Alpacas are members of the camelid family, distantly related to the Bacterian and Dromedory camels but also closely related to Llamas Vicunas and Guanacos. They originated in the Andes in South America, primarily in Peru, Chile and Bolivia. They were domesticated by the Incas for their fine fleece which was worn by nobility and high ranking officials. The Alpaca industry still plays an important role in the economy of South America.
Alpacas are gentle, inquisitive and sensitive herd animals. They should never be kept alone but are happy guarding sheep and chickens from foxes.
The males are called machos, the females hembras and the young crias. There are 22 natural different colours of fleeces. Alpacas can live up to 20 years of age.
They love a good role in the dust and make dust baths in their paddocks which helps to keep their coats clean and free from external parasites. They are sun worshipers and will lie stretched out sun bathing. When they get too hot some will enjoy a shower from a hose or will put their feet in a drinking trough.They are easily halter trained from about 6 months onwards.