Do you know what an alpaca is? All I know is that they are very loveable and somewhat familiar to lamas. I had to do some research to find out what they're worth is. Apparently, they're bred for their fiber, much like a sheep is for their wool. Alpaca fiber is used to make knitted items, for sweaters, socks, hats, gloves, scarves, you name it.

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Did you know that we have an alpaca farm right here in the Tri-Cities? Sandollar Farms Alpacas and Pyrs is in Kennewick. According to their website:

We breed to preserve the extremely rare and beautiful heritage breed suri alpaca!

I've seen alpacas and lamas before at various county fairs. They're adorable!

You can gain quite a bit of knowledge about alpacas at the Sandollar Farms website.

The charming alpaca is very rare, and highly prized for its luxurious fleece, which is softerwarmer and stronger than wool or cashmere and typically processed into high end textiles. It also has fire retardant characteristics as well as wonderful moisture wicking elements.  Alpaca fiber is an eco-friendly fiber and a wonderful alternative for people who are allergic to wool as it contains no lanolin.

Alpacas are members of the South American Camelid family which includes the alpaca and its wild ancestor, the vicuna, as well as the llama, and its wild ancestor, the guanaco. There are two types of alpacas. The huacaya alpaca has a fluffy fleece that stands out from the body, looking for all the world like cotton candy. The suri alpaca has long pencil ringlets of highly lustrous fleece that wave gently as the animal walks majestically with head held high.

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As for pets, alpacas require the minimum, needing grass, alfalfa, grain, mineral supplements, and fresh water on a daily basis.

Alpacas are easily trained and can be handled by children with proper training. Most alpacas actually love water and come running on a warm summer day to have their legs and bellies hosed down. The only care required are annual vaccinations, periodic worming, and a “pedicure” every other month or so for those animals raised on pasture instead of their native rocky ground.

Book your tour here.

You can view more of Sandollar Farms in an interview with our news partners at KAPP/KVEW here.

Alpacas are NOT by any means deadly!

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