Noa's Ark Alpaca Farm & Fiber Mill

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Alpaca Terms

Alpacas are the Most Beautiful of the Camelid Family

Alpacas are amazing to watch and just plain beautiful. They come in 22 different colors, have a calm, gentle nature, docile temperament, soft, luxurious fleece. They make gentle, calming humming sounds and are enticingly cuddly.

The alpaca originated in the high Andes of South America, but have been recently imported to farms throughout the United States because of their hardy nature and low maintenance requirements. They are especially attractive to investors with small acreage because they can be kept on small pastures as they are not big eaters. They eat grass and hay and only need some mineral supplements.

The Suri and The Huacaya Alpaca

Two kinds of alpacas have been brought into the US. The first kind is the Suri (sir-e) Alpaca which has fiber that appears to be in the form of soft, silky dreadlocks. The other kind is the Huacaya (wah-ki-ah) Alpaca which has very colorful fine, fluffy fiber similar to wool. Noa’s Ark Alpaca Farm specializes in Huacaya Alpacas of various colors.

Best farm practices show that the Alpacas actually enjoy being outdoors rather than contained in a barn so a three-sided shed is works good. Enclosed barns work great for pregnant Alpacas during the birthing stages.  Alpacas are light eaters and their consumption can be compared to a large dog. Food for Alpacas include grass, good quality grass hays, and a special alpaca crumble, along with an abundant supply of fresh, clean water.

Alpacas need annual inoculations and worming similar to vaccinations for dogs and cats.

 

Alpaca Terms     Alpaca Facts
       
Bred Female – A pregnant alpaca.

Cria- (cre-a) A baby alpaca, 5 months or less.

Camelid – (camel-id) A family of animals of which the alpaca is a member. The family also includes camels, llamas, guanacos & vicunas.

Dam- An alpaca’s mother.

Fiber- The fleece of an alpaca.

Fiber Quality Male – A male alpaca whose genetics are worthy of breeding, but can be used for annual shearing & fiber sales.

Huacaya- (wah-ki-ah) A type of alpaca with fine fiber and a woolly appearance.

Sire or Herdsire- An alpaca’s father, or a male alpaca desirable for breeding.

Suri- (sir-e) A type of alpaca with soft, luxurious, tightly-wound fiber that looks like dreadlocks.

Weanling- A weaned alpaca, younger than 1 year.

Yearling- An alpaca between 1 and 2 years old.
    LIFESPAN
15-25 years

AVERAGE HEIGHT
36″ at the withers

AVERAGE WEIGHT
100 to 200 pounds
1/3 to 1/2  the size of a llama

AVERAGE GESTATION
335 days

BIRTH
Birth weight around 15 to 19 pounds.
Babies can often stand and nurse within 30 minutes to one hour. Low Infant mortality.

COLOR
Alpacas usually come in 22 colors with many variations and blends. 

Updated March 31, 2017