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Physical Characteristics

Alpacas are relatively small and easy to handle, weighing anywhere between 100-200 lbs and standing as short as 32 inches at the shoulder.

They come in 22 colours, including white, beige, fawn, brown, black, grey, and multi/fancy (spotted or pinto), with an almost infinite number of combinations of shades and patterns in between.

Alpacas come in two breed variations, "Huacaya" and "Suri". Huacaya alpacas are the most common in Canada, and are noted for their "fluffy" appearance. Their fibre grows outward from the body, similar to a sheep's wool.

Suri alpacas are similar in build, but are recognized for their silkier, pencil-locks, and brighter lustre. Suri's fibre does not grow outwards from the body with a "fluffy" appearance, but rather it grows much like long hair-- making suri's appear to have long, flowing ringlets growing from their coats.

Some interesting characteristics of alpacas include their soft padded feet (much like a dogs paws) with two toes; their muzzle which only has teeth on the bottom jaw, as well as the male alpacas propensity to grow "fighting teeth" which may need to be trimmed. 

Unlike their larger llama cousins, alpacas are generally more compact in appearance. They have more facial and leg coverage, and unlike some llamas, they do not shed their coat out during the year.

Alpacas tend to have squarish, but wedge shaped heads with spear-shaped ears. Their backs are not as long nor as straight as llamas. Instead, they have a slightly convex profile, with a more rounded top line and a low set tail.

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