Notable Differences Between an Alpaca and a Llama
Like many people, are you also confused between an alpaca and a llama? They look so similar that it is hard to think of the differences when both of them are not in the same picture. But then again, looks can be deceiving, and it will be better to know the differences between the two. So, here are the main differences between an alpaca and a llama that you always fail to remember:
Probably the biggest difference between an alpaca and a llama is the wool on their body. Llamas do not have any wool on their body. They have hair like most animals, and those hairs are not of any use. Alpacas, on the other hand, have high-quality wool that is used to make various garments. In fact, wool from alpacas is one of the most expensive and finest in the world. You will find almost 22 different colors alpaca wool that is used to make sweaters, scarves, and a variety of other garments.
Another noticeable difference between an alpaca and a llama is their size. An alpaca is much smaller in size. Both the height and weight of an alpaca is lesser than that of a llama. Typically, alpacas weigh around 150 pounds and have a height of somewhere around 90 cm. Llamas are larger than alpacas and their height can be about 200 cm, if not more. If you place a llama and an alpaca side by side, you will be able to understand the huge difference in their size. The weight of a llama is also more than that of an alpaca. They weight around 400 pounds and are almost double the weight of an alpaca.
Face and ears
These are the two areas that get people confused because they are quite similar. However, there are a few differences if you see them carefully. The face of an alpaca is quite blunt. On the other hand, llamas have a rather long face. Since alpacas have a wooly covering, their face looks very funny. It is as if the wool has covered their face and they only have their eyes and nose to show from the bundle of wool around. Llamas have a long and straight face, much like a horse or a donkey.
There are differences in the ears of an alpaca and a llama too. The ears of an alpaca are short and look like a pear. Again, with all the wool around, it is hard to figure out the exact shape of the ear. Llamas have longer ears that look more like a banana rather than a pear. Since they do not have any wool around, you will be able to spot the difference in the ears quite clearly.
The way in which these two animals move around also show how different they are even though their looks can be somewhat similar. Llamas tend to move around on their own because they are more independent-minded. Alpacas are entirely different in this regard. You will often find alpacas moving in herds. They do not roam around on their own and that is why they are considered to be similar to a herd of sheep. Also, alpacas are not that brave while llamas have the ability to protect themselves. That is why they are often used to protect a herd of alpacas on a farm along with a herd of sheep and several other small livestock.
The alpaca and the llama have completely different uses to mankind. Alpacas have been used for centuries for their rich wool. In fact, they are bred for their fibers that are used to make winter garments. Llamas are not used for the same purpose. They are bred to ensure protection for the herd of livestock on a farm and also for their meat. The meat of a llama is very tasty, and you will get the opportunity to eat it if you visit any hill station.
With so many differences, you will now be able to differentiate between an alpaca and a llama the next time you visit the zoo. You can also teach your kids about how the alpaca and the llama are different from each other even though they look quite similar.
The 5 Best Alpaca Farms To Visit in Canada
Alpacas are just adorable. Their goofy eyes hidden beneath their wooly face will make you want to adopt one as soon as it comes near you. They are a delight to watch. With the herd strolling around in the fence and coming over to you to get some carrot or grain, you can do this the whole day without getting tired. It is said that a yoga class with a goal is one way to experience the maximum amount of animal cuteness. But that saying will be wronged once you visit one of the alpaca farms in Canada. Wondering which one to visit first? Here are the top 5 alpaca farms that should be on your list:
1. Kickin’ Back Alpaca Ranch
Starting with the farm that has the largest herds of alpacas, the Kickin’ Back Alpaca Ranch is one of the best farms in Canada. Being a family-run farm that is just 3 hours from Toronto, this place is an absolute delight for animal lovers. You will find about 60 to 75 alpacas on the farm going about doing their business, and as soon as they see someone new, they will come over to greet you. The owner is an amazing person, and it is advised that you make a booking to see the farm before coming over. If you are longing to spend an afternoon in the calmness of a farm and amongst a herd of very peaceful animals, then this is the place to be.
2. Meadowview Alpaca Farm
Isn’t it wonderful when you run your fingers on the body of an alpaca? The wool feels so soft in the hand, and you wish you had some garments that were made from this wool. That wish is about to come true if you visit the Meadowview Alpaca Farm in Canada. It has got a huge number of alpacas, about 165 of them and the farm is a treat to watch. You will also find an amazing shop just adjacent to the farm where you can buy garments, toys, yarn, and bedding that are made from pure alpaca wool. The farm is exactly within the vicinity of proper Canada. You will have to go to Sault St. Marie to find this farm.
3. Hickory Lane Alpacas
Another gem of a farm where you will find some of the most adorable alpacas, the Hickory Lane Alpacas will make you want to stay in the farm for a few days because of the scenic beauty and the incredibly cute alpacas. This farm is also family-owned and is just a two hour’s drive from Toronto. The owner allows the visitors to get inside the firm and spend some time with the alpacas. You can also explore the huge farm and cuddle the alpacas and feed them carrots if you want. Since there are 24 alpacas on this farm, you can get to know each one of them and also spend the rest of the time with the other barn animals and the horses.
