Fun Huacaya Alpaca Facts For Kids

Aashita Dhingra
Nov 17, 2022 By Aashita Dhingra
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Shikha Sharma
Huacaya Alpaca facts about native to the altiplano plateau in the Andes.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.2 Min

There are broadly two types of Alpacas, namely Huacaya and the other one which is Suri. Other types include the llamas, guanacos, camels and vicuña. The Huacaya produces soft, dense, curly, and crimped wool. Suris have locks similar to dreadlocks. Suri fiber is highly-priced as compared to Huacaya. Their wool is stronger when compared to sheep wool.

The Alpaca fleece is also loved by all for its colors. There are 22 natural Alpaca fiber colors including varying shades of white, black, brown, and gray.

These species are native to the Andes, Chile, and Peru. They play an important role in the South American economy today and were originally from South America where the Incas bred them for thousands of years. In the mid-1980s, several alpacas were imported to the United States from Bolivia, Chile, and Peru.

They are now kept by alpaca breeders and as fun pets. They were kept similar to the buffalo of the great plains in North America. Apart from their fiber, they were also consumed as meat, and their dung is used as fuel.

Read on for more such fun facts! If you like this article, then visit Aurochs facts and takin facts too.

Huacaya Alpaca Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Huacaya Alpaca?

The Huacaya is a type of Alpaca animal and belongs to the Animalia kingdom and originates from the family of camels.

What class of animal does a Huacaya Alpaca belong to?

The Huacaya Alpaca belongs to the mammal class of species, and Vicugna genus. Alpacas are modified ruminants part of the camelid family.

How many Huacaya Alpacas are there in the world?

There are an estimated three million alpacas in the world and 94% of those reside in South America. Out of the three million, 93% are Huacaya and 7% are Suri species.  

Where does a Huacaya Alpaca live?

The Huacaya Alpaca lives in grasslands and near mountain regions as well as is seen near the savanna site. They are also seen on alpaca farms owned by shepherds.

They were originally only seen in Peru and were domesticated there by the Andean people around three million years ago, now these species are found all over the world. They move in herds.

What is a Huacaya Alpaca's habitat?

Its seen in the Andes at an elevation of 4000 m above sea level. The species habitat consists of mountainous regions however when domesticated they are found residing in farms or any place with human care. They require ample access to grass, leaves, and other food and environmental requirements.

Who do Huacaya Alpacas live with?

Alpaca are breedable like other species of livestock including sheep, hen, and others. They don't do well around dogs.

However, once domesticated they adjust well to other species around them. Alpacas should not be kept with cows or horses since there is a possibility for them to be kicked or injured. These farm animals need to be kept separately if you are considering breeding for the alpaca fiber.

How long does a Huacaya Alpaca live?

This species of alpaca lives for 15-20 years. Alpacas living in their natural habitat have a much lower lifespan. The oldest alpaca lived 27 years as per record.

How do they reproduce?

The gestation period lasts 242-345 days. The male alpaca/macho and female alpaca/hembras mate. Males tend to mate with multiple females. Hembras have induced ovulators and ovulate only after mating.

Once the cria/baby alpaca goes through the development process, they are weaned at six to eight months old and weigh about 17-33 lb. The baby can stand and move around by themselves. Alpacas and llamas can be crossbred and the offspring breeds are called huarizo and they will be born with longer llama-alpaca fleece.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of these herd animals is not evaluated by the International Union For Conservation Of Nature (IUCN). The Alpaca population has not been impacted greatly however once their exact status will be measured it will be much easier to decide the need for conservation and other requirements.

Huacaya Alpaca Fun Facts

What do Huacaya Alpacas look like?

The Huacaya produces soft, dense, curly, and crimpy wool. Llamas and alpacas are similar-looking species and it's difficult to tell the difference between the two, however, they are species that can be interbred. Both are domesticated descendants of the vicuña.

Wild Llamas tend to spit at each other when they are trying to compete for food. They have floppy tufts, slender necks, ingenue eyes, and coy grins. They belong to the same family as camels however, they don't have humps as they do.

Huacaya Alpaca

How cute are they?

They look extremely cute and all species of alpacas are likewise. Their characteristics are sociable and friendly. They are sensitive towards others' needs and totally adaptive to being trained as livestock.

How do they communicate?

They communicate through body language, vocalizations, and possibly through dung piles. The most common sounds include snortling, humming,  grumbling, screeching, and alarm calls. They have an alarm call that one alpaca will emit to alert the rest of the species.

How big is a Huacaya Alpaca?

