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There are two types of alpacas - the Huacaya (pronounced wah-KI-ya) and the Suri (pronounced surrey). Imported to the United States in 1984 alpacas are now being successfully raised and enjoyed throughout North America and abroad.

Adult alpacas are about 36" tall at the withers and usually weigh between 100 and 200 pounds. The lifespan of the alpaca is generally about 20 years with gestation at 11.5 months. A baby alpaca is called a cria and stay with their mother nursing for six months.
 
Alpacas eat grasses and chew a cud. Clean-up is easy since alpacas deposit droppings in a communal pile. They can be pastured at 5 to 10 per acre and require minimal fencing.
 
Shelter for alpacas is also fairly basic in most areas. Protection from wind and rain are the most important to consider, a simple shelter is often all that is needed.
 
They are known for their fine fleece that is used to make luxurious hats, sweaters, rugs and more. Huacaya fiber is short, dense, crimpy with a woolly appearance while Suri has silky pencil like locks.





Updated May 12, 2013