As the day we're getting our alpacas approaches, we're getting more and more questions about our alpacas. The number one question is - "When are your llamas arriving?".
If there's just one thing you can learn about alpacas today... it's that they're not llamas.
Alpacas and Llamas have a lot of similarities; they're both camelids, they're both originally from South America. Neither are very common over here in Spain - which is why people get confused.
Alpacas have been bred for their fleece; they are fluffy animals. Their fleece is very soft, and can be a lot more expensive than regular sheep's wool. It's also incredibly dense, and things made out of alpaca wool are very sturdy, soft and warm.
Their head is a first clue: they have short-ish ears, big eyes, usually a lot of fluff on top of their head, and their nuzzle is quite shorter than a llama's.
Alpacas weigh about half a Llama - they are a lot smaller as well.
Alpacas are very gentle and timid animals; they can spit, but will usually just walk away from a tense situation. They can be used to guard chickens from foxes (for instance), but need protection from bigger predators, especially if they have crias (babies).
Llamas have been bred for meat and as pack animals. They are also used as guard animals for sheep or alpacas. They are a bit temperamental and will spit if something is not to their liking. Nobody wants to be spit upon by a llama. No really, you don't.
Look at their head to see the difference between llamas and alpacas; llamas have quite long and banana-shaped ears, and a longer nose. They've got big and beautiful eyes though. They don't have that much hair on their head, usually.
Llamas are a quite a bit bigger and sturdier than alpacas - they weigh a lot more as well.
As for the donkey and the horse... Everybody knows they're not the same (right?). Most people would be able to tell them apart from a short distance... and usually little girls ask their parents for a horse, not a donkey. Donkeys are fantastic though!