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Association d'éleveurs d'alpagas pour la promotion et la transformation de la laine - Association loi de 1901

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The alpaca

Rafia It is a rustic animal native of Peru and Chile, classified as camelids, the other representatives of which are the llama, the Vicunia, the Guanaco, the Camel and the Dromedary.

It lives in his original countries on locations over than 2000 m high where the natural conditions are convenient for his habit: doing long routes every day, and it will pass at the same hours in the same places; these places being originally spaced out by the nature; the places of feed, those where he finds to drink and those of rest. There is always a dominant male which will throw away the new males and will defend his herd. On the other hand it is the dominant female which decides on movements and even on " sanitary places": they will do their needs always on the same place until this one is "too much blocked". They essentially eat grass and a few leaves, have a stomach in three parts, one beeing the equivalent of the rumen of which they régurgitate the contents during the digestion to make a second chewing. It is this greenish juice they can re-spit in case of bad humor or of defence.

Expectation of life

approximately 20 years


A few days after the dropping, the female is already ready for the mating, the ovulation being provoked by it. It can last up until half an hour, the couple quietly lying in sphinx. The gestation lasts approximately 355 days, but this duration can be modulated by the weather report (a region of the brain, the hypothalamus, sensitive to the sun exposure, can delay a dropping until better climatic conditions occur). There is still only one baby which always develops in the left utérine horn. Generally born at the end of morning, it will be assisted by his mother only when it will be able to walk and suck, approximately one hour after dropping. It can be weaned within 6 months, will be pubescent at about one year (but males are fertile only after two years).