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796 Greenwich Road Hardwick, Massachusetts

Everything you ever wanted to know about Alpacas…

Alpacas and llamas are members of the camelid family. Llamas are pack animals, and about twice the size of the alpaca. Alpacas grow a prized coat of fiber, and are too small for use as a pack animal. And we think the alpaca is much cuter than its cousin, the llama.


There are 2 kinds of alpaca - Suri (rhymes with jury) and Huacaya (wha-ki'-ya). Suri comprise about 10% of the world's alpacas, and Huacaya 90%. Suri fiber is long, straight, lustrous, and silky, often shorn every 2 years. Huacaya fiber is dense, crimpy, and warmer than Suri, and shorn annually in late spring. Our herd consists of Hucaya alpacas and a Suri named Nichey.



Alpacas

Alpacas are gentle and quite intelligent. They are safe and fun to be around. They do not bite or butt. Spitting is a communication behavior between alpacas, and they rarely spit at people unless provoked.


They constantly communicate with each other through body posturing, ears, tail, head and neck signals, scent, smell and vocalizations. The most common sound you'll hear is a soft humming which indicates they are unsure. Mother and cria hum to each other for bonding. When alarmed, alpaca alert other herd members to danger with a sharp sequence of barks. Amorous males sing or "orgle" to the female during breeding.



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