Blankstone Farm Alpacas

Heritage in the land, pedigrees in the pasture.

Kit Hower
4671 Limeport PikeCoopersburg, PA 18036
610-797-4309
610-751-3560 cell
Fax: 610-797-1969

Alpaca Facts

A relative of the llama, but half the size and twice as wooly, alpacas are hearty animals which do not require much acreage and are easy keepers. Gentle to people and land alike, intelligent, and serenely beautiful, these "huggable investments" come in 22 natural colors. Originally from South America, there are two types: Huacaya and Suri. Both are now being raised all over the U.S.A. for their soft, warm, non-allergenic fleeces.  

Shorn annually, an alpaca can produce from 4 to 10 pounds of prime fiber. Suri fiber is almost silk-like and is most frequently used in hand weaving and worsted. The rare Suri alpaca is covered with lustrous dreadlocks which do not have the characteristic crimp ("waviness") of the Huacaya fiber. Either type of alpaca fiber is in great demand by hand spinners and knitters who find it to be a strong but fine fiber which can be dyed almost any color. An alpaca sweater is a cherished possession. Alpacas are kept as pets or as a  breeding herd with excellent investment potential; they are definitely the world's most lovable lawn mower!

  • Alpacas come in two varieties: the crimpy Huacayas and the locketed Suris.
  • There are fewer than 1323 Suri and 8378 Huacaya Alpacas in North America to date.
  • Alpacas produce fine fiber which is not "prickly" but is very light, soft and warm.
  • Alpaca fiber can be hand or commercially spun and is used to make knitted, woven, braided and felted articles as well as clothing.
  • Alpacas do not need to be groomed.
  • Alpacas come in 22 natural colors: various shades of fawn, black, brown, gray, white, rosegray, and multi colored pintos.
  • Alpacas are first bred at 12 to 18 months of age, have a gestation period of 11 months and very rarely have twins.
  • Alpacas communicate by humming and live peacefully in herds.  They get along well with other domestic animals.
  • Alpacas weigh an average of 120 to 175 pounds, are 36 inches at the wither and can live in excess of 20 years.
  • Alpacas are ideal for small acreage farms.  It is not necessary to have an expensive barn or special fencing.  A maximum of 10 per acre and a minimum of 2 is recommended.
  • Alpacas "cush" when in transit and can easily be transported in a mini van.
  • Alpacas are browsers and are gentle on pastures because of their padded feet.
  • An adult eats approximately 3 pounds of hay daily.
  • Alpacas pastures are easy to keep clean because alpacas only use a communal dung pile.
  • Alpacas are intelligent animals, easy to train, gentle and safe for children to handle because they do not bite or kick.
  • Alpacas can be raised as income producing breeding stock, pets, 4H animals or as fiber producers.  They are considered the world's finest livestock investment.