Alpaca Terminology

Common Terminology:


ARI:   stands for Alpaca Registry, Inc.  This registry is the “keeper” of the North American alpaca pedigree.

Accoyo:  refers to an alpaca that has been bred at Estancia Accoyo (a ranch) in Peru.

Agist: To board your alpacas at another farm for a fee based on care
Beserk Female/Male: an alpaca that was coddled by humans and has no fear of them as adults 

Body Score:  The manual measurement of rating the alpaca’s weight. Use of hand on back should form a concave “v” or a 3 on the scale.  A sharp angled “v” 1 to 2 on the scale indicates an underweight animal that many have a health problem.  A flattened “v” a 4 to 5 on the scale indicates an overweight animal.  
Cria: An alpaca or any camelid less than 1 year old  
Crimp: The waves in  huacaya alpaca fiber  

Cush:  Also seen as kush.  The position when the alpaca folds its legs under its body to rest or keep warm. This is also the position for a receptive female for breeding.
Dam: The mother alpaca  
Fiber: The alpacas “fur”, also called fleece or wool  
Fleece: The alpaca’s fiber  
Gelding: A male alpaca that has been castrated. Males are usually gelded between 18-24 months of age and helps to keep the fiber quality stable.  
Guanaco: An endangered member of the camelid family, sometimes called the “wild llama”  
Guard Hair: A coarse, “prickly”  secondary fiber found in the camelid family.

Herdsire: The proven male alpaca used for breeding  
Huacaya: A breed of alpaca known for their wooly crimped fleece.  They make up approx. 85% fo the US population

Kush: Also seen as cush.The position when the alpaca folds its legs under its body to rest or keep warm. This is also the position for a receptive female for breeding.

Luster:  The shine caused by the reflection of light off the Suri fiber.

Lock:  The grouping of Suri fiber.  Can be divided into 5 types:  wave & twist, pencil, pearl, curl, and straight.
Maiden: A female alpaca that has not given birth to a cria.  
Micron: a measurement used to measure fiber diameter and describe fiber fineness. A micron is equal to 1/25,000 of an inch  
Orgle: The mating sounds made by males before and during breeding 

Parasite:  May be internal or external.  This is a “bug” that may warrant medical treatment of the alpaca.
Prime Fleece: The blanket portion of the alpacas fleece which is usually the best fiber on the alpaca  
Proven: An alpaca which has successfully produced live offspring  
Roving: A narrow, cylindrical strip of processed fiber ready to be spun into yarn  
Shearing: Removing the alpacas fiber with electric or hand shears – done annually  
Sire: father alpaca  
Staple: An independent cluster of individual fibers  
Staple Length: The length of shorn alpaca fiber  
Stud: Herdsire  
Suri: A breed of alpaca recognized for silky twisted locks of fleece with luster.  Make up approx. 15% of the US population.   

Vicuna: Wild camelid ancestor of the alpaca in South America with the most luxurious fiber of all animals