An alpaca farm in Temecula will welcome the public Saturday for National Alpaca Farm Days.
The public is invited to visit the farm to meet the friendly, fluffy alpacas and learn about their industry in the United States and Canada.
National Alpaca Farm Day is an annual event promoted by the non-profit Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association, based in Nashville, Tenn.
“This is a great opportunity because there are lot of special activities going on. The best way to learn about alpacas is to go and meet some,” said Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association spokeswoman Cindy Berman.
The Alpaca Hacienda at 31755 Rancho Vista Road in Temecula will be open Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“We look forward to having you visit our ranch. Come on out, enjoy the views, and let our alpacas delight you and your family. Our handmade, luxury alpaca and silk scarves will be available to purchase at the ranch - great for gift giving!” the hacienda owners say on their open house listing on the alpaca owners website.
Alpacas, cousins to the llama, are native to the Andean Mountain range of South America, particularly Peru, Bolivia and Chile. The U.S. first commercially imported alpacas in 1984, and today, there are more than 160,000 registered alpacas in North America, according to the association. Alpacas are alert, intelligent, curious and sociable herd animals, according to their owners.
There are two types of alpacas in the U.S.: the Huacaya, which is more common and has a fluffy, fine coat; and the Suri, which is more rare and has a silky coat.
Alpacas are shorn without being harmed every twelve to eighteen months for their soft fleece, which is used by hand-spinners, knitters and fiber artists to make scarves, sweaters, hats, rugs and other products. Alpaca is soft and warm but weighs less than wool and comes in 22 natural hues that can be dyed any color.