Lyme Disease – Alpacas and You


Alpacas can get Lyme disease, but did you know you can get the disease too. May is “Lyme Disease Awareness Month” so I thought I would share our story. It took years of not feeling well before Dave and I found out we both have Lyme disease. We were tired, achy, and forgetful so we …

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Alpacas are domesticated livestock that are raised for their prized coats. These animals are South American camelids and are related to vicunas, llamas plus guanacos. Alpacas’ coats, which can be sheared once a single year, can be sold at a premium for use in designing cloths and household items. Alpaca fibers are more powerful and hotter than wool, and they’re hypoallergenic as well.

Alpacas are native to South America, and were formerly located in Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia and northern Chile. They are generally compared to llamas, and for many years, alpacas were thought to have descended from llamas, reason being their appearances are similar. Many people think that these animals are the offspring of llamas and vicunas. However, in 2001, using DNA analysis, analysts proved that alpacas are more related to the Vicuna. To reveal that relationship, the original name for the alpaca was changed from musgo pacos to vicugna pacos.

Currently, 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 populace grows strictly from local births.

A full-grown alpaca has a life span of 15 years, weighs anywhere between 100 and 180 pounds, and stands around three feet tall. The alpaca diet contains grass, hay plus oats. These animals are ruminants, which indicates that like cattle and deer, they are cud-chewers.

Alpacas are gentle animals, however they can shriek or spit if they are anxious, frightened or angry. They usually reserve this behavior for other alpacas, but sometimes, they will aim this action at humans. If you pay attention to an alpaca, you can inform how the animal feels, and may easily avoid a confrontation! Alpacas do not like to be held, but a lot will tolerate pampering from humans they know and are comfortable with. These animals are naturally curious animals. They cannot jump fencing and they can be halter-trained and led.

In a group, these animals use a common dung pile. It will help reduce the incidence of disease in a herd. Because they are particular about their bathroom practices, some alpacas have recently been house broken!

In the past many years, a number of folks have become enthusiastic about keeping alpacas for their wool, for showing plus breeding. The gestation period for an alpaca is about 11 months on average. Twin alpacas are incredibly unusual, occurring in only one of about every 12, 000 births. Most alpacas give birth to their newborns, called cria, around the morning time.

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