Alpacas seem to have an affinity for children and the children have the same with the alpacas.
Alpaca fibre is prized for its softness and warmth and is the basis for many of our craft projects with the children and adults including:
- Natural dying
We sell craft products in our Beehive shop or online at www.dyeing-crafts.co.uk
Alpacas are indigenous to the South American Countries of Peru, Chile and Bolivia
Alpacas are bred for their luxurious fibre and they never go to the slaughterhouse!
Alpacas are simple to care for. They require regular worming and vaccination, an occasional manicure and sometimes their teeth need a trim. Alpacas only have bottom teeth for eating. On the top is a hard gum pad against which they crush grain, grass and hay in a back and forth grinding movement. Alpacas have very short tongues that are attached to their jaw. Because of this they cannot grab hold of plants and grass to pull them up by the roots.
They are shorn annually. Their fibre is so soft and warm. It is known for its fineness, lightweight and lustre. It is comparable to cashmere
Alpacas are hardy animals and adapt to most conditions. They do not need or like stabling, however they do require a field shelter to protect them from extreme weather conditions.
Alpacas do not challenge fences.
The lifespan of an alpaca is 15 – 20 years.
Alpacas are induced ovulators.
Gestation is approximately eleven and a half months.
They give birth to a single cria which usually weighs between 12 – 20 pounds.
You can begin to breed alpacas at 18 months.
Their feet are padded and they do not damage the pasture.
They have a gentle, curious nature and seem to have a permanent smile.
Alpaca fleece comes in 22 natural shades ranging from black to silver, rose grey to white. From mahogany brown to light fawn and champagne.
Alpaca fibre contains no lanolin making it hypoallergenic and will not irritate the skin as wool does for some people.