Switzer-Land
Paco-Vicuñas
& Alpacas

Phil & Chris Switzer * Estes Park, CO * 970-586-4624 * philalpaca@aol.com or chrisalpaca@aol.com

Home
About Us
Paco-vicuna
Paco-Vicuna Sales
Fiber & Yarn
Alpaca Facts
Alpacas for Sale
Upcoming Events

 

Paco-Vicuñas 

What is a Paco-Vicuña? 
A paco-vicuña is a special alpaca that exhibits the phenotypical traits of the vicuña, its Andean ancestor. Paco-vicuñas are a cross between alpacas and vicuñas and have existed for some time in small quantities in Chile, Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina. About 450 Paco-vicuñas are now in the United States. These animals have the super-fine fiber like the wild vicuña but with somewhat longer and denser fleece like the alpaca. Alpacas were originally domesticated from vicuñas over the past 6000 years. Vicuña traits can be observed in the alpaca herds that exist today on the altiplano, the high plateaus of South America.

Why breed for paco-vicuña?
Vicuña fiber is renowned for its softness, fineness, density, rarity, and color. The vicuña is a wild animal and is difficult to maintain in captivity. Breeding, birthing, shearing, and medical care would be quite a challenge. The vicuña is also a threatened species which makes the animal and its fiber difficult to obtain as the animal is protected by international laws. The solution is the paco-vicuña breeding for the same fiber attributes of the vicuña and the gentle attitude of an alpaca.

How to breed for a superior paco-vicuña?
By identifying the various traits of vicuña in alpaca and selecting the alpacas with the traits, these alpaca (paco-vicuña) can be bred together to amplify the vicuña traits (such as low micron count, bib, and color) and produce a superior paco-vicuña. The same can be done for the desired traits we want for the paco-vicuña from the alpaca (such as fast growing fiber and calm demeanor). The key is to recognize the alpacas that have these special traits and breed them together to magnify the qualities we are looking for in a paco-vicuña.

More about the Paco-Vicuña
The advantage of identifying the phenotypic traits of the vicuña is that the animal produces super high quality fiber. The Paco-vicuña produces some of the world’s finest fleece. The fiber is strong, incredibly soft, and warm - making it ideal for a variety of clothing and artistic needs. Paco-vicuña in North America are registered through the The Paco-Vicuña Registry® that insures the integrity of the breed. The registry insures the animal passes requirements of phenotype, fiber quality, soundness, and blood testing to insure the excellence of the breed. The registry also promotes the improvement of the breed.
www.paco-vicunaregistry.com

Meet some of our Paco-Vicuñas

Introducing the beautiful and majestic Athena:

Athena is a "Premier Plus" paco-vicuña (see Classification Chart below).  She has a fine soft fleece, wonderful confirmation, and a noble appearance. She was born 2/17/02 and her Dam was Lina and an unknown South American Sire.  Inquire at philalpaca@aol.com or call 970-586-4624.

 

Presenting Thalia:

Thalia fits the Classic category of phenotypical traits for a paco-vicuña. Thalia has nice coloring and many of the alpaca features that the Classics often have. She has great fleece.  Thalia is currently being bred to a Classic male. Inquire at philalpaca@aol.com or call 970-586-4624.

 

 We have 26 Paco-Vicuñas on the farm. 


Classification Chart

The following chart is provided as a guide to Paco-Vicuña attributes. There may be substantial variations to these phenotypic traits. As more knowledge from breeding is accumulated we will revise the chart. The main purpose of the chart is to allow quick identification when crossing between the paco-vicuña. Example: Type #1 (Premier Plus) bred to a Type #3 (Classic Plus) will result in a Type # 2 (Premier).

Paco-Vicuña Trait Vicuña Comparison Only Premier Plus Premier  Classic Plus Classic Standard Plus Standard
Type Number (Vicuña) Type #1 Type #2 Type # 3 Type #4 Type #5 Type #6
Head Shape Vicuña type Vicuña type, with some variation Vicuña type, with some variation Thicker alpaca type to vicuña type Thicker alpaca type to vicuña type Thicker alpaca type to vicuña type Thicker alpaca type
Eyes Protruding Protruding Protruding Protruding to normal alpaca Protruding to normal alpaca Normal alpaca Normal alpaca
Body Conformation Back-line slopes down to withers. Some natural cow-hock. Back-line slopes down to withers. Some natural cow-hock. Back-line slopes down to withers. Some level back-lines. Some natural cow-hock. Back-line slopes down to withers. Some level back-lines. Some natural cow-hock. Back-line slopes down to withers. Some level back-lines. Some natural cow-hock. Back-line slopes down to withers. Some level back-lines. Some natural cow-hock. Back-line slopes down to withers. Some level back-lines. Some natural cow-hock.
Body Size Smaller (90-110 Lbs.) Normal alpaca to smaller Normal alpaca to smaller Normal alpaca to smaller Normal alpaca to smaller Normal alpaca to smaller Normal alpaca to smaller
Fine bone structure of legs. Fine boned Fine boned to heavy boned Fine boned to heavy boned Fine boned to heavy boned Fine boned to heavy boned Fine boned to heavy boned Fine boned to heavy boned
Fiber fineness 8-13 micron 12-18 micron 13-20 micron 16-23 micron 16-23 micron 18-23 micron 20-26 micron
Guard Hair Present Present Present Present to none Present to none Present to none Present to none
Fiber Growth minimum 3.5" Shear every 3-4 years Shear every 2-3 years Shear every 2-3 years Shear every 1-2 years Shear every 1-2 years Shear every year Shear every year
Fiber Color Main Body Vicuña color Light vicuna color to dark vicuña color, a few white to black animals Light vicuna color to dark vicuña color, a few white to black animals Light vicuna color to dark vicuña color, a few white to black animals Light vicuna color to dark vicuña color, a few white to black animals Light vicuna color to dark vicuña color, a few white to black animals Vicuña colors to Alpaca colors
Bib Color White White to similar to blanket color White to similar to blanket color White to similar to blanket color White to similar to blanket color White to similar to blanket color White to similar to blanket color
Bib Length Much Longer than fleece Longer than fleece Longer than fleece Longer than fleece Longer than fleece Same or longer than fleece Same or longer than fleece
Leg Wool Very short Very short Medium to very short Heavy to very short Heavy to Very short Heavy to very short Heavy to very short
Disposition Wild Tame to Slightly wild Tame to Slightly wild Tame to Slightly wild Tame to Slightly wild Tame Tame

Ó 2005-2014 Phil Switzer

Phil & Chris Switzer
Switzer-Land Paco-Vicuñas & Alpacas
1236 Glacier View Lane
Estes Park, CO   80517-8212
970-586-4624   Home
970-577-0775   FAX
philalpaca@aol.com
chrisalpaca@aol.com