Alpaca Evaluation

How to choose an alpaca ? Alpacas have a wonderful appeal to people and if you look into their eyes and see their lovely personality you might be carried away. It is an overwhelming moment to choose the Right Alpaca for your herd and for your farm. When you have decided to buy alpacas for breeding, we recommend to check them carefully according to the Screening protocol available from us. Conformation faults can be caused by genetics, by injury or by nutritional factors. Please keep in mind hereditary traits might be found in the offspring. One emphasis will be proper conformation, as a good frame will be the basis for your breeding herd. A well balanced body will carry healthy offspring and very likely of same quality. An alpaca will become about 20 years and if healthy and in good shape will be re-productive for many years.

Ask the breeder for further information:

  • Health records, breeding details, pedigree
  • Make sure your contract gives you a decent fertility and health guarantee
  • Make sure you get your hands on the animal:
  • Run your hands over its back and tail; check body score
  • Look at the eyes;
  • Run hands over ears; smell in the ear (ear infections, mites)
  • Look at the mouth and teeth; overbite/underbite
  • Pick up the feet;
  • Look under the tail at genitals and feel how big males' testicles are (are they the same size?).
  • Watch the animal walk away from you and towards you, looking for freedom of movement and angulation of the legs.

Another emphasis will be the fibre of the animal. You can have a choice in colours. You will find a wide variety in colours: from white, fawn, brown, grey and black – all in different shades and variations. There are animals with solid colours, spotted animals, white markings in the face, vicunja pattern and white tuxedos on grey animals. Check the colour chart. Fibre is measured in Microns, Standard deviation, co-efficient of variation and comfort factor. May-be your breeder has data available about fibre growth and quantity. One general rule would be, the darker the colour the higher the micron, the coarser the fibre. Coarser fibre will be heavier than fine fibre. Optimum would be fine fibre in high quantity. The older an animal is the coarser the fibre will be and fibre growth will also decline.