Our Alpacas and Their Friends

Here is a picture of some of our alpacas. This particular bunch includes females and their babies. The babies are called 'crias'. Even after the crias are weaned, they will often stay close to their mothers. Alpacas flourish as a community or herd, and do not do well when they are on their own.

Females and Newborn 

Alpacas are eating a good portion of the time they are awake. Hay is their main source of wintertime food. Pasture grasses become the main staple in the growing season. If they are sitting down, it is called 'kushing', one of their favorite resting positions. You may see them 'rechewing' their food (cud) while they kush. Like cattle, they have four stomachs, but they are more like camels in many ways, and alpacas are often referred to as 'camelids'.

Watch this page for alpaca activities during the year. In the wintertime we will be out with them twice a day for feeding. In the winter we also do barn cleaning, and regular health checks (they don’t always like getting their check-ups!) In the summer it is time for the crias to be born and for breeding for next year’s crias. Summer is also the time for all the alpacas, except the newborns, to have their annual shearing. That’s also something they don’t like, but they are much more comfortable afterwards.

Alpaca fibre – is soft, light weight and ultra warm. Alpacas need their fibre coats for insulation. Once they have been sheared, the fibre will grow between 4-6 inches in a year. Their natural colors range from white and cream to dark brown, grey and black. There are also two types of domesticated alpacas – huacaya and suri. The huacayas have crimpy curly fibre that poofs out and makes the animals look twice as big as they really are. The suri alpacas have long straight or slightly wavy fibre that moves in the wind and is noted for its lustre. Both types make excellent products to keep us warm and protected – from felted boot liners to toasty warm toques. Or snuggle up in a comforter made from alpaca fibre on chilly winter nights – light, breathable, and so warm - naturally!!!

If you would like more detailed information about alpacas, you can check this link:
Alpaca History (from Northwest Alpacas).

On our farm you will see other barnyard companions - horses, geese, goats, and llamas.  They all get along, to some extent, with each other.  Especially when it's cold outside.

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