Frequently asked questions about alpaca

Frequently asked questions about the alpaca:

  • What is the price of an alpaca?

The alpaca is an animal bred mainly for its fiber which is recognized as one of the most luxurious, warm, comfortable and soft in the world… and it is the quality of the fiber produced which gives most of the value of an alpaca.

This explains why the prices vary so much; from +/- € 1,500 to € 20,000… and sometimes even more!

The price of the females is very often higher than the males, females are usually sold pregnant, which proves their ability to reproduce and this is obviously appreciated when breeding them.

The price of males can vary greatly. A very large majority of males are of lesser value than females (the breeding farms does not need as many males as they are born ...). The best studmales, on the other hand, can easily be worth double or triple the price of a female.

Then, many qualities of the animal and its fiber will play a determining role in the price of the alpaca.

For more information on the elements that are taken into account to set the sale price, please consult this page.

  • How to breed alpacas ?

If he is well fed and can take shelter from the driving rain, the alpaca is an animal that requires little care, he is indeed very hardy because he is a mountain animal. It is enough to feed him once a day with good supplements of minerals and vitamins, to check and complete the supply of hay and fresh water.

  • What surface for an alpaca ?

It is necessary to provide a pasture of approximately 2000 to 3000 sqm. for two alpacas, there are approximately 10 alpacas per hectare. Field rotation is important in order to limit parasitic infestations. If the density of animals is important, it is necessary to plan to clean the enclosures and pastures regularly, but this is a task made very easy by the alpacas since they make centralized piles of poo, which makes them very easy to collect.

  • How to feed an alpaca ?

The alpaca is a semi-ruminant herbivore (tylopod) ... Thus, to feed himself, he grazes, eats grass and hay. He sorts its food very easily thanks to its upper lip separated in two parts. Both sides act like fingers sorting through food. If you give them coarse hay, they will sort it out themselves and leave any strands they deem too big for their refined little mouth!

  • What is alpaca wool ?

Alpaca (or alpaga) is the textile fiber given by Vicugna Pacos (or alpaca). Alpaca wool is not called wool but apaca fiber because the word "wool" is reserved for the fiber produced by the sheep. Alpaca is a very luxurious fiber, softer, warmer, stronger and lighter than sheep's wool.

  • Why breed alpacas ?

One of the advantages of this type of farming is that you can start without having much experience with animals or with agriculture in general. The hardiness of the alpaca makes it easy to understand and raise. As a result, the annual feed and veterinarian costs are significantly lower than for other species. The investment in fencing and restraint material is also significantly less than for other animal species. In addition, it is a unique animal, beautiful, gentle, calm and so endearing ... Alpaca farms are generally on a family scale, and the whole family is involved, it facilitates the management and the recovery of the herd by the next generation.

  • What is the name of the female, male and baby of the alpaca ?

In South America, the female is called "Hembra", the male "Macho" and the baby "Cria". Elsewhere in the world we talk about male and female alpaca and the baby keeps its name of Cria

  • Can the alpaca be eaten ?

Alpaca is (and will remain) a farm animal bred primarily for its fiber, provided that all breeders remain focused on this type of breeding and on the selection of herds for this unique purpose.

So yes, of course, alpaca can be eaten in certain areas of the world because this meat is not only pleasant to the taste, but it is also appreciated for its nutritional qualities.

On our side, we have no intention of moving towards this type of production.

  • What is the difference between a llama and an alpaca ?

The llama is about twice the size of an alpaca and is half a meter taller. Its ears are banana shaped unlike the alpaca which has straight, pointed ears.

  • How to wash alpaca wool ?

This fiber requires very little maintenance because odors are naturally evacuated from the fiber by simply airing your garment or duvet.

The best way to wash your alpaca garment if it is necessary is to hand wash it with a special detergent.

If you prefer machine washing, use the wool program at 30 ° C but beware of sudden changes in temperature in winter because the water in the pipes is very cold!

  • Do alpacas spit ?

In terms of behavior, the alpaca is generally gentle and curious, but also reserved. ... The alpaca, like the llama, can spit to communicate with its peers, to establish hierarchy in its herd. He only spits on humans if there is an imminent danger and has no other way out or if he is unfortunately bezerk, which often happens if people has an alpaca or a llama alone , without his group which he absolutely needs.

  • When to shear an alpaca ?

Shearing takes place every year between April and June, only once a year.

  • How to recognize alpaca wool?

Buy local! And you can buy with confidence :-)

  • Which Andean animal of the camelid family is bred for its wool ?

It is mainly the alpaca (scientific name: Vicugna Pacos)! It is a domestic mammal, native to the Andes Cordillera, and which is bred, especially in Peru, for its fleece. He is a member of small camelids family and we know since 2001, thanks to genetics, that its ancestor is the vicuña (Vicugna Vicugna).

  • How to wash an alpaca scarf ?

Hand washing is recommended with a wool detergent at a maximum of 30 ° C. Be sure to gently knead the garment for 3 to 5 minutes. You can also wash it in cold water. On the other hand, it is important to wash and rinse your sweater or scarf at the same temperature to avoid any felting.

If you prefer machine washing, use the wool program at 30 ° C but beware of sudden changes in temperature in winter because the water in the pipes is very cold!