We're studying the animals A to Z this year and we're kicking off the fun with some facts about alpacas!
While not usually thought of as interesting, alpacas are clever and funny animals. Test your alpaca knowledge and see how many of the fun facts below you already know!
Fun Facts About Alpacas for Kids
1. Alpacas' average life span is 20 years.
Just like their llama cousins, the average lifespan of an alpaca is 20 years. According to Alpacainfo.com the longest documented lifespan for an alpaca is 27 years old.
2. Alpacas are relatively clean animals.
Unlike most livestock, alpacas are quite clean and easy to care for. Most alpacas do not have a bad smell.
Considering they do not have an awful or strong smell (thank goodness!), it makes sense why more people have them as pets than other types of livestock.
3. Alpacas don't usually spit.
Like llamas, alpacas do not usually purposefully spit at humans. From time to time they do, but many times humans usually just get caught in the crossfire between two alpacas.
4. Alpacas are usually safe to be around.
Unlike some livestock, alpacas are very quiet and gentle animals. Occasionally, an alpaca may try to kick with its' hind legs, but it's usually just a reflex from being touched on its' rear.
5. There are only two breeds of alpacas.
The two breeds are huacaya (wah-KI-ah) and suri (SOO-ree). About 90% of alpacas are the huacaya breed, whereas the suri breed only makes up about 10% of all alpacas.
6. Alpacas cannot live alone.
Alpacas have really strong herding instincts. The best way to keep an alpaca with a companion is to have them all be the same gender. This is because even neutered alpacas or llamas can sometimes successfully bond with each other.
7. Alpacas are vegetarian.
Did you know that a 125-lb. alpaca only eats 2-lbs. per day? I think our guinea pigs eat more than that! The alpacas’ diet mostly consists of grass, but can also include leaves, wood, bark or stems.
8. Alpacas do not have teeth in the top-front of their mouths.
Did you know that alpacas do not have teeth in the top-front of their mouths? That's why they always look like they have an adorable underbite!
Have you ever been around alpacas? What do you know about them? We'd love to learn more! Share your experience in the comments below!