Alpacas are very gentle animals but also self-sufficient. The way they process the food allows them to not to eat so much when food is scarce but process it so that they can get every ounce of energy from it.

The females reach sexual maturity at the age of 18-24 months. The pregnancy of alpacas lasts 11-11,5 month, after which females give birth to only one child, called the cria (from Spanish ‘child’). After two weeks from giving birth of a child, the female is ready for further reproduction. Males are eligible for breeding after finishing 3-4 years.

Adult alpacas are about 85 cm high and weigh from 50 to 80 kg. It was found that the animals live about 20 years. Alpacas do not have incisors, horns, claws or hooves. Hygiene is also easy to maintain, because alpacas leave their faeces in only a few places up the runway or in the barn. They need a minimum of territory, they may stay in the area of 0.5 hectares – about 30 pieces of alpacas.

Feeding consists of three elements:

  • good quality hay with regular protein levels
  • special food for alpacas
  • access to clean water all the time

Alpacas are regarded as environmentally friendly because of :

  • don’t damage the soil because of their soft hoofs
  • Alpacas have a three compartment stomach which allows them to efficiently convert food into energy, requiring much less food than other farm animals
  • Alpacas do not eat the roots of the grass as to not damage the pasture.
  • Indians of South America, use alpacas feces as fuel
  • the manure is a good measure fertilizing soil, growing fruits and vegetables. It is now used on organic fields

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