Facts about Alpacas

Alpacas are wonderful animals that originally came from the Andes of Peru. They are raised for their soft fiber which is spun into yarn and either knitted or woven into clothing. The fiber is shorn from the animal once a year. They must be shorn each year in order to stay in good health. If an animal is left with its fleece for years they can succumb to heat and develop skin problems under all the heavy fleece.

Alpacas are herbivores and eat mainly hay or grass when they have to opportunity to graze. Alpacas have teeth only on the bottom of their front jaw, but teeth on the top and bottom of the back jaw. When grazing, the animals will not destroy the roots of the plants they eat which makes them great for weed abatement in the fields.

Alpacas are herd animals and must be kept in groups of at least three if not more. They are very social creatures and will die is kept alone. The herd usually will have a hierarchy much like any other animal group. The more dominant animal will be leader and protector of the herd while the less aggressive ones will follow. These beautiful creatures are quite docile with humans and are very curious. They will always walk near new people to assess the situation. They love interaction.

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