4. Split Rock Farms
This farm is quite close to Toronto, and you just have to drive a couple of hours to the west to reach the Split Rock Farms. This place is the ideal place to spend an afternoon. With so many alpacas around, your afternoon will go away in the blink of an eye. Once you have spent your time with the alpacas, you can visit the farm store too where there are locally made goods available.
5. SAMY’S Alpaca Farm
Probably the most heartwarming farm that you will ever come across, SAMY’S Alpaca Farm is a two-hour drive from the city. This farm loves to have visitors around. The fence is such that it feels like the alpacas are roaming around in the garden of the house. One of the best things about this farm is that you can put a leash around an alpaca and take it for a walk down the county lanes. That is one experience you will never want to miss.
Now that you have the top 5 alpaca farms in Canada, plan your trip in a way that will cover all these farms within your duration of stay. The experience will be unique, that’s a guarantee.
Where to Find Alpacas in Ontario
Alpacas are one of the cutest animals on the planet. Their fluffy body filled with wool and those inquisitive eyes make them one of a kind species. The alpacas are mostly found in Canada, especially in the farms in Ontario. One of the reasons why alpacas are so highly bred is for their wool. Alpaca wool is very expensive. They are soft and are available in a wide range of colors.
Characteristics of alpacas
Alpacas have several individual characteristics that are worth sharing. There have been many stories from the farm owners in Ontario about the herd of alpacas in their farm and it is fascinating to see how animals can have such incredible traits in them without any kind of training. One of the character traits that were brought to the forefront of the owner of Meadowview Alpaca Farm in Ontario is that these animals are extremely curious and alert. When a new alpaca ins introduced to the herd, all the others come together to greet the new guy. They will nuzzle, cluck, and sniff the new alpaca and soon it will become one of the herd members.
However, alpacas are also quite aware of their surroundings. They remain alert all the time. That is why a dominant alpaca will cry out loud and alert the other alpacas if there is a dog or other unknown animal near their fence. All the alpacas will come together and stay close to each other.
Another interesting story that the owner of Harmony Meadows Alpaca, Ontario shared is that these animals are incredibly friendly and they are very intelligent. It is almost as if they want you to love them and you will not be able to resist but give them a cuddle even from the outside of the fence. The herd of alpacas will come to greet whenever there is a new visitor. They will even surround the owners and the visitors when they come inside the fence and if you have a carrot or a handful of grains, they will not want to leave you.
Also, alpacas are quite intelligent and can be trained quite easily. They have the ability to recognize people quickly and adapt to new conditions without any difficulty. There are handlers who have the job of weaning and that can be difficult if the alpaca is not cooperating. But that does not happen in most of the cases. Since the alpacas can recognize people easily, the handler is introduced with the herd first. The weaning starts after a couple of sessions. There are times when a herd of alpacas has to be transported from one farm in Ontario to another. The owner and the handler make the alpacas train on how to get into the trailer first before transporting them.
One of the most popular farms in Ontario, Kickin’ Back Alpaca Ranch has a huge farm where alpacas are bred. It has also become a tourist spot because of the cute alpacas all around. In fact, the owner of the farm says that the alpacas are quite calm. They do not create any ruckus when the owner is not around. A great display of their character is their calmness. Once they are familiar with the people around them, they will roam around peacefully without shouting or anything. As the owner, he feels very relaxed when the herd is around him. If the herd is grazing somewhere and they see someone they recognize, they will come and greet before going back to what they were doing.
Alpacas in Ontario also love a routine life like cats. If you feed them in the morning, leave them out in the afternoon and then give them lunch, they will follow that routine religiously. There are several alpacas that require special attention and they know when the handler will arrive. They will never cry out loud when the others in the herd are being attended by the owner or the handler. This also goes to show how well-behaved and patient they are.
It is hard to find animals that have so many quality traits in them. The fact that there are so many alpaca farms in Ontario shows how important this animal is for so many people.
What Makes A Good Home For An Alpaca
Alpaca are a loving and very trusting animal, but they are not the perfectly suited animal for everyone. Since this is the case, people will want to know more about what really is going to make a good home for an alpaca and how they can raise them. Once you start to explore this information it will be very easy for you to know if your home would be a good fit for alpacas or if you should consider a different animal. No matter what, it is always very important for you to do all of your homework before you go and buy any animals or you could end up shocked at the amount of work involved in caring for the animals.
Land To Roam
The alpacas are native to the mountains of Peru and Bolivia, but they are also a herd type of animal. In fact, most reputable alpaca breeders will recommend you get a minimum of two alpacas at first to keep each other company as they are a herd animal. However, when it comes to the land to roam, you will find some studies say that you can keep several alpaca on a quarter of an acre. Other studies suggest you have a quarter of an acre of pasture land per animal. The key thing that you will find is you can keep alpaca on a smaller plot of land if you provide ample feed to the animals and hay as well.
