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Glossary of Terms
 
Accoyo
The name "Accoyo" refers to an Alpaca that has been bred at Estancia Accoyo in Peru. In the US the name "Accoyo" refers to alpacas imported from the estancia or to direct descendants of these imports. An alpaca is considered to be a pure or full Accoyo if its parents are both pure Accoyos. 
 
Agistment
An arrangement in which an alpaca owner boards the animal at a location other than his own property.
 
AOBA
The Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association.
 
ARF
The Alpaca Research Foundation.
 
ARI
The Alpaca Registry, Inc. was created in 1988 and is the central storage and retrieval center for all information on almost every alpaca in the United States. The Registry records and maintains data on pedigrees, blood typing, registry numbers, and other vital information on registered alpacas, and makes this data available upon request.
 
Blanket
That part of an alpaca's coat that extends from the nape of the neck at the withers along the back to the tail and down the flanks to the belly and haunches.
 
Bred Female
A pregnant alpaca.
 
Breeding
Induced ovulation (no estrous cycle) through physical copulation between sire and dam.
 
Character
The overall evaluation of a fleece or lock as based on handle, staple length, fineness, density, luster, and softness.
 
Conformation
The shape or contour of the alpaca, resulting from the appropriate arrangement, or balance, of all body parts.
 
Cria
A baby alpaca.
 
Crimp
The even, corrugated wave formation in the staple (lock) of Huacaya fiber.
 
Dam
An alpaca's mother.
 
Density
The number of fibers in a specific area of an alpaca's body.
 
Fiber
The fleece of the alpaca also known as wool or fur.
 
Fineness
The diameter in microns of individual alpaca fibers.
 
Genotype
The entire genetic constitution of the individual alpaca.
 
Herdsire
A male alpaca with genetic characteristics desirable for breeding.
 
Histogram
(1) The most common graphical presentation of quantitative data. The variable of interest, such as fiber diameter measured in microns, is placed on the horizontal axis and the frequency values, such as the percentage of fibers per micron, are placed on the vertical axis. (2) A micron test report that includes administrative information provided by the identification sent in with the individual sample. The histogram on such a report depicts the measurement of 2000 fibers in scale.
 
Huacaya
A type of alpaca whose full coat presents a round and wooly appearance.  The Huacaya fleece is crimped and very dense.
 
Live Birth
A portion of most alpaca purchase contracts involving a bred female, in which the seller guarantees that the cria, when born, will be alive and survive for a stated minimal amount of time, usually 48 hours.
 
Parturition
The process of giving birth; also called birthing.
 
Pet Male
A male alpaca whose genetic characteristics are not considered desirable for breeding; usually gelded at 9-12 months of age.
 
Phenotype
The entire physical, biochemical, and physiological makeup of an individual alpaca, as determined both genetically and environmentally.
 
Shearing
The once-a-year harvesting of alpaca fibers usually carried out in mid-spring in order to make the alpaca cooler through the summer and allow the coat time to grow back before the cold of winter returns.
 
Sire
The alpaca's father-sometimes called "herdsire."
 
Suri
Suri alpacas are distinguished in the camelid family by their unique fiber characteristics. The fiber grows parallel to the body while hanging in long, separate, distinctive locks.  Suri fiber locks, made up of high-luster fibers, drape down the sides of the body in a twisted or flat form of various size. The alpaca with "dreadlocks".
 
Tui
The best fleece an alpaca will ever produce, usually its first coat called Tui.
 
Vicuna
A small (90 pounds) South American camelid with an extremely fine cinnamon and white coat; some consider the vicuna to be the direct ancestor of the alpaca.
 
Weanling
A weaned alpaca less than one year old.
 
Wool Cap
Wool on the alpaca's head and between its ears which is considered a desirable aesthetic quality; also known as the topknot.
 
Yearling
An alpaca one to two years old.
 
 

*Please contact customerservice@alpacanation.com with any terms and definitions you feel should be included in this list.  We appreciate your help in providing accurate information to the alpaca industry.

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