With a Grateful Prayer and a Thankful Heart: Jersey Shore Alpacas

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Jersey Shore Alpacas

At the suggestion of our daughter, we made sure to visit Jersey Shore Alpacas while in Cape May. The owner was very nice and we learned a great deal about alpacas while interacting with them. If you ever have a chance, stop by. 

 The first thing I noticed about alpacas are that they are cute with large, soulful eyes.
 They also love to eat carrots.
(the owner provides bags of carrots to visitors for feeding)
 and photobomb 
 The tuft of fur on the top of their head is called a topknot. 
 They are social and curious.
 Alpacas spit when they are distressed or feel threatened. They will sometimes spit at each other when they are competing for food or trying to establish dominance, but they don't usually spit at people.
They know when you are hiding carrots in your back pocket.
...and don't believe you when you say the carrots are all gone.

Peru, Bolivia, and Chile are home to the largest percentage of alpacas in the world.  Alpacas are a member of the camelid family, which also includes dromedary and Bactrian camels, llamas, vicunas, and guanacos.

Among its relatives in the camel family, the alpaca is the smallest. The average height at the shoulder is 36-inches. They are 4 to 7 feet long and weigh 121 to 143 lbs. They  have soft padded feet and they have no top teeth in the front.

More about Alpacas from Jersey Shore Aplacas
Are alpacas related to llamas? Yes, and both are in the camel family. Llamas are larger than alpacas, and they have banana-shaped ears.

How long do alpacas live? About 20 years.

What do they eat? Mainly good, quality hay and grass, but our moms and crias (youngsters) also get a pellet supplement twice a day.

What do you do with them? Alpacas have beautiful, extremely soft and warm fleece (fur) that can be made into luxurious hats, gloves, scarves, sweaters, and other clothing. You can feel the fleece and see examples of many different alpaca products in our shop.

How long do the moms carry their young? Gestation is 11-11.5 months, and the crias are usually 12-20 lbs. at birth. Most birthing happens without human help, but we are always glad when we can be present so we can take care of the new baby!

What kind of sounds do they make? Mostly they make humming noises, when they are not entirely happy or anxious. They can also grunt like a pig, cluck (mom's call to her baby) and make a warning call that sounds a little like an elephant! You can hear it on the last video on the Fun Stuff page!

How often do you shear them? Once a year, in the spring (so they are cooler in the summer)

What do they do in winter? Alpacas actually prefer the cold to the hot summer. Their winter coats make them comfortable even in very cold weather. In fact, often they will even sleep outside in winter!

How much are they worth? Alpacas can sell for around $500 for a pet-quality male all the way up to over $20,000 for a champion stud. An average breeding female sells for $3,000-$5,000. Most alpacas have pedigree papers, are registered with a national registry and are also microchipped. 


Ann said...

They are adorable. Looks like they are quite fond of your husband too :)

NanaDiana said...

I LOVE them. I have always told the kids that if I had a small farmette I would have alpacas and miniature goats. lol They have always fascinated me...and I love their eyelashes. They are usually long and curly. xo Diana

Jedidja said...

What a nice post. I love your photos and all the information about this animals. Sweet eyes.

Rosita Vargas said...


Karen said...

How interesting and fun! I would love to visit a place like that.

Cheryl said...

Aren't they adorable?! I love those soulful eyes!

This brought back a memory for me. When my son was living at home, he talked with someone about alpacas at a colonial fair. For several years, we got brochures about alpacas in our mail! :)


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