Adult Suri alpacas stand at approximately 36 inches at the withers and generally weigh between 150 and 200 pounds. They do not have horns, hooves, claws or incisors. Alpacas are alert, intelligent, curious, and predictable. Social animals that seek companionship, Suris communicate most commonly by softly humming.
Fencing is not a huge issue because Suri alpacas don't challenge fences. Alpacas require minimal acreage and food.
Making Suri alpacas even more attractive is their child-friendly nature. Though easy to manage, as with any livestock, children should always be properly supervised while working with alpacas.
Offering a high degree of personal satisfaction, Suri owners, breeders and enthusiasts believe these animals are ideal for small farms.
Suris are shorn, without harm, every twelve to eighteen months. They produced five to ten pounds of luxurious fiber. Long ago, alpaca fiber was reserved for royalty. Today it is purchased in its raw fleece form by hand-spinners and fiber artists. Knitters buy it as yarn.
Because of its soft texture, Suri fiber is sometimes compared to cashmere. Making Suri fiber even more coveted, it has the luster of silk. Suri is longer in length than most other fibers, making it easier to process and less likely to pill.
Alpaca is stronger, warmer and yet lighter than wool. It comes in 22 natural colors, yet can be dyed any desired shade.
This fiber is organic and naturally flame retardant. Containing no lanolin, it is also naturally hypoallergenic. Most people who are sensitive to wool find that they can wear alpaca without the itching or irritation they feel from wool because alpaca fiber is smooth.
Current estimates total over 65,000 registered alpacas with the Alpaca Registry, Inc. (ARI) in the United States and more than 4,000 AOBA members in North America.