Mulberry Alpacas Home Page
Located in the mountains of Ashland, Oregon  
Mulberry Alpacas Saturday, 19 July, 2008  

 

Climate

Alpacas are native to the puna or altiplano of South America. This is an area of high altitude, generally over 12,000 feet. However, as they are also near to the equator they experience less seasonal variation in temperature than you would expect. As a result, alpacas have not evolved to cope with extreme cold or extreme heat. They appear to tolerate cold better than heat and the combination of heat and humidity is the toughest combination.

The solution is to provide fresh clean water at all times and plenty of shade. Just like humans, alpacas carrying too much weight feel the effects of heat more than those at the correct weight. Shearing before the hot season helps and avoiding transporting animals during the heat of the day is a wise precaution. Extreme cold can put newborn cria at risk so most births are timed to occur in the warmer months. Cria born in winter will need to be kept indoors and warm for the first few days. They may also need to wear a thermal coat when in the paddock.

Having said all of the above, alpacas are raised successfully throughout the USA and Canada. This is a testament to just how hardy and remarkably adaptable these animals are.