January 01, 2020

By: Lynn McClurg, Morning SKY Farm

Alpacas Do NOT Have Buck Teeth!


While I was out and about this fall, a young woman told me how she loved alpacas and stated how cute they are with “those buck teeth”.

I’m always surprised at how many times I’ve seen alpacas in a featured article, on television, or out in public with untrimmed teeth, or unkempt topknots. Some folks are entertained by the goofiness of a prominent underbite and “that hair”, but it doesn’t shed the best light on alpacas as producers of elite fiber. Some folks have never seen an alpaca, so why not have their first impression be a good one? That way the viewer will be talking afterward about the soft, beautiful fiber instead of some oddity in their appearance.

Sometimes it’s unavoidable due to Mother Nature, like in June when our calm, people friendly girl, Tres Magnifique, was representing our farm at an event, looking a little less magnificent than usual with one bright white “snaggle tooth” tipping out the front of her mouth. While visitors were repeatedly amused, I was not, but it did give me an opportunity to educate – letting those who commented know that alpacas lose those teeth at her age. It took until late August for that darn tooth to come out, and now her smile is nothing short of “purty”!

First impressions are lasting, so when you are out and about with your alpacas – and for the their good health and well-being – skip the nail polish, but don’t forget the spa treatment from top knot to toes to make your alpacas look worthy of producing “the fiber of the Gods”!

Adapted from an article that Lynn authored for the fall 2011 issue of PAOBA’s newsletter, The Planet, for which Lynn served as coordinator.