Vermilion Alpaca Farms
Nestled in the beautiful countryside of Vermilion, Ohio are several Alpaca farms.
The Alpaca is a member of the camelid family, first found in recorded history in the high mountain regions of South America. For thousands of years, Alpacas have coexisted with humans. They were nearly driven to extinction by the Spanish conquerors, small herds survived in the high Andes mountains, one of the most inhospitable places on earth. The Andean civilization of the Andes mountains gave the animal a central place in their society, using Alpacas in religious ceremonies and clothing themselves from their fleece. The high altitude and harsh landscape ensured only the hardiest of these creatures survived, and these ancestors of today’s best bloodlines have provided a gene pool producing hardy, agile animals with dense, high quality fiber. In 1984, a small group of importers brought the first of a carefully selected herd of highest quality alpacas into the United States and Canada, and they immediately became a beloved part of the North American landscape.
Alpacas are friendly, calm, inquisitive, and easy to farm. The females, or hembras, grow to 60-70 kg and males, or machos, grow to 90kg, standing at our eye height. Babies (cria) are born at between 6 and 9 kg and should reach 40kg well before their first birthday.
They are placid, friendly, intelligent and careful animals, and for the most part non-aggressive. Their natural defence is a reflex kick to the rear, and spitting if really provoked, although good spit tends to be reserved for pecking order tussles within the herd, or to keep nuisances in line. A loud “bark” acts as a warning call to others. A soft humming is the only other noise they make.
Alpaca fiber comes in 22 colors that are recognized by the textile industry, and there are many blends in addition to that. Alpacas are shorn for their wonderful fleece each year which is a soft, warm fiber that is turned into the most luxurious garments in the world. When it comes to raising alpacas, there is something for everyone.
Alpaca is five times warmer than wool, hypoallergenic, soft as silk and wears forever. Never dry clean alpaca clothing. Washing in cool water with a mild detergent, roll in a towel and lay out to dry.
Discover Vermilion’s Alpaca farms.