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What's the difference between llamas and alpacas

I'm often asked, "What's the difference between llamas and alpacas?" At first glance, llamas may look similar to their camelid cousin the alpaca, but there are a number of differences between these two South American animals. Their ears: Llamas have much longer, banana-shaped ears Alpaca ears have short spear-shaped ears Their size: Alpacas generally weigh in at around 150 pounds while llamas can get as heavy as 400 pounds. At the shoulder, an average alpaca stands between 34 and 36 inches, while a llama generally ranges between 42 and 46 inches. Their faces: Llamas have a longer face; an alpaca’s face is a bit more blunt, giving them a “smooshed in” look. Their purpose: For more than 5,000 years alpacas have been bred for fiber (and in Peru for meat as well), while llamas have been bred for the same amount of time as pack animals and meat. Their hair: The alpaca produces a much finer fiber than the llama. The alpaca also produces more fleece than its la

Where Do Llamas Come From?

This is a frequently asked question (FAQ). Llamas and alpacas are members of the camelid family of mammals. It is believed that camelids originated in North America at least 40 million years ago and then migrated to South America and Asia about 3 million years ago, before the American and Asian continents separated at Alaska. One of the oldest camelid fossils was discovered in Florida and fossil skeletons of camelids very similar to today's alpacas and llamas have also been found in the La Brea tar pits in Los Angeles, California. It's speculated that camelids become extinct from North America during the ice age. Which leads me to the next frequently asked question: What's the difference between llamas and alpacas? That will be answered in another post. Happy Trails...

Homemade Moose Summer Sausage

If you are fortunate enough to have some moose meat (or any wild game) in your freezer, here's a great recipe for making summer sausage.  Homemade Summer Sausage Recipe for Moose or Wild Game  (This recipe makes 66 lbs. of sausage) Enjoy! Prepare a very large mixing basin. You will need a very large container to properly mix ingredients with a minimum of effort! ( Our largest cooler provides the necessary volume.) Grind 25 lbs of wild game. (We use moose or deer.) Add 8 lbs of ground pork. Add summer sausage mix. We use Excalibur Summer Sausage seasoning mix (product code 0300010 available from Alaska Butcher Supply.) This seasoning weighs 1.4375 lbs and is supposed to mix with 25 lbs of meat. However, to reduce salt, we prefer to add it to 33 lbs of meat which doesn't seem to compromise the taste. There are other seasoning mixes that will work.  Add 1 to 1.5 pounds of grated cheese (optional). Add the desired amount of jalapenos (optional). We

ADF&G Response Concerning Pack Llamas in Alaska

The  Alaska Department of Fish and Game's (ADFG) June 11, 2018 letter states that ADFG "has no intentions to promote or support limiting the use of South American camelids on public land in the state of Alaska." The ADFG letter is in response to a May 3, 2018 letter by the Greater Appalachian Llama and Alpaca Association (on behalf of the North American llama industry) seeking clarification of ADFG's role regarding the recently published "Risk Assessment on the Use of South American Camelids for Back Country Trekking in British Columbia" (RA). This is very good news in light of concerns of disease (most recently M.ovi) potentially being transmitted from domestic animals to wild animal populations. See ADFG Press Release for the latest - Alaska Caribou Death - ADF&G Press Release  Visit  packllamas.org for the most comprehensive information concerning llamas on public lands and a commentary by the North American llama industry. This website was dev

ADF&G Response Concerning Pack Llamas in Alaska

The  Alaska Department of Fish and Game's (ADFG) June 11, 2018 letter states that ADFG "has no intentions to promote or support limiting the use of South American camelids on public land in the state of Alaska." The ADFG letter is in response to a May 3, 2018 letter by the Greater Appalachian Llama and Alpaca Association (on behalf of the North American llama industry) seeking clarification of ADFG's role regarding the recently published "Risk Assessment on the Use of South American Camelids for Back Country Trekking in British Columbia" (RA). This is very good news in light of concerns of disease (most recently M.ovi) potentially being transmitted from domestic animals to wild animal populations. See ADFG Press Release for the latest - Alaska Caribou Death - ADF&G Press Release  Visit  packllamas.org for the most comprehensive information concerning llamas on public lands and a commentary by the North American llama industry. This website was dev

Treat for the Trail

Banana Bread - A healthy snack for the trail that provides lots of good energy for the hike. Ingredients: 1 C brown sugar ½ C butter, softened 2 eggs 1 ½ C mashed ripe bananas (2 or 3 medium bananas) ½ C buttermilk 1 tsp vanilla 2 C unbleached flour 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp salt 1 C Grape Nuts cereal ¼ - ½ cup Jam (Cherry, Strawberry or Rubbard) 3/4 cup of dried cranberries (Optional) ½ cup of chopped walnuts (Optional) Directions: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom only of two loaf pans (8.5 x 4.5 x 2.5 inches). Mix butter and sugar in large bowl. Stir in eggs until well blended. Add bananas, buttermilk, and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients (except cereal) just until moistened. Stir in cereal. Pour/spoon into pans. Bake about 1 hour or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes, loosen sides of loaves from pans, remove from pans. Cool completely, wrap in foil and freeze. Makes two loaves that taste

Pack Animals Denied on BLM Lands in the Eastern Interior RMP

Published in Alaska Outdoor Council (AOC) 2018 Spring Newsletter (Click on link below and go to page 6 for article.) Pack Animals Denied on BLM Lands in the Eastern Interior RMP by Phil and Linda Nuechterlein   Dr. Gregg P. Adams DVM, MS, PhD professor at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan stated it succinctly, “Camelids are not new nor exotic to North America - they originated in North America. The diseases listed as a risk posed by llamas are no different than a list that could be made up for any species entering the back country, not least, humans. For example, every mammalian species harbours mycoplasma. Contagious ecthema, chlamydiosis and MAP in camelids are rare - far less than in humans. In any risk assessment, the objective is to determine the probability of an event happening and the consequences of such an event. There is no such thing as zero risk, and a zero-risk policy is not a legitimate argument to “strongly support a preca