These gorgeous boys have a very special feature in common, as well as being alpacas (WHAT?!) they are all also semi-albinos.
Ziggy, Ice and Danny are all white in colour, they are actually called Blue-Eyed Whites and it’s thought that only 20% of Alpacas with this colouring can hear, 80% of them are deaf. We love all our troops but in the breeding or showing world, it’s considered a ‘fault’ (sssh don’t tell them).
What is the disadvantage of hearing loss to the alpaca? In a herd situation, alpacas learn to take their cues from the other herd members, to the degree that many owners of blue-eyed whites are often unable to determine whether their alpaca is deaf, or not. Therefore, one has to assume lack of hearing is not a great disadvantage, except perhaps where the alpaca is not kept in a herd situation (less than 3 alpacas). The alpaca suffers neither pain nor discomfort as a result of the deafness. Our Blue eyed boys get on grand with the rest of the herd, and the only difference we have found is that they tend to hum louder as they can’t hear themselves :)
If you ever have any questions or concerns about alpacas and llamas then please email: firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll do our very best to help!
Wordsmiths: Rachel Kearns & Emma Smalley