TNT nurses one of the twin alpacas. Named Harry and David after the Medford fruit company, the twins were born on a Yreka-area ranch June 2. Twin alpacas are relatviely rare, with only a few dozen living in the United States.

Harry and David, take two

As Peggy Stiles dried off a just-born alpaca earlier this month on her ranch about 30 miles south of the Oregon border, she was shocked to see a second fluffy head emerge.

In the alpaca world, twins are extremely rare, but not unheard of.

"All my alpaca friends are saying, 'This is so rare, it's like winning the lottery,' " Stiles said.

Nearly 200,000 alpacas are registered in the United States and Canada, according to the Alpaca Registry, which has recorded 550 twins since 1990. Many of those may not have survived past infancy, because twins often are too weak to survive for long, Stiles said. The registry does not usually record when alpacas die.

Stiles and her husband, Dean, have 56 alpacas on their 4-acre ranch, dubbed Sterling Silver Alpacas. They've been raising and breeding the animals since 1997 and have never had a set of living twins.

According to Stiles' research, there only are a few dozen living alpaca twins in the United States.

That makes Harry and David, born June 2 in Grenada, Calif., something of miracle babies, she said.

"We were just so shocked that we had two healthy babies," Stiles said. "Our vet said this almost never happens."

Harry and David, who take their names from the Medford-based fruit company, have steadily gained weight since birth, with no complications, Stiles said.

Stiles named the twins after the fruit company, which recently declared bankruptcy and is restructuring, because both the animals and the business are getting an unusual fresh start, she said.

"The twins are starting their lives, and Harry & David is trying to start all over," she said. "And here's a little set of twins to help them along."

The Stileses travel each year to a number of alpaca shows, which are similar to dog shows in that the animals are displayed and given a chance to win awards. The Grenada alpacas will attend a show at the Jackson County Fairgrounds and Exposition Park in October, but the twins won't be in attendance until the following year, after they have been weaned, Stiles said. The couple sell yarn made from their alpacas' wool and also sell alpacas to other enthusiasts.

Harry and David's mother, named Miss TNT, carried the twins for 340 days — or more than 11 months — which is normal for alpacas. Miss TNT, who has had four previous single births, at first seemed confused about what to do with twins, Stiles said.

"The first night she forgot she had two little ones and stepped on David's ankle, spraining it," she said.

A veterinarian splinted David's leg, and he has recovered, Stiles said.

"Miss TNT is now aware of her boys," she said. "She's a proud momma."

Reach reporter Hannah Guzik at 541-776-4459 or email

Share This Story