Alpacas and Llamas

Brown and white llamas grazing

Alpacas and llamas are alternative livestock species most often raised for the specialty fiber produced through annual shearing of their hair coat. Alpaca fiber is especially recognized for its softness and thermal capacity. Llamas are sometimes grazed with small ruminants to deter predators, although they are themselves a prey animal.

There are other, small niche markets for meat, pack llamas, and other live sales, such as show and breeding animals. Alpacas and llamas offer a comparatively low-impact livestock alternative because their padded feet do not have the same effect on the ground as hooves. In addition, they have efficient digestive systems and can thrive on marginal pasture unsuited to other livestock species. 

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Linda Coffey

Linda Coffey

Hereford cattle grazing on an ARS research range in Montana.
Cow and calf on a pasture in southern Iowa.
Measuring with grazing stick
lambs in cooler
A sheep stands under a solar array
vacas en un pasto