Alpacas are truly fascinating animals. They are very easy to handle and care for, providing they have been well-handled and trained from a young age. More and more people are now choosing to keep alpacas; they make excellent field pets due to their docile and inquisitive nature.
Here are 7 fun facts about alpacas that you probably didn’t know…
1) Alpacas are part of the camelid family
Alpacas belong to the same, small family as llamas, camels, guanacos and vicunas.
2) There are 2 distinct types of alpacas
Alpacas exist in two different breeds: Suri and Huacayas. Suri’s have long, curly fleeces, whereas Huacaya’s have a much shorter, denser fleece which creates a teddy bear-like appearance.
3) Giving birth is called ‘unpacking’
After a long 11.5 months gestation period, female alpacas give birth to a baby, known as a cria. This process is referred to as ‘unpacking’!
4) Alpacas are an extremely old species
Alpacas have been domesticated since their beginnings (around 6000 years ago). You will not find alpacas in the wild.
5) Alpacas are induced ovulators
Female alpacas come into season and are receptive for breeding at any time of year, whenever a breeding male is present. However, in the UK, most breeders conduct mating between April and September, so that the young cria are not born during the cold winter months.
6) Alpacas typically give birth between 7am and 2pm
Alpacas originate in the mountain regions where temperatures drop dramatically overnight; therefore, alpacas give birth in the morning to early afternoon, to allow cria to dry off before the cold weather sets in.
7) Alpacas have fighting teeth
Male alpacas have sharp teeth located at the back of their mouths, which are used to fight potential male competitors. The fighting teeth need trimming each year to avoid causing injury to other alpacas.
Our Friendly Herd at Fostings Alpacas
Here at Fostings Alpacas, our small herd consists of stud males, breeding females and young cria. We focus on rearing healthy and friendly crias, which make for the ideal field pets. We also provide stud services for alpaca keepers who do not have the space or females available to justify keeping a stud male. Click here to find out more.
P.S. Did you know that you can stay with our alpacas at Hush Hush Glamping? Discover more here.