Frequently asked questions

Questions about Alpacas

  • How long do they live? - Usually about 20 years.
  • What is the difference between an Alpaca and a Llama? - The llama is approximately twice the size of the alpaca and the llama has a very coarse outer coat over a softer inner coat - as opposed to the alpaca, which has a very fine, single coat. In addition, the llama produces far less fibre per animal than the alpaca, despite its much larger size. The llama has been bred as a pack-carrying animal. The alpaca was domesticated and bred for over 5000 years as a luxury fibre-producing animal.
  • How many colours are there? -There are 22 recognised colours from White to Black, Greys, Fawns.
  • How big do they grow? - Alpaca grow up to one metre high, the babies (known as Cria's) weigh between 6 & 8 Kg at birth.
  • Do they spit? - Only usually at each other, or if they disagree with something we are doing to them, maybe foot trimming or husbandry.
  • How often are they sheared? - Once a year, usually at the end of May?
  • What is a baby alpaca called? - A baby alpaca is called a cria, they usually only have one, twins are very rare.

Keeping Alpacas

  • What do they eat? - Mainly grass and an all-year-round supply of good quality Hay, plus a winter supplement. You can keep 3 to 5 per acre depending on ground conditions.
  • Do they damage the pasture? - No, Alpacas have padded feet so do not churn up the pasture, they also dung in one pile so pasture management is easier.
  • Can alpaca be kept on their own? - No, Alpacas are a herd animal, they will become very stressed if separated from the others. Ideally three or more, they can live happily with goats and sheep.
  • How often are they sheared? - Once a year, a good fleece can weigh up to 5 kg.