The Alpacas are divided into different “Roles”:
- Herd Guard
Male Stud Alpacas are known as “Herd Sires” and females as “Breeding Mares”. The male stud Alpacas are usually also available for mating. Female stud Alpacas are normally not available as surrogates as they are used for internal stud improvement.
Commercial Alpacas are those termed as good and strong Alpacas – but not suited to the individual breeder’s stud program. They are suited for those that want to establish their own “working” herd of un-registered Alpacas.
Herd Guards are in high demand with sheep farmers. A pair of Alpacas will comfortably adopt and look after a herd of 200 sheep. Contrary to using dogs for this function, they need no additional care and eat the same food the sheep do.
When an Alpaca is hand-reared it becomes attached to humans. In fact it adopts them as the parent. These Alpaca should not be left to fend for themselves and are ideally suited for those seeking a closer affinity to such an animal.
Cria are the new-born in alpaca-speak. Cria are wheened from their mothers at about six months. Until a Cria is wheened it is too early to classify into a role. Promising male cria are often only classified after their first off-spring (progeny) are wheened. Males are only ready for mating when they are two to two-and-a-half years old.