In addition to the fact they are adorable, alpacas are a great livestock choice for a transition to farming. Hardy, stoic animals that tolerate Canada's climate well, they are curious and playful quietly emitting the occasional hum (well boys can be noisier when they argue over girls!). Alpacas share a communal dung pile and their manure (widely known as paca poo) is highly sought after by gardeners as an excellent organic fertilizer.
But the real excitement is their fabulous fleece! Considered a deluxe fiber producing animal, alpacas spend the year growing beautiful fleece with the following characteristics:
Nothing compares to the softness of alpaca which is why they have been raised for over 6,000 years, originally to produce elite fiber for Incan royalty. The thermal properties of alpaca make it ideal for Canadian winters.
Unlike sheep, alpaca does not contain lanolin making it hypoallergenic and able to be washed during processing without the need for hot water and harsh chemicals.
Alpaca is flame resistant, water repellent, light, durable, blendable and comes in 22 natural colours.
There are many uses for alpaca fiber as outlined by Alpaca Ontario: