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4147 County Road 114
Sugarcreek, OH 44681
330-893-4200
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Alpaca
lama pacos
Alpacas at The Farm at Walnut Creek
Description

The alpaca (lama pacos) is a species of south American camelid mammal. It is similar to and often confused with the llama. However, alpacas are noticeably smaller than llamas. The two animals are closely related and can successfully crossbreed. Alpacas are frequently plain black or brown-black, while the llamas are all different colors, except black. Alpacas have much more of a mind of their own than llamas do therefore, it is rather difficult to shear them. 

 

 

 

Ecology & Behavior
Training:  Alpacas are generally very trainable and usually respond to rewards, most commonly in the form of food. They can usually be petted without becoming agitated, especially if one avoids petting the head and neck.  Spitting:   Not all alpacas spit, but all are capable of doing so. “spit” is somewhat euphemistic; occasionally the projectile contains only air and a little saliva, although alpacas commonly bring up acidic stomach contents (generally a green grassy mix) and project it onto their chosen targets. Spitting is generally reserved for other alpacas, but an alpaca will occasionally spit at a human. Alpacas can spit up to ten feet if they need to. For example, if another animal does not back off, the alpaca will throw up its stomach contents, resulting in a lot of spit. Most alpacas will give a warning before spitting by blowing air out and raising their heads, giving their ears a “pinned” appearance. 
Reproduction
Alpacas can breed any time throughout the year, but it is more difficult to breed in the winter. Most breed during the autumn or late spring. The gestation period is 11.5 months, and usually results in a single offspring, or cria. Twins are rare, occurring only about once per 1,00 deliveries. Cria are generally between 15-19 pounds and are standing 30-90 minutes after birth. Crias may be weaned through human intervention at about six months old and 60 pounds, but many breeders prefer to allow the female to decide when to wean her offspring; they can be weaned earlier or later depending on their size and emotional maturity. 
Uses
Alpacas were specifically bred for their fiber. Alpaca fiber is used in making knitted and woven items, similar to sheep’s wool. The fiber comes in 52 natural colors as classified in Peru, 12 as classified in Australia, 16 as classified in the United States.  
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4147 County Road 114
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