We feed our alpaca grain specially formulated for them 2x/day and hay. (Best hay is orchard grass hay at 12-14% protein). They have free grazing on pasture. In the winter months they may need more hay to offset the lack of pasture available.
Alpaca need an unlimited supply of fresh water. The water should be cool in the summer and warm in the winter to make it most palatable.
We “clean up” after our alpacas in the morning and evening removing the dung from the pastures. Diligence about keeping the pastures clean helps to reduce the risk of parasites
Generally watching each alpaca to monitor changes in their personality which may be an indicator of illness.
Herd Health: Taking weights or body scores, checking teeth, toenails
Fecal testing with follow up as needed for each alpaca
Shearing, inoculations (shots)
ARI: stands for Alpaca Registry, Inc. This registry is the “keeper” of the North American alpaca pedigree.
Accoyo: refers to an alpaca that has been bred at Estancia Accoyo (a ranch) in Peru.
Agist: To board your alpacas at another farm for a fee based on care
Beserk Female/Male: an alpaca that was coddled by humans and has no fear of them as adults
Body Score: The manual measurement of rating the alpaca’s weight. Use of hand on back should form a concave “v” or a 3 on the scale. A sharp angled “v” 1 to 2 on the scale indicates an underweight animal that many have a health problem. A flattened “v” a 4 to 5 on the scale indicates an overweight animal.
Cria: An alpaca or any camelid less than 1 year old
Crimp: The waves in huacaya alpaca fiber
Cush: Also seen as kush. The position when the alpaca folds its legs under its body to rest or keep warm. This is also the position for a receptive female for breeding.
Dam: The mother alpaca
Fiber: The alpacas “fur”, also called fleece or wool
Fleece: The alpaca’s fiber
Gelding: A male alpaca that has been castrated. Males are usually gelded between 18-24 months of age and helps to keep the fiber quality stable.
Guanaco: An endangered member of the camelid family, sometimes called the “wild llama”
Guard Hair: A coarse, “prickly” secondary fiber found in the camelid family.
Herdsire: The proven male alpaca used for breeding
Huacaya: A breed of alpaca known for their wooly crimped fleece. They make up approx. 85% fo the US population
Kush: Also seen as cush.The position when the alpaca folds its legs under its body to rest or keep warm. This is also the position for a receptive female for breeding.
Luster: The shine caused by the reflection of light off the Suri fiber.
Lock: The grouping of Suri fiber. Can be divided into 5 types: wave & twist, pencil, pearl, curl, and straight.
Maiden: A female alpaca that has not given birth to a cria.
Micron: a measurement used to measure fiber diameter and describe fiber fineness. A micron is equal to 1/25,000 of an inch
Orgle: The mating sounds made by males before and during breeding
Parasite: May be internal or external. This is a “bug” that may warrant medical treatment of the alpaca.
Prime Fleece: The blanket portion of the alpacas fleece which is usually the best fiber on the alpaca
Proven: An alpaca which has successfully produced live offspring
Roving: A narrow, cylindrical strip of processed fiber ready to be spun into yarn
Shearing: Removing the alpacas fiber with electric or hand shears – done annually
Sire: father alpaca
Staple: An independent cluster of individual fibers
Staple Length: The length of shorn alpaca fiber
Suri: A breed of alpaca recognized for silky twisted locks of fleece with luster. Make up approx. 15% of the US population.
Vicuna: Wild camelid ancestor of the alpaca in South America with the most luxurious fiber of all animals
To set up a farm or store visit, or just to ask questions please call us at
For GPS directions please use: 18 McHenry Rd
Cochranville, PA 19330
(Google may list us as Parkesburg or Atglen)
Joe is owner and operator of Maxwell’s Woodworking & Design (www.maxwellwoodworking.com) specializing in handcrafting 18th century reproduction furniture. He is lucky enough to have his shop located on the farm so he can get a dose of alpaca love whenever he wants. He has been working with customers for over 25 years and recognizes the importance of providing support before, during and after a sale. He carries this awareness over to the alpaca business and is happy to help support and educate clients and the general public about alpacas and their care. He enjoys talking to people and has a way of putting them at ease that is amazing.
I grew up on the farm helping with the small dairy and field work. I am very excited to be able to raise alpacas on the family farm. As a Physical Therapist, most days find me away from the farm but I can usually fit in either the morning or evening “clean up” and feeding. I look forward to weekends when I get double duty. In addition to therapy and raising alpacas I squeeze in time to paint and occasionally teach a class (www.maxwellartstudio.com). I love showing off our alpacas and answering questions for those who are interested in raising alpacas to those who are interested in the product we get from the fleece, to the just plain curious.
We find it invaluable to have the support of our mentoring farms as we continue to grow and our expectation is to provide this kind of assistance to our clients.
Looking forward to hearing from you!!