As mentioned in the previous blog, alpaca wool is a truly great choice for both fashionable and sustainable product choices: from baby alpaca pillows to blankets and throws, there is a wide variety. For those of you who will find themselves traveling through Peru, the chance that you will see an alpaca is almost 100%.
These curious-looking creatures are also the hallmarks of the iconic ruins of Machu Picchu and can be seen wandering around the streets of Cusco and the nearby villages. These woolly, four-legged animals are absolutely adorable and cute. Do you want to know more about the alpaca characteristics? Here are 10 facts that you most certainly never knew about alpacas:
1.- Two breeds
There are only two breeds of alpaca. The first one is the huacaya (wuh-kai-ya). It has fluffy alpaca hair, just like a soft teddy bear. The second one is suri. This breed has long wavy hair that falls down the body of the alpaca.
2.- They spit
When they are angry or annoyed, the alpacas spit. This is the same case with the Llamas. This happens between the animals on the occasions when they fight for food. But, another thing that might annoy them to fire a pit at you is when their nails are being trimmed or when they are getting shots.
3.- Soft soles
The alpacas have soft soles on their feet. Their pads are soft, and they do not churn up the ground, which is not the case with the cows or the horses.
4.- They are lawnmowers
Believe it or not, when the alpacas are eating their grass, they are not ripping the grass with their root. Although this might be the case with some other animals, the alpaca eats just the top – the green part of the grass and leave the roots inside. That is why they are considered great lawnmowers.
5.- Compact transport
What makes these animals even more amazing is the way they can fit into a vehicle without taking too much space. This comes due to the way they sit. When the alpaca is seated, it has a special and unique way of hiding its legs. They fold their legs under their body and when they sit over, they are completely hidden under their fur. This is pretty unique since other similar animals just put the legs in front and they can be completely seen.
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6.- Emotional animals
Yes, animals can feel emotions and they can express them too. Just take the dogs, for example, they are human’s best friends. Although alpacas cannot be kept as home pets, they certainly can express feelings. Usually expressed among each other, it comes from their tails. If they are bothered by something, they will start to twitch back and forth.
7. Alpaca fiber has unique properties
The properties of Alpaca fibers are different from most animals. These fibers have millions of microscopic air pockets inside. This is not a minor fact since the temperature in the Andes, where these animals live, can rise and fall dramatically even within the same day.
This is why, in their natural environment alpacas can retain body heat during cold days. Likewise, the skin of the animal can breathe through the hair during warm days. This is why alpaca wool is so valuable in the production of garments.
8.- Alpaca babies are always born in the morning
Another natural wonder that alpaca babies are always born in the morning. This also comes tightly connected to the native places they live. As mentioned before, they are used to living in a cold and harsh climate where the temperatures fall at night. Being born in the morning, the newborn baby alpacas have the whole day to dry off, start walking around, and nursing from the mother before the temperatures again start to drop.
The female alpacas have an 11-month gestation period. 90% of the time, they do not need any help when delivering the baby. They simply go into labor and deliver the baby alpaca in less than one hour.
The cold and harsh climate makes the alpacas love and enjoy the sun’s rays, and warmth a lot. They love to sunbathe. They like laying in the sun, on their sides, stretch, chill and just soak the sun.
Now you know the benefits of alpaca wool, and also some of the most interesting characteristics of the animal that produces it.
In Silkeborg Uldspinderi we are here to help you. You will have at your disposal many high-quality products. If you want to buy any alpaca scarves, shawls, cushions, or throws, please don’t hesitate to contact us through our contact page.