John & Susan Merrell
41390 Hwy 226
Scio, OR 97374
503-394-3790
503-551-7219 (cell)
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Alpacas - The Breed

Alpacas A relative of the more familiar llama, alpacas are native to the high Andes mountains of South America. Alpacas are one of the world's oldest domesticated breeds of livestock. With a history predating the Incan empire, alpacas have played a central role in the Andean cultures for five thousand years or more.



Breed Overview

Alpacas are a gentle and intelligent breed. Alpacas produce one offspring a year. Alpacas are a social animal and do best when pastured with other alpacas. Fastidious in their habits, alpacas will tend to form communal manure piles, which assists in controlling their parasite load.

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Alpacas - FAQ's

Alpacas were treasured by the Inca civilization, their fine fleeces reserved for Incan royalty. Alpacas provided clothing, food, transport, fuel and companionship. Alpacas were close to annihilation after the Spanish conquest of the Inca. That they survived was due to their importance to the Indian people, and to the alpacas’ ability to tolerate harsh climatic conditions.
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Physical Characteristics

Alpacas are unique in appearance and have several traits shared only with their camelid cousins,  There are relatively small, long lived, and easy to care for and manage.

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Suri Alpacas

Suri Alpacas are distinguished by their long flowing locks of fleece, similar to the fleece of an Angora goat.  There is still a good deal of debate as to whether Suri alpacas constitute a distinct breed of alpacas, or if they are simply a different fleece type.

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Huacaya Alpacas

Huacaya alpacas are the more common of the two fleece types.  Their fiber is dense and stands perpendicular to their body, much like would be seen in sheep.

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Habits

Alpacas are a unique breed of livestock with many characteristics setting them apart from traditional types.  Owners often use words like "calming" or "magical" when describing these animals.

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"I Love Alpacas" - Alpacas and Children

Alpacas and Children have a natural affinity for each other. Perhaps it has to do with the natural innocence and curiosity that both alpacas and children are endowed with. Watching alpacas and children interact is truly a special experience. Here are a few poems written by kids after seeing alpacas.
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Alpaca Sales

"Here wool-buyers come to bid for the clip. The high prices which alpaca fleece commands have brought prosperity..."

- Hiram Bingham
Inca Land, Explorations in the Highlands of Peru
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