Essential alpaca experiences and holiday guides in Colorado: Additionally, if you have any accessibility concerns that make hiking impossible, then there are also places to sit down next to the alpacas, which makes this activity available to everyone regardless of their ability or needs. The Smooth Alpaca Experience just so happens to have scenic mountain views of Red Rock Park. Yes, that’s right, the iconic Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre where hundreds of concerts are held each year. Combine a visit to the venue with an alpaca experience. When you go behind the scenes on the ranch, you learn about much more than just the animals. You have the opportunity to talk about the economy, trade, production, local handmade goods, and so much more. Read additional information at alpacas farm in Colorado.
Alpacas breed once a year, and as livestock they are often induced to breed at any time. The female alpaca has a gestation period of 242 to 345 days and gives birth to just one offspring. The birthing process can take up to seven hours, according to National Geographic (opens in new tab). The baby alpaca, called a cria, weighs 18 to 20 lbs. (8 to 9 kg) when it is born. The cria is weaned at 6 to 8 months, and females are ready to reproduce at 12 to 15 months. Males take a bit longer to mature and are ready to mate at 30 to 36 months. Alpacas live up to 20 years.
Are alpacas easy to care for? Alpacas are a small and relatively easy livestock to maintain. They stand about 36′ high at the withers (where the neck and spine come together) and weigh between 120 to 200 pounds. Like other types of livestock, alpacas need basic shelter and protection from heat and foul weather. Good nutrition is essential for healthy animals. Hay, minerals, and fresh clean water should be available at all times. Many alpaca owners also provide a nutritional supplement. Under a veterinarian’s direction, alpacas need vaccinations, preventive medication, and deworming. Alpacas also require yearly shearing to keep them cool in the summer. Alpacas do not have hooves; instead they have two toes, with hard toenails on top and a soft pad on the bottom of their feet. Their padded feet minimize the impact on the pasture. To ensure proper foot alignment and comfort, their toenails must be trimmed as needed.
Alpacas hum; they make a sound like “mmm,” according to Alpaca Ventures. However, they also shriek when danger is present, and make a sound similar to a “wark” noise when excited. Fighting males scream, making a warbling bird-like cry. Alpacas in a herd all use the same area as a bathroom instead of defecating in random areas like many animals do. This behavior helps control parasites, according to the FAO. Males often have cleaner dung piles than females, according to Alpaca Ventures. Females tend to stand in a line and all go at once.
Do alpacas make noise? Alpacas are very quiet, docile animals that make a minimal amount of sound. They do make a humming sound as a means of communication or to express concern or stress. Most communication between alpacas is nonverbal. Occasionally you will hear a shrill “alarm call,” which usually means they have spotted something of concern nearby, and they are warning others in the herd. The concern may be a predator, or may be something they are not familiar with, like a cow or horse in a neighboring field. Male alpacas also “serenade” females during breeding with a guttural, throaty sound called “orgling.”
Here’s why an alpaca experience is perfect for your upcoming trip to Denver. Alpacas are adorable, fluffy, and friendly animals. People are often surprised by just how sociable they are and how much they enjoy human affection. They are also incredibly calm creatures with steady temperaments. This makes them perfect for the whole family. They don’t display erratic behavior, making them more predictable around children. See even more information at meetalpacas.com.
Alpacas have two sets of teeth for processing food. They have molars in the back of the jaw for chewing cud. In the front, alpacas have teeth on the bottom only and a hard gum (known as a dental pad) on the top for crushing grain, grass, or hay. Unlike goats and sheep that have long tongues which can rip plants out of the ground, alpacas have short tongues and nibble only the tops of grasses and other plants. This results in less disturbance of the vegetation. Alpacas will often eat shrubs or the leaves from trees if given the opportunity. This requires monitoring to ensure they do not consume harmful products.