The Alpacas are divided into different categories:
- Herd Guard
- Non-Breeding / Companion
Male Stud Alpacas are known as “Herd Sires” and females as “Breeding Mares”. These males are also available for matings for other breeders. Female stud Alpacas are 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 purpose, Alpacas graze from the same pastures and get mostly the same vaccinations as 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 as a companion animal.
Cria are the new-born in alpaca-speak. Cria are weaned from their mothers at about six months. Until a Cria is weaned it is too early to classify into a role. Promising male cria are often only classified after their first off-spring (progeny) are weaned. Males are only ready for mating when they are two-and-a-half to three years old.