Alpacas originated in the Andes Mountains of South America, in the countries of Peru, Bolivia and Chile. Alpacas are part of the Camel family and were first imported to the United States in 1984. They have long supple necks, slender legs, two-toed padded feet, large round eyes, and fleece covered bodies. They are extremely curious, very gentle creatures which prefer not to be petted. They are easily halter trained and are actually very calm on a lead.
Alpacas are constantly interacting through a wide range of vocalizations, scent, and body movements. The ALARM CALL which is a peculiar shrill neighing is emitted when a predator or other animal seen as threatening approaches.
There are two types of alpacas: huacayas (pronounced wah-kai-yahs) and suris (pronounced sureers). Huacayas have crimpy, dense fleece and suris have fleece like hair that hangs in twisted locks all over their bodies. Our alpacas are purebred registerd huacayas. They generally weigh between 100 to 150 pound when full grown, and their heads are about at eye level for most adults.
Stotting: Ths is probably the most entertaining form of movement to watch in the alpaca. It is usually associated with play and involves graceful antelope-like leaps in which all four legs leave the ground simutaneously. The stotting animal holds its head high as it bounds proudly through the herd.
We have our alpacas sheared of their exquisite fleece every spring. It is one of the softest natuaral fibers on earth. The value of the fleece is in its comfort fact - so very soft, so very light and so very insulating.
The alpaca will spit on occasion, but this is usually directed at each other over food or to ward off an amorous male, when the female is not receptive.
At Glacier Alpacas we use only 100 % organic hay, fresh water daily, plus minerals and supplements and llama Tex. The alpacas need to get their front teeth trimmed on occasion as well as trimming the nails on their pads. Our alpacas "black gold" is used as an incredible fertilizer for flower and vegetable gardens. Their fleece is spun into yarn, made into felts for crafters, oh, so cozy felt insoles and socks.
The alpacas love nothing more on a hot summer day, to roll in a dust bath, soak in a cool paddling pool or be soaked by the garden hose. Pure Bliss !
We are very proud of our little herd of alpacas and continue to research and study this incredible animal.