do alpacas eat?
Alpacas graze and do well on
pasture grass and good quality hay. Here in East Texas, our pastures
grow a mixture of bermuda, bahia, orchard, and other native grasses. If
you live in a different part of the country, check with your county
agricultural extension agent about which pasture grasses are best
suited for your ranch. In the winter, we plant a winter rye. Having
evolved in incredibly harsh conditions, Alpacas utilize their food more
efficiently than other domesticated stock. They have 3 stomachs and so
are able to get all the nutrition from what they eat. Typically, an
alpaca eats about 1 square bale of hay per week. We also provide them
with about 1/4 to 1/2 pound per day of a llama pellet. A 50 lb bag of
pellets costs about $12 dollars. So it's very incexpensive to feed
more information about what alpacas and llamas eat.
are alpacas and where did they orginate?
Alpacas are rare, gentle,
and charming animals that are adaptable to varied habitat, successfully
being raised from Australia to Alaska and from 15,000 feet to sea
level. Alpacas originated in South America, especially Peru, Chile, and
Bolivia, where they have been domesticated for over 5,000 years. In the
US, there are about 45,000 alpacas, as compared with about 6 million
horses. In Texas, there are only about 1,000 alpacas. Alpacas are
clean, safe, quiet, intelligent and disease resistant. They have a
charismatic manner, do very well on small acreage, and produce a luxury
fiber that is in high demand.
size is an alpaca?
Measured from the head, an alpaca reaches approximately five feet tall
and weights between 110-170 lbs. Measured from the withers, it is 30-38
inches. Its relatively small size makes it very appealing and easy to
raise. Alpacas are clean, safe, quiet, intelligent, and disease
resistant. Clean up is easy since alpacas deposit droppings in only one
or two places -- very tidy! They have a charismatic manner, do very
well on small acreage, and produce a luxury fiber that is in high
so special about alpaca fiber?
Alpaca fiber is
recognized worldwide as one of the most luxurious natural fibers.
Coveted by the fashion industry, it fetches high prices in the market.
Alpaca fleece is softer than cashmere, warmer than wool, and a stronger
fiber than both! Its uses also include household items like blankets,
rugs, upholstery, and so forth.
Alpaca fleece has 22 recognized natural colors,
ranging from pure white to browns and grays and black. Alpacas can have
a uniform color or have a pinto fleece in two or more colors. The fiber
is sheered once a year and can give up to 12 pounds of fiber with an
exquisite softness and is very warm. Due to selective breeding,
American fiber is getting finer and finer. Alpaca fleece has a sheen
that is frequently compared to silk.
many registered mini-llamas in the USA?
Currently (Oct 2008) there are only 685 registered miniature llamas in
the USA and Canada. This is a truly rare breed. So if you're interested
in getting in at the beginning of an alternative livestock breed, then
you should seriously consider miniature llamas.