Alpaca (Latin: Vicugna pacos) is a home-made mazolenoe animal, descended from vicuna. They are bred in the highlands of South America (Andes). They live in the Andes at an altitude of 3,500-5,000 meters, in Ecuador, southern Peru, northern Chile and western Bolivia.
About 6000 years ago, the Mochik Indians domesticated alpacas and began to breed them. Images of alpacas are widespread in their culture.
In nature, there are two types of alpacas: Huacaya (Wakaya) and Suri (Suri). Animals differ only in the appearance of their fur. Wakaya is the most numerous and in appearance resembles a teddy bear. In most cases, it is her who is meant under the name “alpaca”. Suri’s hair dangles with long pigtails.
Suri is the rarest (only about 120 thousand alpacas – 5%) and valuable (2 times more expensive than Wakaya) alpaca species.
Compared to Wakaya, the Suri fleece consists of longer and thinner fibers (19-25 microns) – these are uniform and thick curls, straight along the entire length and slightly curled at the ends, they do not contain core hair that reduces the quality of the rune. Suri wool is particularly soft and graceful. In ancient times, it was used in clothes exclusively of royalty.
Features, character and lifestyle
The absence of teeth on the upper jaw forces the alpacas to gather food with their lips and chew with the help of their posterior teeth.
The growth of adult alpaca does not exceed one meter, they weigh from 50 to 80 kilograms. They live about 20 years.
They live in small herds consisting of one male and 4-10 females. With constant communication with a person, an alpaca gets used to and allows itself to be touched and treated. In general, the character is very flexible, friendly and even funny! With all this, they are insanely curious! Alpacas – smart and pure animals – crap only in certain places, producing the most valuable fertilizer!
They love water very much – to swim, lie and play. They can spit on each other in defense of themselves and their children, but they will not spit on people.
Alpaca feeds on herbaceous plants, leaves, shoots, mosses, salt licks.
There is no ideal way to feed alpaca, because the food must be directly adapted to the environment in which the animals live. Nutrition also depends on whether the calf (CRIA) is either an adult alpaca, male or female, whether the female is pregnant, and also during lactation is also a special diet.
Here are a few points to keep in mind when feeding alpaca:
- Good quality hay with protein content
- Pasture without harmful weeds
- Access to water without restrictions
- An adequate dose of minerals
- Medications for parasites and vitamins once a month
But of course, alpacas mainly feed on grass or hay, and its consumption is not so big – about 1.5 kg of hay per 55 kg of its weight. That is, on average, per year, one alpac eats 500 kg of hay. But it should be borne in mind that nutrition should not be mean, it is necessary to enrich the alpaca diet with minerals and vitamins.