Differences between alpaca and llama
Llama and alpacas are camel animals of the family of toed ungulates. It is sometimes difficult to distinguish between animals, but there are differences.
The llama has a shoulder height of 1 to 1.20 meters and a thick, drooping coat. Llama can be of different colors, such as white, light brown, reddish brown or black.
Alpacas are slightly smaller, that is, between 80 and 95 cm. The fur of the alpaca is wooly and barely sheds, unlike the llama. In terms of alpaca color, you have a lot of options, because alpacas come in no less than 22 shades or colors. Another noticeable difference between an alpaca and a llama is that the ears of the alpaca are straight and the ears of the llama are banana-shaped. Also, alpacas will not only spit, while llamas are notorious for it. Fortunately, llamas in general only spit on other llamas, so you don’t have to worry about this too much.
Weight and life expectancy
Alpacas weigh only 50-90 kilograms, while llamas weighing 130-200 kilograms are much heavier. The average life expectancy of both llamas and alpacas ranges between fifteen and twenty years. So keep that in mind when buying one.
There are no stuffed animals
Although they look incredibly cuddly, alpacas and llamas are unfortunately not cuddly animals. It is best to have as little contact as possible with small animals. It is very important for young llamas or alpacas to grow up with their peers. If he interacts a lot with people, there is a chance that the animal will see people as indeterminate. It can then become bossy and dangerous, and this is called: “The Raging Male Syndrome.” So be careful with this.
Compared to horses, alpacas are less dangerous because they do not have hooves, but the toe of a camel. They also have only lower teeth in their teeth for eating grass.
Both llamas and alpacas are herd animals. So the animals must be housed with several animals, otherwise they will quickly feel unsafe. You can keep the male with several females, but then you have to consider breeding. Also keep in mind that a male can be hostile to anyone who approaches a fence to protect his female. Don’t you see this? Then choose a group of castrated women or men. You should keep in mind that introducing new animals to alpacas or llamas will often lead to disturbances. As new animals are added, the hierarchy must be redefined.
It is very important to have enough space for the animals. A 1,500 square meter lawn is large enough for three alpacas or llamas. Adequate space is important to prevent stress and behavioral problems. The pasture should not be swampy or too soft, as this can cause deformation of the toenails. Also, make sure that there is a paved bottom in certain parts. A place with sand is also important for animals, they use this sand to care for their skin and fur.
Llamas and alpacas generally tolerate temperature differences well. It is important to have a protected area in the habitat of the animals. You can choose a natural shelter or stable that protects them from rain or bright sun. If you choose a shed, its size should not be less than 2 square meters.
The height of the fence or fence shall not be less than 1.50 meters for llamas and about 1.20 meters for alpacas. The fence should of course keep the animals inside, but also prevent any animals that are being hunted. So it’s smart to dig the fence a little bit into the ground, so it can’t be digging under. It is better not to use barbed wire in the fence, because the fur may get stuck in it. It is also not recommended to use electrical wires, llamas and alpacas do not feel this through their fur. It is only when they get involved in this that they feel the current and then they are no longer able to leave.
Purchase and costs
You can buy llamas or alpacas from the breeder. Make sure that the animal appears healthy, that the fur is clean, and that there are no spots on the skin that could indicate mange. Examine the teeth and also note if the llama or alpacas walk well. Costs vary by breed of breed and for each sex. A young llama stallion often costs between 200 and 500 euros. A young llama mare quickly costs twice as fast. For alpacas, you have to dig a little deeper in your bag, these quickly cost a thousand euros. Thus costs can accumulate very quickly with pasture maintenance, vaccinations and food. All in all, it costs some money and effort, but then you have wonderful animals in your garden!
Fun activities with the alpacas
You probably already know that these woolly animals look warm, and alpacas are now also a popular party favor for a birthday party, tea or company outing. In Alpaca Country Oosterhout, for example, various activities are organized around the alpacas. This way you don’t have to think about your party theme anymore! For example, you can take a picnic with them without them eating everything from your plate. Alpacas prefer their own food, such as herbs and food.
Alpacas are also very sensitive to their environment. When they are allowed to attend a children’s party, it makes them very curious. According to yoga teacher Chrissy van der Graaf, it also has a positive effect on yoga classes. “The difference between regular yoga and alpaca yoga is that with regular yoga you turn really hard,” says Chrissy. As you practice alpaca yoga, you will be more connected to nature and move more consciously. In short, a beautiful animal to be surrounded by.