Alpaca Terminology


 Did you know alpacas come with their own language? Here are a few of the basic alpaca terms:

Agist: To board your alpacas at another farm for a fee based on care
Berserk Male: a male alpaca that was coddled by humans and has no fear of them as adults 
Cria: An alpaca or any camelid less than 1 year old  
Crimp: The waves in alpaca fiber  
Dam: The mother alpaca  
Fiber: The alpacas “fur”, also called fleece or wool  
Fleece: The alpaca’s fiber  
Gelding: A male alpaca that has been castrated. These males are usually gelded between 18-24 months of age and helps to keep the fiber quality stable.  
Guanaco: An endangered member of the camelid family, sometimes called the “wild llama”  
Guard Hair: A coarse, secondary coat of fiber found in the camelid family. Alpacas tend to have minimal guard hairs  
Herdsire: The proven male alpaca used for breeding  
Huacaya: A breed of alpaca whose fiber grows perpendicular to the skin, giving them a fluffy teddy bear appearance  
Huarizo: The result of a breeding between a llama and an alpaca  
Kush: 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  
Maiden: A female alpaca that has not given birth to a cria  
Micron: a measurement used to measure fiber diameter and describe fiber fineness. A micron is equal to 1/25,000 of an inch  
Orgle: The mating sounds made by males before and during breeding  
Paco Vicuna:  A crossbred or hybrid Vicuna and alpaca  
Prime Fleece: The blanket portion of the alpacas fleece which is usually the best fiber on the alpaca  
Proven: An alpaca which has successfully produced live offspring  
Roving: A narrow, cylindrical strip of processed fiber ready to be spun into yarn  
Shearing: Removing the alpacas fiber with electric or hand shears – done annually  
Sire: father alpaca  
Staple: An independent cluster of individual fibers  
Staple Length: The length of shorn alpaca fiber  
Stud: Herdsire  
Suri: A breed of alpaca with silky locks of fleece that lay close to the body, parting down the middle of the back and twist vertically towards the ground  
Vicuna: Wild camelid ancestor of the alpaca in South America with the finest natural fiber in the world.  
Weanling: An alpaca weaned from its mother, usually at 6 months  


 What follows are Alpaca Terms as described by Rick Horn of All American Alpacas - Thanks Rick!

 Spit test: Behavior testing in which your non pregnant female tells you she's pregnant.
Progesterone: A blood test which tells you your non pregnant female is pregnant. Alternate usage: A blood test that tells you your pregnant female is not pregnant.
Ultrasound: A high tech test that tells you your pregnant female is not pregnant.
Due date: A day calculated from the day of the last breeding. Used for marketing purposes only, as alpacas do not deliver anywhere near their due date.
Labor: The part of pregnancy that causes the panic.
Stage two labor: The process which begins with showing of nose and toes of the cria. Usually occurs as you are in the checkout line of Home Depot.
Micron: A measurement of fiber taken at six months of age, allowed to sit for six years for aging and sent in to a testing lab for results. Example: Steel wool is 21.3 microns.
Pronk: A "Pepe le Pew" type run that crias do just after everyone goes back inside after hours of watching.
CDT: Vaccination you give your alpacas and accidentally to yourself on a semi-regular basis.
Panacur (Safeguard): Worming medication with an apple flavor that an alpaca allows the owner to taste once it has been mixed with spit.
Dectomax: Worming medication preferred over ivermectin as it does not sting as bad when you jam the needle in your leg.
EPE: Now renamed disease that threatened to wipe out alpacas circa 2003
EEE: Disease that threatened to wipe out alpacas circa 2004
WNV: Disease that threatened to wipe out alpacas circa 2005
IgG: A measure of a cria's immune system that when multiplied by 4 is used as a marketing tool.
BEW: This comes from Latin ³beautimus easimus wowismus² which translated means ³easy to sneak up on²
ARI: We were at war with ARI, which was run by Whos-yo-mamma Bin Orgling. It was conquered by King Gordon, and the capitol has been renamed from Frustration to Lincoln
BOD: <>
Hoist down the mizzenpoop: This is not an alpaca term. I do not know how it got here.
Soft Rolling Skin (SRS): What you get around the mid-section when you pay the neighbor kid to scoop poop rather than doing it yourself.
Line breeding: Think of line dancing. Socially acceptable only in small geographic areas.
Breed Standards (BS): The definition does not yet exist.
Peruvian: An alpaca that was stolen by Bolivians from Chile, and later exported from Peru.
Accoyo: Same as above if the alpaca is white and has kind of a fat head.
Entry Level: Poor conformation
Sweet personality: Ugly
Spirited: Wild
Loves treats: Fat, course fiber
Petite: Scrawny
Eye Catcher: Funny looking
Potential Herdsire: Even number of testicles

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