What An Alpaca Breeder Near Denver Should Know

An alpaca is a domesticated species of South American, which is kept at home for different reasons. Llamas are closely related to them in appearance. Huacaya and Suri are the only breeds of alpaca. Alpacas are not beasts of burden even though they look very much like llamas. There are numerous American breeders who breed and raise alpacas in the country. An alpaca breeder near Denver should be aware of these basic facts about the animal in order to be successful.

The information in this article is important for any breeder of alpacas. First, domestication of alpacas stretches thousands of years back. Moche people of Northern parts of Peru used images of the animals in their art. No species of alpacas lives in the wild. Vicuna is the closest relative of alpacas and it is considered to be its wild ancestor. South America is its place of origin.

Alpacas are classified as camelid together with vicuna, llamas, and camels among many others. Alpacas and vicunas have the most valuable animal fibers among all the various species of camelids. The fiber in alpacas is valuable because it has high quality and is available in larger quantities. On the other hand, fiber in vicunas is valuable because of its fineness, softness, and high quality.

Alpacas and vicunas are among the smallest animals of the camelid species. The small size prevents breeders from breeding alpacas to be used as pack animals. As such, they are bred solely for meat and fiber. The meat used to be a delicacy among Andean inhabitants. The market for alpaca meat is growing at a high rate in North America and the price is usually very high. That has led to a smuggling problem of the animals.

Alpacas are very social. They herd in groups composing of young ones, females and alpha males who are also territorial. Warning of others about an intruder is done in a sharp, noisy inhalation made in quick succession. Smaller predators usually attacked by herds. Attacks entail kicking and spitting. The canid family is shown a lot of aggression by alpacas, something that some breeders often exploit in using alpacas in guarding sheep.

Alpacas commonly use communal dung piles. Dung piles are located away from grazing sites. Communal dung piles help in reducing the spreading of internal parasites. Males have fewer dung piles in comparison to females, which makes them tidier. House-training is often done by some breeders to exploit the tendency of using a dung pile.

Alpacas make different sounds depending on the situation. The high-pitched whine is made when they sense danger. Wark noise is made when they spot a strange animal like a cat or when they are excited. They signal submissive behavior by clicking or clucking. They tell others of their presence of content by humming. Males scream in a bird-like sound when they fight.

Females mature after a period of between 10-24 months. On the contrary, males take between 2-3 years to be ready for mating. Gestation period is 11.5 months and the females are ready to breed again after two weeks only.

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