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Wednesday, Jul 03 2013 07:47 AM

Alpacas abound in Tehachapi

Alpacas originally were bred 5,000 years ago by the Incas for their fleece, which was reserved strictly for royalty.

Today, alpacas are also raised in Tehachapi for their extraordinary coats. Fortunately you don’t need to be royalty to enjoy alpaca fleece, which has many advantages over fibers produced by other animals.

It is softer to the touch than cashmere and creates seven times the warmth. Alpaca fleece is lighter than sheep's wool, does not have the scratchiness and is three times stronger.

Even if you’re not interested in modern textiles, a visit to a local alpaca farm will leave any visitor feeling warm and fuzzy.

The Tehachapi area is home to several alpaca ranches located in the open spaces of the Cummings Valley, just southwest of the city.

Most ranches offer a variety of services including educational programs, boarding and breeding services and tours by appointment, so be sure to call first.

Many local arts and crafts fairs feature alpaca farms and samples of the raw fleece as well as products made from the fleece.

The animals are unique in appearance, and friendly. Those who come in contact with the herd may wonder whether they are the observer or the observed.

Contact:

Adorable Alpacas
(661) 822-6034

Field of Dreams Alpaca Ranch
(661) 557-5737

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