Baby Animals: Heritage Breeds at the Banke Partner:
Kerfluffle Fiber Farm, Lebanon ME
Status: Least concern
Adult Weight: 100 – 180 lbs.
Alpacas are a domesticated species of South American camelid and come in two breeds: the more common huacaya (wah-KI-ah) and rarer suri (SOO-ree). Huacayas make up approximately 90% of all alpacas and have fluffy, crimpy fleece. While closely related to llamas, alpacas are much smaller with an average weight of 100 to 180 pounds when fully grown and are primarily raised for their luxurious fleece.
Alpacas are prized for their fiber as it is soft, durable, does not retain water and comes in 22 different colors from true black through browns, tans and whites. Each shearing produces five to ten pounds of fleece per animal each year. Often compared to cashmere, alpaca fleece can be turned into many products, as it is soft, lightweight, and durable.
The animal breeds once a year, giving birth to just one offspring. The baby alpacas, called crias, weigh between 18 and 20 pounds. As social creatures, alpacas are gentle and curious herd animals making them prized cattle around the world. They are particularly adaptable and live in a wide range of habitats, most commonly on “farmland.” Eating mostly grass, their diets can also include leaves, wood, bark and stems that are digested effectively by the animal’s three-chambered stomach. For more information about alpacas, visit the Alpaca Owners Association Inc.
Mandy and her family purchased Kerfluffle Fiber Farm, a 15-acre farm and homestead in Lebanon, Maine where they raise Haucaya alpacas, Olde English South down Babydoll sheep, Nigerian Dwarf goats, Angora rabbits, Lionhead rabbits, and Heritage Silver Fox Rabbits. Using the fiber from her animals, Mandy creates one-of-a-kind handmade scarves, gloves, hats, and other products. For more information, visit the Kerfluffle Fiber Farm website.
Activity: Watch newborn cria, Bastien go from taking his first steps to running and playing in the field with the rest of the herd.
Newborn Bastien learns to walk. The first steps are always the hardest.
From first steps to gallivanting. Watch Bastien run and play as he is now a full-time member of the herd.
"Did you notice the other alpacas hair is cut short? Do you remember why that is?"
Watch this cria be welcomed into the herd. What does 'cria' mean?
A (virtual) smooch from this Kerfluffle Fiber Farm alpaca