming Alpacas – Anyone can do it

  1. Alpacas are opportunist browsers, they eat leaves (willow, poplar, beach, hebes etc) as well as pasture
  2. Alpacas are pseudo ruminants –only 3 stomachs. Alpacas are very efficient feed converters
  3. Alpacas have soft padded feet, are gentle on pasture and do not suffer from foot-rot
  4. Alpacas are shorn once a year, and need toe clipping every 2-6 months depending on the animal.
  5. Alpacas need annual vaccinations. Drenching is done as needed.
  6. Alpacas come from a high selenium, high vitamin D environment, and may need supplements.
  7. Alpacas have a communal dung pile
  8. Standard sheep fencing is suitable for alpacas

Alpaca Fibre - Fibre of the Gods

  1. Alpaca is a protein fibre and contains little or no lanolin.
  2. The absence of barb-like cuticles make alpaca a great fibre for people with sensitive skins
  3. Alpaca is stronger and warmer than merino. Micron for micron alpaca feels softer than merino
  4. Alpacas produce 2.5 -5 kg of (unskirted) fibre, depending on size of animal and micron
  5. Alpaca fibre has a memory, so your alpaca garment will return to their original shape and size after washing. But make sure you dry them flat
  6. Alpaca garments are incredibly warm. Beware of thick heavy garments, they may be too warm!
  7. Alpaca fibre is truly The fibre of the Gods

For more information go to