A Loving Family
Alpacas may be compared to cats with how standoffish they can be seen. However, just like the old parables of the shepherd and the sheep knowing eah other that is going to hold true with alpaca as well. The more loving you are to the animals the less likely they are going to be standing aloof from you like a cat and the more likely they will be to come up to you. So you will want to make sure you are going to have a loving and welcoming family. This does not mean that you have to stand out with the animals all the time, but it does mean you will want to go out and spend some time with them so they get to know you and trust you.
Just like you would find with any of the livestock type of animals you need to have the proper shelter for the animals. The best part for an alpaca is you can use a three sided lean to if you need a quick shelter. However, what you will find is this is going to be important for you to have in place before you get the animals.
In addition to the proper shelter, like a barn or lean to, you will want to have a fenced pasture. The pasture will need to have a no climb type of fencing as it will make it harder for the alpaca to get out. While you may have read that electric fencing and barbed wire will work, you need to realize the alpacas generally will not feel this through the coat and could see this only as a tug with the barbed wire and a nusiane with the electric fencing.
Ample Water Supplies
Water is one item that you will need to have quite a bit of available. Alpaca do not drink as much water as a cow, pig, or other livestock, but they do drink a lot. So you will want to consider the fact that your animals will need ample water supplies available. This can easily be solved by getting buckets that are meant for livestock and this will help you in getting the proper watering amounts available to the animals.
Buying an alpaca is very rewarding and exciting for multiple reasons. However, what you may find is you need to know more about what will make a good home for alpacas. By knowing what is going to make a good home for the alpaca it will be very easy for you to find out if your home is going to be a good fit for the alpacas or if you need to consider a different animal to add into your family.
5 Reasons Alpacas Make Good Pets
Are you thinking about buying an alpaca, but you’re not sure whether or not they make good pets? The truth is that they do make good pets, but why do they exactly make good pets? There are many reasons why they make good pets, and the top ones are:
1. Their Fleece Is Hypoallergenic
One of the reasons alpacas make great pets is their fleece, which is extremely soft. In fact, you’ll be surprised at how soft it is when you touch it for the very first time. Their fleece is not only soft, but it is extremely hypoallergenic, which is not the case with other similar animals.
You can pet and hug an alpaca, all without worrying about your skin turning red or being itchy or sneezing. Furthermore, the fleece is actually resistant to flame and it’s water resistant. If you’re looking for a farm pet that won’t cause you to breakout in allergy symptoms, then look no further than an alpaca.
2. Eventually They Bond With Owners
Some people are under the impression that alpacas don’t bond too well with their owners, but this isn’t true at all. Just like with other animals that are kept as pets, it takes time to build trust. As long as you take care of your alpaca and they get used to you being around, eventually they will learn to trust you.
Give it a bit of time and they’ll be receptive to your touch and contact. As for how they compare to other pets, they are more similar to cats, and they will typically let you hug them, pet their backs and neck. Furthermore, it’s worth pointing out that most alpacas are more receptive to kids than they are to adults. As for how long it takes for an alpaca to trust you, this depends on various factors.
3. Their Personality
Another reason why alpacas make good pets is their personalities, which can vary from one alpaca to another alpaca. Generally speaking, some alpacas enough being playful, while others are shy and others are extremely confident and determined. One thing they all have in common is that they are fun to be around and spend time with, but do be aware that alpacas are curious animals and they want to know what is happening in their areas at all times.
Do you want a pet that has a unique personality? How about one that will love being around you as much as you love being around them? Of course you do, which is why you should consider getting an alpaca.
4. Alpacas Are Easy To Train
Many animals are difficult to train and you can easily spend hours per week and not get any meaningful results. Thankfully, this isn’t the case with alpacas and you might be surprised at how easy they are to train. In fact, if you have kids, they should be able to train an alpaca using a halter and a leash. Furthermore, alpacas are good at navigating the areas they are walking in and can overcome many types of obstacles, such as bales of hay that stand in their way, small fences and things of that nature.
Here’s a tip, try to spend a lot of time training your alpaca the first week you have your alpaca. Ongoing training might be required, but generally speaking they pick up on things fast. Before you know it, you’ll have a well-trained alpaca.
5. They Are Clean
Believe it or not, but alpacas care about their hygiene and they do their best to keep themselves as clean as possible. Even though they are a farm animal, they are quite clean, which makes them the perfect pet for those who don’t like cleaning their animals on a regular basis. Many animals leave their droppings in many places and picking up after them can be a hassle, but don’t worry because you will likely not be doing this if you get an alpaca for a pet.
Remember, alpacas do require a lot of care, so only get one if you’re up for the task. There are both pros and cons of owning an alpaca, but as you can see there are a lot of reasons why they make good pets. All you have to do now is decide whether or not to get one.