People are always asking me how we choose the names for our new baby alpacas (called cria). Here are the top ten ways we do it.
1. Look at the cria and see if he or she is just “looks” like a certain name or if the situation calls for something special. For example, when “George” and “Martha” presented themselves unexpectedly on President’s Day, that seemed a no-brainer.
2. Let your children choose the name. This can leave you with a herd where most of the alpacas are named “Fluffy”, “Brownie” or “Pickachu”, but you can call their offspring “Fluffachu”, “Pickabrown”, and no one will care. Or you can go the fancier route and go with “Fluffy II” or my favorite “Fluffy 2.o”.
3. No? Give the kids some options and let the public vote. (Check out our “name that alpaca” post for example.)
4. Where do you get these names? Scour baby name books.
5. Keep a list of names that your spouse said “no” to when you were having children. Mine is a mile long.
6. Keep a list with you, perhaps on your phone or computer, and every time you like a name from a book or a movie that you think would work for an alpaca, make a note.
7. Name the alpaca the same initial as his/her dam. For example Adele’s cria would be Abby, or Abel. Callista’s cria would be Calliope, or Checkerboard.
8. Visit the internet for pet naming sites like Cat Names Meow where you can find the purrrfect cat name.
9. Combine the names of your cria’s ancestors. For example, I’m considering “Magnum’s Brown Mesquite” for the little guy in the picture above. His sire is our herdsire, SCA Peruvian Magnum, and his grandsire is Peruvian Black Mesquite.
10. Follow your heart. But use your head too. Will people want to buy an alpaca named “Chaos” or “Paris Hilton”? The fun part is – it’s up to you to name your cria. Have fun with it!
Got any good alpaca naming stories? Any unique names or naming techniques you’d like to share? Let us hear about them!