The Huacaya alpaca is 32-39 in (81.2-99 cm) tall which is a bit bigger than the smallest species of Alpaca i.e. the vicuña alpaca who are 36 in (75-85 cm). The guanaco is a wild species similar to the vicuña alpaca.

How fast can a Huacaya Alpaca run?

They are fast runners, however, but they utilize this ability only when it's extremely necessary i.e. to catch prey or to run away from possible predators. In addition, they are playful beings and love to play around.

How much does a Huacaya Alpaca weigh?

Huacaya Alpacas weigh 100-190 lb (45.3-86.1 kg). Males weigh 154 lb (70 kg) while females weigh  143 lb (65 kg) Llamas are heavier than alpacas and alpacas are smaller as compared to llamas.

What are their male and female names of the species?

Male alpacas are called macho and female alpacas are called hembras. Males tend to mate with multiple females. They also differ in weight.

What would you call a baby Huacaya Alpaca?

The offspring are called cria until they reach six years of age in which case they become independent and are referred to as adults. Crias support themselves individually and begin to walk when born.

What do they eat?

They are domestic breeds and feed on grass hay, leaves, and certain fruits. They require an ample amount of grass to graze on. They also require adequate amounts of water and shelter requirements in order to survive and increase the longevity of their lives.  

Are they dangerous?

They are not dangerous beings and are similar to other species of livestock. They do not trouble others unless they are harmed and not taken care of properly. They cannot be kept restricted in small spaces for long and are ideal for alpaca farmers or breeders.

Would they make a good pet?

They can be domesticated easily however it is essential to be trained before deciding to adopt them to provide them with the right care as well as adequate shelter requirements. They are therapeutic animals.

Owing to their sensitive nature and the way they pay attention. They have been adopted as therapy animals and have also gained popularity in hospitals. They are also popular breeds among farmers.

Did you know...

Alpacas are present in ancient records Incans of Peru. They were domesticated as animals for their fur/fine fleece as well as for other purposes like utilizing their dung as fuel. They were valued more than gold at one point in time. Dung piles help control parasites.

There are two breeds of Alpacas one is the Huacaya pronounced as (wah-ki-ah) and the Suri pronounced (Soo-ree).

What's the difference between Huacaya and Suri Alpacas?

There are broadly two types of Alpacas namely Huacaya and the other one is Suri. There are some major differences between the two species that can help you clearly identify the differences between the two. The Huacaya produces soft, dense, curly, and crimped wool. Suris have locks similar to dreadlocks.

Suri fiber is highly-priced as compared to Huacayas'. Both produce fibers that are equally useful and necessary. The Suri is comparatively light in appearance as compared to alpacas.

What's unique about the Huacaya Alpaca?

The Huacaya Alpaca is friendly and approachable as long as they are domesticated or trained. They are one of the most popular and widely spotted species of Alpaca.

The Huacaya Alpaca, like other species of Alpaca, have flame and water-resistant fur making it high-quality fiber.

Alpacas are lighter as compared to sheep who are harder in movement creating dents in the soil and tend to damage the top layer of soil.

Alpaca fur is similar to sheep's however their fur is warmer and less itchy. If you ever spot an Alpaca, don't hesitate to contact the owner and greet these friendly beings and if you cant visit them physically you could always read up on more information related to alpacas.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals from our gerenuk fun facts for kids, and Hokkaido dog interesting facts.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable baby Alpaca coloring pages.

Huacaya Alpaca Facts

What Did They Prey On?

N/A

What Type of Animal were they?

Herbivore

Average Litter Size?

1

How Much Did They Weigh?

100-190 lb (45.3-86.1 kg)

What habitat Do they Live In?

mountain ranges, grasslands

Where Do They Live?

chile and peru

How Long Were They?

N/A

How Tall Were They?

32-39 in (81.2-99 cm)

Class

Mammalia

Genus

Vicugna

Family

Camelids

Scientific Name

Vicugna pacos

What Do They Look Like?

White, black, brown, and gray

Skin Type

Fur

What Are Their Main Threats?

mountain lions, bears, and coyotes

What is their Conservation Status?

Not Evaluated
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Written by Aashita Dhingra

Bachelors in Business Administration

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Aashita DhingraBachelors in Business Administration

Based in Lucknow, India, Aashita is a skilled content creator with experience crafting study guides for high school-aged kids. Her education includes a degree in Business Administration from St. Mary's Convent Inter College, which she leverages to bring a unique perspective to her work. Aashita's passion for writing and education is evident in her ability to craft engaging content.

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Fact-checked by Shikha Sharma

Bachelor of Commerce

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Shikha SharmaBachelor of Commerce

Shikha has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Delhi. She also holds a Diploma in Information Technology, which has helped her acquire technical and design skills.

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