The 2021 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ Llama and Alpaca Show began Thursday, March 18, and will continue until Sunday, March 21.
Originating from South America, llamas and alpacas are both members of the camelid family. While they are incredibly similar species, they have a lot of differing traits that set them apart. Among the most remarkable differences are the shorter stature and more docile nature of alpacas when compared to llamas.
Llamas and alpacas are judged based off their fleece characteristics in the Walking Fleece and Shorn Fleece categories. Exhibitors compete in Showmanship, where their presentation capabilities are judged.
While both animal’s fibers are incredibly useful, the alpaca fleece is considered a lot finer than that of a llama’s. Alpaca fleeces are often used to make blankets, scarves and socks, whereas llama fleeces are used to make ropes, rugs and fabrics.