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About Bellasera Alpacas                  



The alpaca is a domesticated member of the camelid family, and a cousin of the llama. Alpacas have large, expressive eyes, a short triangular muzzle, a sheep-dog mop of hair over the brow, and abundant fine fiber. These sweet and gentle animals come in a broad spectrum of colors, more than any other livestock. They grow to weigh about 150 pounds and can live 25 years or more. A female alpaca bears only one offspring a year after an 11-month gestation period. (The offspring is called a cria.)


Alpacas are still fairly new and uncommon in North America. They are gentle, friendly and in ever increasing demand for their luxurious fiber. Garments made from alpaca fiber are known throughout the world for being soft, warm and durable, light weight and lustrous. With their lovable dispositions and manageable size, alpacas also make wonderful companion animals. They are easily trained and are gentle enough to be handled by children.

Currently there are about 3 million alpacas in South America with the heaviest concentration in the Altiplano, or high altitude regions of southern Peru, Bolivia and Chile. Except for zoos, alpacas were not imported into the U.S. until 1984. Now it is estimated there are approximately 100,000 alpacas in North America.

MD alpacasBecause of their small size and easy care, alpacas are ideal animals to raise on small acreage. Six to eight alpacas may be stocked comfortably on a single acre. If there is a problem to be faced in caring for alpacas, it is in keeping them cool during the summer months. Their heavy fleece that does not naturally shed make hot weather difficult for alpacas. Many breeders rely on fans, readily available water and regular shearing to help their alpacas tolerate the heat.

Alpaca fiber is highly prized for it softness and durablitiy. See our Alpaca clothing line.