Alpacas are related to Llama, but they are smaller, have milder dispositions, and do not have banana-shaped ears like the Llama. Alpacas have a light footprint on the land and actually cut the grasses they graze, leaving roots intact for regrowth. There are 2 breeds of alpaca: the Huacaya (wa-Ki’-ah) and the Suri. Huacaya are more common than the Suri and have a fluffy and extremely fine coat. Suri are rarer – representing approximately 10% of registered alpacas in the US – and have a silky coat that drapes and resembles pencil locks. The fiber from both breeds is very warm, adsorbent, lightweight, and since alpacas do not produce lanolin in their fiber, it is considered hypoallergenic.
Although the main focus at Rockin’ Alpaca Suri Ranch is our Suri Alpacas, we also have Livestock Guardian Dogs (LGD), poultry, rabbits, goats, and ducks. Each added animal or livestock species aids and benefits the ranch. Many help us avoid the use of chemicals whenever possible to keep toxins entering the soil at an absolute minimum. Our LGDs, affectionately called “the Mafia,” protect all living creatures residing at the farm. The chickens assist with tilling, weeding, eating insects, and providing parasite control, ducks aerate the soil as they dig for slugs and bugs, goats eat weeds, and the rabbits and alpacas provide power beans for the garden. Many also offer some source of protein.
We are proud and excited to be able to work with all of these magnificent creatures, view each day as a gift, and cherish the opportunity to love and protect them all. That said, naming is important at RASR – it is not taken lightly, and there is a formula. All alpacas born at RASR are named after Rock ‘n Roll songs: “Johnny B. Good,” “Hey Jude,” “Good Golly Miss Molly” to mention a few. LGDs and animals that move to the ranch for life are named after Rock ‘n Roll artists or bands: Axel Rose, Elton John, Otis Redding. The Goats are a bit of a mix for naming. Breeding does are named for artists or bands (Abba, Enya) and Bucks could be artists, bands, or songs. In all cases, personality and/or purpose determines a name. We rarely name anything that is destined to offer protein, but occasionally the need arises to delineate the keepers from the movers. Again, naming was intentional: Stew, Cacciatore, Parm, etc.