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Alpacas are domesticated livestock that are raised for their prized coats. They are South American camelids and are related to vicunas, llamas and guanacos. Alpacas’ coats, which can be sheared once per year, can be sold at a premium for use in clothing and household items. Alpaca materials are better and more comfortable than wool, and they’re hypoallergenic as well.
These animals are native to South America, and were at first found in Peru, Ecuador, Republic of Bolivia and northern Chile. They are often compared to llamas, and for several years, alpacas were thought to have descended from llamas, reason being their appearances is the same. Many people assume that alpacas are the offspring of llamas and vicunas. However, in 2001, using DNA analysis, researchers proved that alpacas are more related to the Vicuna. To reveal that relationship, the species name for the alpaca was changed from lama pacos to vicugna pacos.
Today, there’s about 70, 000 alpaca in the United States. At first, the US population was brought in from South America. Today, alpaca are no longer imported, and the US alpaca population grows strictly from domestic births.
A fully grown alpaca has a life expectancy of 15 years, weighs anywhere between 100 and 180 pounds, and stands about three ft tall. The alpaca diet involves grass, hay plus oats. Alpaca are ruminants, that indicates that like cattle and deer, they are cud-chewers.
Alpacas are gentle animals, nonetheless they can shriek or spit at you if they are anxious, scared or angry. They usually reserve this stuff for other alpacas, but occasionally, they may aim this action at people. In case you pay attention to an alpaca, you can tell how the animal feels, and may easily avoid a confrontation! Alpacas do not like to be held, but most will tolerate petting from people they know and are comfortable with. Alpacas are naturally inquisitive animals. They don’t jump fencing and they may be halter-trained and led.
In a group, alpacas use a common dung pile. This helps reduce the occurrence of disease among a herd. Reason being they’re particular about their bathroom practices, some alpacas have been house broken!
In the previous several years, a number of folks have been thinking about raising alpacas for their wool, for showing plus breeding. The gestation period for an alpaca is around 10 months on average. Twin alpacas are incredibly unusual, occurring in only one of about every 10, 000 births. A lot of alpacas give birth to their newborns, called cria, around the morning time.