Alpaca Glossary
Thursday, 03 April 2008 16:19

Alpaca Glossary – Vocabulary and Acronyms Explained

When learning about a new industry, hobby or interest, one often has to learn a new set of words and abbreviations. Alpacas are no exception, so I thought that I would compile a list of helpful definitions for the ‘lay person’. I love to talk about my alpacas, so sometimes I forget that people have no idea what a ‘cria’ is, or what ‘ARI’ stands for. This list will eventually become part of our FAQ section. If you have any suggestions for words that I should add, please post a comment.

Alpaca A domesticated species of South American camelid raised for fibre production and meat.
AOBA Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association - the largest alpaca club in North America.
ARI Alpaca Registry, Inc. - North America's largest alpaca registry. If you want to show your alpaca at an AOBA event, they must belong to this pedigree registry. It is also referred to as the 'American' registry.
BVD Bovine Viral Diarrhea - A cattle disease that has been detected in the North American alpaca community since 2001. It is typically an acute (short term) illness that the alpaca's immune system can take care of, but if a pregnant female contracts the virus, things get more complicated. The female will either abort the foetus, or if it survives, when it is born, it may be persistently infected with BVD and becomes a carrier of the virus. All of our animals have been tested for BVD, and our farm is BVD free.
Camelid Members of the biological family of Camelidae, which includes llamas, alpacas, vicuña, guacano, dromedary and Bactrian camel.
CLAA Canadian Llama and Alpaca Association - Canada's national alpaca (and llama) organization that also operates the Canadian purebred pedigree for alpacas (and llamas).
Cria A baby alpaca.
Dam A mother alpaca.
Dual-Registered Indicates that the alpaca is a purebred in both the Canadian (CLAA) and American (ARI) pedigree registries.
Fibre Boy A non-breeding male alpaca that is kept as a pet and/or for his fleece. Fibre boys are often un-registered or gelded.
Gelding A castrated male alpaca.
Guanaco A wild South American camelid that resembles a llama.
Huacaya The more common of two alpaca fleece types. Huacayas have dense, soft, crimpy, sheep-like fleece.
Huarizo A llama-alpaca hybrid.
Llama A domesticated species of South American camelid raised for fibre production, meat and as pack animals.
Oorgle The sound made by a male alpaca during mating, which may help induce ovulation in the female.
Sire A 'father' alpaca.
Stud A male alpaca used for breeding.
Suri The less common of two alpaca fleece types. Suri alpacas produce silky, pencil-like locks.
Vicuña A protected, wild South American camelid that produces small amounts of super-fine fibre.