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23109 US Highway 40
Golden, Colorado 80401

303-704-7928

FAQs


What do you do with alpacas?

Alpacas are fleece animals. Their fleece is used to produce and market roving and yard. The fiber can also be spun and offered as clothing or accessories. Alpaca fiber is significantly warmer than wool. Suri alpaca fiber is used to craft fine suits and overcoats, where drape is important and elasticity is not an asset. Alpacas are also used as breeding stock, for the production of organic fertilizers, as show and performance animals, and as companion animals.

How is an alpaca different from a llama?

Alpacas and llamas derive from the same species (camelid). Llamas are twice the size of alpacas and stand over a foot taller than the alpaca. Llamas are primarily developed as pack animals. Their smaller cousins, the alpacas, are primarily developed as fiber producers. Llamas and alpacas demonstrate different facial characteristics, particularly in the shape of their ears and muzzles.

How much land does an alpaca require?

Alpacas consume less food and water than other livestock. Given that they have padded toes instead of hooves, alpacas tread easy upon the land. Alpacas require a small amount of land. One acre is required per every 5-10 animals.

What is needed to raise an alpaca?

Alpacas are low maintenance. Alpacas have minimal land requirements and boarding options are available. Alpacas eat grass hay and are supplemented with a small amount of grain. Alpacas consume little water in comparison to most livestock. Shelter requirements are minimal. Additionally, alpacas are hardy animals with few health issues or need for veterinary intervention. Fencing is a primary consideration when raising alpacas. Fencing needs are not elaborate, but are intended to keep out predators.

Are there different types of alpacas?

There are two types of alpacas, the Huacaya and the Suri. The difference is their fleece and resulting appearance. The fleece of a Huacaya is soft and spongy with natural crimp. Huacaya fleece produces an elastic yarn well-suited for knitting. Suri alpacas' fiber falls in long, lustrous locks that separate into individual ringlets. Suri fiber is a good fit for woven products. The relative rarity of Suri alpacas accords them extra value.

How much money can I make raising alpacas?

Profits from the raising of alpacas vary and are dependent upon a number of factors to include the volume and quality of animals, amount of time invested in the process and type of business. Breeders and fiber producers alike benefit from quality animals with fine fiber. As is true of any industry, revenue from alpacas and their fiber ebbs and flows. National and worldwide interest in alpacas has steadily increased. Considering the fleece aspect of the industry, the closer one gets to the end product, the greater the revenue potential. Additionally, several tax benefits are available to those raising livestock.

Are alpacas friendly?

Alpacas are a gentle bunch. They are curious animals that are alert and interested and attentive of their surroundings. Alpacas are easy to manage and quite tidy. They eliminate in the same area, making clean up a breeze. Alpacas can be trained to compete in performance shows and taken to senior centers or elementary schools for educational purposes. Alpacas are good with children.

How much do alpacas cost?

The price of alpacas ranges from $100 or less for a gelded male up to champion stock selling for $1 million dollars. Prices vary widely and are dependent upon the quality of the animal, type of alpaca and the market influence. Contact Taha Suri Alpaca Ranch to receive the best possible price in the area.

Can I maintain my full time job and still raise alpacas?

Absolutely and many do. Daily alpaca care and chores account for no more than an hour of the day. More time is needed periodically to accomplish herd maintenance, breeding and preparing for the arrival of offspring (crias). Additionally, fiber handling and end-product development requires more time commitment.

What is the gestation period of an alpaca?

A typical gestation is eleven and one half months, give or take two weeks. Most alpacas have a single cria that nurses for six months. Female alpacas are ready to breed two weeks after the birth of their cria.

Do alpacas make good pets?

Alpacas are livestock and herd animals. As herd animals, they do not thrive well without a companion. Typically more than one alpaca needs to be kept. Though gentle, smart and curious, alpacas are less typically maintained as pets. Yet, there are several exceptions and multiple alpacas maintained on hobby farms.

Can I wear alpaca fleece?

Please do! Alpaca fiber is significantly warmer than wool and finer than cashmere. The designer Armani has used Suri alpaca fleece for men's and women's suits. Alpaca fiber is eco-friendly, naturally water-repellent, durable, and contains no lanolin.

What is the life span of an alpaca?

Alpacas live for 15 to 25 years.

What are the health needs of an alpaca?

They are very few. Alpacas are hardy animals adapted to harsh climates. Alpacas live successfully at high altitudes. To maintain good health, alpacas should be vaccinated periodically, toenails and teeth trimmed as needed and shorn annually. There are additional precautions and nutrition to consider for pregnant females and newborn crias.

How can I learn more about the handling and raising of alpacas?

The alpaca industry is fortunate to have a number of reliable and professional sources providing informative detail to both the consumer and the breeder with regard to everything alpaca. Please see our Links page for connection to these organizations. To schedule your personal experience with alpacas, call now to visit the Taha Suri Alpaca Ranch, (303) 704-7928, or schedule your visit online via email to kim@tahaalpacas.com. Thank you for your interest.