Alpacas are much shorter in the face and ear shape whereas llamas are much bigger and have banana shaped ears. Llamas were bred more for long, mountainous trekking and transport, whereas Alpacas were bred for their fiber. Llamas are more aggressive but great protectors whereas Alpacas are much quieter and timid in nature.
Alpacas are not aggressive animals and do not tend to spit at people unless they are provoked. They will spit on occasion at each other if they are communicating. It is less of a “spit” and more of a sneeze!
Our Alpacas are sheared once a year, much in the same way as sheep. Their fiber is hypo-allergenic and incredibly soft so can be used for many things, such as knitting, crocheting and felting! There are 16 recognised colours from white to shades of fawn, grey, brown and black.
Yes, there are 2 main breeds of Alpacas. Huacaya Alpacas have a tighter crimped, fluffy fiber. The tighter the crimp, the more high quality the fiber. Suri Alpacas have a straight fibre without a crimp.
Alpacas live until they are 15- 20 years old, if well cared for. They must be kept in groups of no less than 3 as they rely on each other for protection and companionship. If kept on their own, they can develop ulcers and other illnesses due to stress which can result in their death.
This is definitely one of our most asked questions! Due to their size and bone structure, they are not capable of carrying much weight, so, no, they cannot be ridden!