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Alpaca Facts

Some interesting Alpaca Facts


  • Alpacas are native to South American Countries.
  • They started being imported into the United States in the mid 80's.
  • The US borders are currently closed to outside importation of animals from South America.
  • Alpacas come in 16 recognized colors.  Previously there were 22 listed colors but since some have been combined.
  • The gestation period for an alpaca is 11.5 months
  • The vast majority of births are single with twins only happening on rare occasions
  • Alpacas are shorn once a year in the spring to harvest the fleece and to allow the animals to be cool during the summer months.
  • Alpaca fiber is measured in microns. 
  • The classification of "baby alpaca" has nothing to do with how old the animal is, but that the fiber is below 20 microns.
  • Fiber over 30 microns is consider coarse and may be what causes itch or the prickle factor.  Fine alpaca should not have these courser fibers thus making it easy to wear without the itch.
  • Alpaca fiber does not contain lanolin and when it comes off the animal it is not "greasy".
  • Alpacas live into their 20's and can be productive for most of those years.
  • Alpaca fiber quality is typically the best in young animals and may become courser as time goes on.


Click on the link for printable fact, puzzle and coloring pages.

Kids handout.pdf

Updated August 04, 2020