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Caravel & Galley Pepper with Gale in the back ground

 

 
 

Alpacas are smaller than their counsins, the Llama.  Domesticated over 5,000 years by the Incan civilzation of the Andes Mountain in Peru, they played a major role in the Incan culture and are today a major source of income for the people of Peru where their numbers reach approximately 4 million.  In the United States there are approximately 150,000+ registered alpacas. 

Facts about Alpacas:

  • The lifespan of an Alpaca in North America is 20 years.

  • The average weight of an alpaca is 100 to 200 pounds and they stand approximately 36 inches at the withers.

  • Alpacas are a modified ruminant.  They eat grasses and chew on cud. 

  • Gestation is 11.5 months and they deliver 1 baby called a Cria (Cree-ah)

  • Alpacas do not have horns, hooves, claws or incisors.  They have 2 toes that are covered with a nail like covering.

  • As many as 5 to 10 alpacas can be pastured per acre.

  • Alpacas produce one of the world’s finest and most luxurious fibers with an average Length of the fiber is 3.5 to 6.5 inches.

  • Alpacas come in 22 basic colors with many variations. 

  • There are 2 types of Alpacas:  The Huacaya (wa-Ki’-ah), the most prevalent in North America.  This type has the full fleece with lots of crimp.  The second, and rarer type of alpaca in North America is the Suri.  The Suri Alpaca fleece grows in long pencil locks that can grow up to 7 inches in a year.

10.National organizations** available to the Alpaca owner include:
a)  The Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association (AOBA), and regional affiliates (in Texas it is the State of Texas Alpaca Ranchers, or STAR, of which Gulf Breeze is a member and Lyn is the VP of Finance).

b)  The Alpaca Fiber Cooperative of North America (AFCNA) which accepts fleece from members and turns into finished products that can been be sold through member farms or their vendors.

c)  The Alpaca Registry – Each Alpaca born in North America is DNA registered to help ensure accurate records in order to document bloodlines.   Importation of Alpacas in the United Sates was closed in 1998. 

In order for the Alpaca Industry to be a major player in the World Textile/Fashion markets, we need to increase the numbers of Alpacas bred for fiber to approximately 400,000.  

                                From the State of Texas, Office of the Governor:

“Agriculture is a mainstay of the Texas Economy and a cherished part of our state’s heritage.  The alpaca is now a part of that agricultural heritage, having been raised as livestock in Texas for more than 20 years.

Known the world over for producing soft, lightweight, durable and hypoallergenic fiber, alpaca is growing in popularity everywhere.  In Texas, the number of alpaca and alpaca ranches are on the rise.

As alpaca agribusiness in Texas and throughout the world  is continuing to thrive and grow, I encourage all Texans to join me in learning more about this interesting animal and this growing part of our state’s agriculture industry.

There, I, Rick Perry, Governor of Texas, do hereby proclaim September 26-27, 2009,

Alpaca Farm and Ranch Days

in Texas, and urge the appropriate recognition wehreof.”

**a)http://www.alpacainfo.com    b) http://www.afcna.com/   c) http://www.alpacaregistry.com/