THE IDEAL ALPACA

THE IDEAL ALPACA

An ideal alpaca’s look begins with the head, a dense top knot, and well-covered cheeks converging with the wool cap to form a close V at the eyes, which are brown. The ears are shaped like an arrowhead and erect. The muzzle is soft and wedge shaped. The jaw should fit together correctly, with the lower incisors meeting the upper dental pad. The head and neck make up about one-third of an alpaca’s height, the body makes up one-third, as do the legs. The neck connects to the shoulder at approximately a 45° angle to the back, which is straight, dropping off a bit at the tail.

When the alpaca is alert, the neck and back form almost a 90° angle with the head slightly forward. The perfect alpaca has a squared off appearance, with four strong legs setting squarely under it, giving it a graceful stance which translates into a fluid gait. The ideal alpaca has a soft, dense fleece, which is completed with abundant coverage down the legs.

The alpaca’s head is a window into its quality and type: both huacaya and suri. The head of the ideal suri should exhibit well-covered cheeks and a bearded chin. The suri’s fleece should begin independently locking at the forehead and continue uniformly down the neck, across the body and down the legs, finishing at the toes.

The head of the ideal huacaya should exhibit a dense top knot which is crimpy. The cheeks should be well covered, and the bridge of the nose, clean. The crimp in the top knot should continue down the neck, across the blanket, and into the tail, finishing down the belly and legs.

The stars of any herd will catch your eye with an alert, erect appearance.

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