Also from the camel family, the alpaca is a smaller, more delicate cousin of the llama. Alpaca wool is similar to the undercoat of the llama, without any of the coarser guard hair. This fine wool has been valued for centuries in South America, where the breed originates. These animals have almost a cult following in the US, with breeders vying for top honors in competitions all over the country. An award winning stud alpaca can fetch a hefty sum for his owner by doing what comes naturally. Prize winning alpacas are still sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars, but the range of price is huge, depending on quality and breeding reputation. A large part of the cost when they were first being imported was the cost of quarantine and import, along with the rarity of them on the North American continent. As they have become more common in the last 20 years or so, the cost has gone down considerably and now a gelding alpaca can be purchased for a more reasonable $1.000 to $4,000.
Don’t want to raise your own? Follow LucyEwe to The Woolery for beautiful Alpaca fleece!
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