Ohio Alpaca Farms
Among all the states that alpacas are raised in, Ohio leads the nation with the largest number of alpaca farms and the greatest number of alpacas. With nearly 12% of the alpacas raised in the USA being registered to Ohio alpaca owners, there is no reason not to visit an Ohio alpaca farm today.
General Information About Alpacas
Alpacas are a domesticated member of the camel (camelid) family. The camelid family also includes llamas, guanacos, and vicunas from South America, and the Bactrian and Dromedary camels from Asia and Africa. This family of animals originated on the plains of North America about 10 million years ago. A common ancestor to the South American camelids migrated to South America about 2.5 million years ago. Two wild species, vicunas and guanacos, emerged. They still live in the Andes. It is believed that about 6,000 years ago alpacas were created through selective breeding which was heavily influenced by the vicuna. There are similarities in size, fiber, and dentition (teeth) between the alpaca and the wild vicuna.
Today there are about 3.5 million alpacas in the Andean highlands, most of which can be found in Peru. Since the major first importation into the U.S. in 1984, the North American herd has increased from a few alpacas in zoos and private collections to about 20,000. Alpacas are popular internationally for their luxury fiber and as pet, show, and investment animals in Canada, England, Australia, New Zealand, Poland, France, and Israel, as well as the United States.
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