Alpaca Terms

Alarm Call
A sound usually made by the males when they feel that the herd is threatened in some way. It sounds similar to a turkey call or an engine trying to start.
Berserk Male Syndrome
A male alpaca that has become physically aggressive towards people upon reaching puberty after being improperly imprinted on humans. This behavior is not easily alterable once it begins.
An alpaca or other camelid from birth until he/she is weaned.
The waves in alpaca fiber.
A position where the alpaca folds its legs under its body to rest or keep warm. This is also the position for a receptive female for breeding. The term for the act of a alpaca laying down sternally or the actual position a alpaca is in when it is laying down. It may also be used as a command to get a alpaca to attain this position.
The female parent of a alpaca.
Dung Pile
A designated area (usually decided upon by the alpacas) where alpacas urinate and defecate. There are often several dung piles within any one field or pasture.
Dust Pile
A bare area on the ground which alpacas use for rolling.
The alpacas “fur”, also called fleece or wool.
The alpaca’s fiber.
A castrated male alpaca. Gelding is normally done between 18-24 months of age and helps to keep the fiber quality stable.
Guard Hair
A coarse, secondary coat of fiber found in the camelid family. Alpacas tend to have minimal guard hairs.
A male alpaca who is used to breed female alpacas. He may also be called a stud.
A breed of alpaca whose fiber grows perpendicular to the skin, giving them a fluffy teddy bear appearance.
The sounds that alpacas make when they are tired, stressed, hot, uncomfortable, curious or concerned. There are different types of hums for different causes. This is the most common vocalization heard from alpacas.
Maiden Female
A female who has not been bred to a male yet, usually because she is too young.
Open Female
A female who is not pregnant.
Potty Pile
Another common term used for a dung pile.
Prime Fleece
The blanket portion of the alpacas fleece which is usually the best fiber on the alpaca.
An alpaca which has successfully produced live offspring.
An activity which alpacas engage in regularly. Alpacas will lay on their side and roll half-way or completely over several times.
A narrow, cylindrical strip of processed fiber ready to be spun into yarn.
Removing the alpacas fiber with electric or hand shears – done annually.
The male parent of a alpaca.
A male alpaca who is used to breed females. He can also be called a herdsire or a macho.
A alpaca who has been weaned from the mother but is under one year of age.
A alpaca who is one year of age but not yet two years of age.