Alpacas are a domesticated species of South American camelids. They are similar in appearance to llamas, their cousins. Alpacas are descendants of the wild vicuna; llamas are descendants of the guanaco. Both the vicuna and guanaco still roam the Andes mountains of South America. The domestic Llama and the Alpaca were developed through thousands of years of controlled breeding by the Incas. They played an integral part in the Inca civilization which dwelled on the high Andean plateau and the mountains of South America. They used Llamas as pack animals as well as for their meat, hide and sinew; the Alpacas were bred for their fine fiber.
Learn About Miniature Llamas/Alpacas
The first Alpacas were imported into North America in 1984 from Bolivia and Chile. Peru considers Alpacas its national treasure, only allowing export of these animals into the United States since 1993.
Alpaca fleece is still highly valued for its softness and lack of lanolin which makes it hypoallergenic. There are two types of Alpaca and each has its own unique fleece. Huacaya Alpacas have soft, fluffy, crimped fleece that resembles a sheep making it easy to spin. Suri Alpacas have small, pencil like ringlets that produce long, silky fibers. Both types of fiber can be processed much like sheep wool and made into knitted or woven fabrics. Alpaca fiber varies from 18 to 25 microns depending on the individual animal, its age and color. White is the most popular color due to its ability to be dyed into a range of colors, but alpacas come in 22 natural colors with more than 300 different shades. An annual yield of fiber is approximately six pounds from a female and more than ten pounds from a male.
Alpacas can weigh over 150 pounds. Their height limit at maturity is 38 inches at the shoulder. Miniature Alpacas weigh between 100 and 150 pounds. Miniature Alpacas stand less than 32 inches at the shoulder. A male Alpaca is called a “macho”. A female Alpaca is called a “hembra”. It takes a female Alpaca eleven months to have a baby “cria”. Crias are weaned at three to four months. Alpacas live up to 25 years.
Alpacas are still fairly new and uncommon in North America. They are in increasing demand for their luxurious fiber. They are very friendly and gentle enough to be handled by children.
We are very proud of the daily handling and care given to our miniatures here at Tanglewood Farm. We provide proper nutrition and quality veterinary care to all of our animals. Our livestock is current on vaccinations, dental checkups, hoof care, and worming. The health of our animals is very important to us, and we follow rather strict practices. We maintain a closed herd, which means we do not bring in any new animals, embryos or semen. Once an animal is sold, it may not be returned. So that we do not unintentionally introduce disease into our herds, we do not bring our animals to shows, and we do not borrow or lend animals for breeding. We prefer weanlings do not leave Tanglewood Farm before they are 4 months of age. They need time to grow and play with other weanlings, receive discipline from their mothers, and time to change their diet gradually to eliminate the desire for mother’s milk. This also enables Tanglewood Farm time to deworm the weanlings and give them their first vaccinations. All miniatures come with Tanglewood Farm health papers showing up to date vaccinations, deworming schedule, and hoof trimming schedule. They also leave Tanglewood Farm with a brand new halter and leadline. If you need transportation, we can arrange ground transport within the US and Canada. To other countries, we can arrange air transportation on major airlines.
TFM’s Brulee Latte
Brulee Latte is perfection. DOB 1/12/11. With her excellent background, correct conformation and beautiful fleece, she is sure to add quality to any breeding program.
Frappucino has tremendous presence, fantastic conformation and remarkable fiber. He is sweet and lovable and is sure to add quality to any breeding program.
SOLD! SOLD! SOLD!
Macchiato is a beautiful tiny 27″ tall white male. DOB 12/5/10. His fleece is soft with a long staple length. The fleece has a consistent gorgeous crimp. He has a wonderful attitude and will make a great herdsire.