Llama Linda Ranch
Alpacas and Llamas
Linda Hayes   60 Meadow View Lane   Glenwood Springs, CO 81601    970.379.4576   hayestees@sopris.net


Alpacas are delightful cousins of the llama and Paco-vicuña. They are smaller than llamas and are know for their fine fiber. In general, they differ from llamas by having a sloping rump with a low set tail and ears that are spear shaped. They like being with their herd mates and get very upset when separated. They will squeal, sit down and perhaps spit when confronted with a challenge. Although some individuals can be trained as a companion animal, most are not happy leaving the herd.


The alpaca is a major source of income to the indigenous people of the Andes Mountains. The Indians raise them for their fleece. This is sheared annually and shipped to market in bales on the backs of llamas. In fiber centers such as Arequipa, Peru, the fleece is graded by Indian women who have worked in the mills since childhood. They can tell the micron of the fiber just by using their hands. They bring their youngsters to work with them and put them in large baskets much as we use "play pens" for our children. As the kids get older, they help sort the wool into piles by color and grade.


Alpacas are raised in the U.S. by farms who also sell their fiber but they make most of their income from selling breeding stock to new owners and other alpaca ranches. The farm owners scientifically study genetics and bloodlines in order to raise some of the best alpacas in the world. Indeed, it is safe to say that the alpacas in this country and in Australia (Where fleece has been a major product for years.) are much better animals than those that can be found in South America. Why? Because this country has many outstanding educational programs to help new breeders to raise the best. This is seldom done in the Andes Mountains where the Indians are out of contact with modern equipment or training programs.

Alpaca shows have become a major part of the alpaca industry. They are judged on the quality of their fleece, (denseness, fineness, handle & etc.) as well as their conformation. There are even performance classes for the well trained alpaca. These are led over bridges, through water and across challenging obstacles. Many of these same animals are used for personal relations events such as visiting schools, parades and nursing homes.

Alpacas are fun to own, even if you just want them for pasture ornaments. They are very serene and relaxing to watch. AlpacaTheir antics and play at sunset is always amazing and of course, who could not love those fussy faces, great big liquid eyes and their gentle humming sounds.

Llama Linda

Alpaca River Walk

Llama Linda Ranch