You’ve likely heard of llamas from the likes of pop culture and memes, but how much do you know about their cousins, the alpacas? We’re here to tell you a little more about the alpacas who live by our Stable Oak cottages, and what makes them so special.
1. Alpacas are closely related to camels
Alpacas are part of the Camelidae family, which includes not only llamas but also certain camels. What’s so interesting about this family connection is that alpacas and llamas are found in South America, whilst camels are found in Asia and Africa. Really, camels are the long-lost cousins of our beloved Stable Oak alpacas!
2. There are 16 different colours of Alpaca
Here at Stable Oak we have five alpacas; two white, one dark brown and two golden brown. However, there are actually sixteen solid colours of alpaca, with many different shades between.
3. Alpaca fiber is flame-resistant
Alpaca fiber is said to be finer than cashmere and softer than silk. It’s also said that alpaca fiber is flame-resistant. Whilst this isn’t perhaps a concern for our alpacas, whose natural habitat is in the humid, wet mountain foot hills of the Altiplano, it’s certainly a concern for those lucky enough to own clothing made from the fiber of this wonderful animal.
4. There are two different types of alpaca
Hyuacaya and Suri are the two breeds of alpaca. Both breeds have soft, padded feet, a three-compartment stomach and a lifespan of around 20 years. They also have short, spear-shaped ears that differentiate them from llamas. However, the main difference between the two alpaca breeds is their fiber.
At Stable Oak, all our alpacas are Hyuacaya. Hyuacaya fiber is curly, and grows shorter and looks duller than that of their brother breed, the Suri.
Suri alpaca fiber is longer and much shinier than that of the Hyuacaya, and resembles dreadlocks without the matting. Suri fiber is much harder to get hold of as the Suri alpaca make up only 5% of the world’s alpaca population.
5. Alpacas were raised by the Incas
The Inca people originated in the highlands of Peru and formed the largest empire in Pre-Columbian America that dates back to 1438. The Inca treasured alpacas and llamas as a source of food and fuel. In fact, the Incas prized them so highly that clothing made from their fiber was reserved only for Inca royalty.
Now that you know a little more about alpacas, why not
stay at Stable Oak Cottages and sit with one over breakfast, or
pet one in the sunshine?
Click here to see our availability and book one of our cosy,
countryside cottages and meet our lovely alpacas.