Needle-Felted Art, Custom Pet Portraits, and Prints

~Meet the Alpacas!~

Alpacas are like the llama's little cousins.  They are shorter and friendlier than llamas, with calm temperments and insatiable curiosity.  Ever since we bought the alpacas about five years ago, they've been nothing but a joy.  Our three have very distinct personalities. 

  

Cynnabar

Cynnabar is the tall and serious protector of the herd, always keeping an eye out for potential danger.  He is very sweet and calm and has the softest, finest fiber.


Monique

Monique is the "darling" of the flock.  She tolerates hugs and she loves to give nose bonks.  This lovable creampuff is nearly everyone's favorite of the 3, especially when she dons a funny costume.


Tallulah

Tallulah is timid and sweet.  When we first bought her it took her a while to adjust to living in a small herd, but she's warmed up quite a bit.  We have very little trouble harnessing her and she is better at letting people pet her.  She likes to touch an outstretched hand with her nose to say hello.


We get a lot of questions about the alpacas.  They are very unique animals and have only been in the U.S. since 1984.  I've compiled a list of fun facts about alpacas based on the most frequently asked questions as well as a video showing the alpacas before & after shearing.  Enjoy!



Alpacas: Before and After Shearing (Video)

Do alpacas spit?

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They do, but not very often.  They mostly spit at each other when they get annoyed (it's usually about food).  They rarely spit at people, except the veterinarian!

Do they have hooves?

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Alpacas have padded feet like a dog's or cat's.  Each toe is covered by a long, tough nail.  This provided them the traction they needed to navigate the Andes Mountains, where alpacas originally came from before they were imported here.

What do alpacas eat?

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They eat 2nd cut hay, which is softer and richer than first cut, which larger animals like horses and cows eat.  We supplement their diet with special grain made just for alpacas.  

Do they like to be petted?

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Alpacas are very gentle animals and tolerate petting, but they don't appreciate it the way a dog does. They like their necks petted the best.  Although it's tempting to pat those fluffy hairdos of theirs, alpacas dislike to be pet on the head because it is a blind spot and makes them nervous.

Do you shear alpacas?

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Yes we do!  Alpacas are shorn once a year in the spring.  They resemble skinny poodles when shorn.  Alpaca fiber has luxurious quality.  It's 7 times warmer than wool, and very soft to the touch.  It is also free of lanolin, a natural grease found in wool, so alpaca fiber is hypoallergenic as well.

Besides llamas, what are alpacas related to?

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Alpacas are members of the camelid family, which consists of camels, llamas, alpacas, vicuanas, and guanacos.  (The vicuna is pictured here.)  Vicunas and most guanacos are still untamed.
Vicuna photo via Pixabay.

©2017-2019 Katelyn Mumford