Greenbriar Farm Alpaca-MAM Consulting Assoc. Inc.

Where you can get any color alpaca you want as long as it is black.

How to Select a Herd Sire

Wrong selection costs six years in production

Why spend a lot of effort and time selecting a herd sire? When you consider that after successfully settling a female there is approximately 365 days gestation and 730 days to prove out the cria you are looking at over a three year investment. When you look at the lost cost if it does not prove out it is nearly six years to get back to where you hoped to be with the breeding so due diligence is a small price to pay in every attempt to get it right.

Where do you start? Our efforts started wit... read full article

Parasites – Eliminate or Learn to Live With Them

Prophylactic or Identification Methods

Parasite treatment evolved to create two distinct management methods. Initially, treatment with products such as Fenbenzodol and/or Avermectin every six months as the prescribed treatment was standard practice. This is called the Prophylactic Method. Parasite resistance to drugs promoted an evolution that relied on more tolerance for parasites, and parasite identification prior to treatment.

Before we delve into understanding the two methods of parasite treatment we need to point out... read full article

Improvement Without Accountability Is Failed Breeding

Breeding Results Are Critical To Successful Breeding

We have seen many articles, posts, and opinions on selection and making breeding decisions but few to follow up or record the success or failure of the breeding selection. Offspring that receive continuous banners in the show ring could be viewed as successful but does it tell you that the breeding was a success? Exciting, but probably not. Follow up histograms, skin biopsies, or fleece and conformation assessment might provide information about the quality of the cria but does not tell you i... read full article

What if we never existed?

DNA TestingParentage ValidationAOA - General TopicsAlpacas MagazineAOA National Show/ConferenceNational MarketingMember Marketing

Have you ever stopped to think about how things might be different if you never existed? What would be different? What effect has your life had on this world and the people around you? Sure...obviously your family would be totally different, but I am speaking more about other people you have come into contact with, companies where you have worked and organizations you have belonged to.
Looking back at my career, I believe I have had a significant impact on the companies I have worked for. When... read full article

Alpaca Industry

Review on the alapca industry & where it is headed.

In 1984 the first focused imports of alpaca arrived into the United States from Chili. Over the course of 14 years various imports arrived from Bolivia and Peru as well culminating in the Alpaca Registry closed in 1998 to additional imports to lock in genetics in the United States. This closure did not stop imports simply registration in the Alpaca Registry. Registration of additional imports went into the International Llama Registry.

As of this writing the alpaca industry in the United... read full article

Foundation Dams-Building Blocks to Quality

Basics to Pre-potency

When quality females are offered as “production” or “foundation” this seems to trigger a Typhoid Mary response. What no banners? Selecting alpacas from show winners relies only on phenotype. You may say –no- they also have great pedigree!

If your goal is developing a quality line of alpacas that produce consistently higher quality alpacas these are the three weakest criteria when selecting foundation females, show placement, phenotype, and pedigree.

Let us share our experience to su... read full article

Common Sense Color Inheritance

Attempting to Explain Color Annomalies

Gregor Johann Mendel discovered and refined the theory of inheritance in 1865 and did not become the core of inheritance theory until included in Thomas Hunt Morgan’s Chromosome Theory of Inheritance 1915. Mendel’s discovery predicted trait expression based upon mathematical probabilities.

OK enough history and definitely enough math both of which I was never very adapt but they are important if we are to approach color inheritance in alpacas and attempt to understand some of the anomalies... read full article

Cria Ricochette

Zanny antics of young alpacas

Cria Ricochet brings to mind Newton’s First Law of Motion: A thing in motion remains in motion until an equal or opposite force is applied, thus changing direction but the velocity remains constant. In this case the thing in motion is a cria who after being confined for 330 days in tight quarters celebrates with exuberance the wide-open spaces. The opposite force applied is the dams.

Let me describe the scene and perhaps this will help appreciate the title of this piece. First you need a f... read full article

Improving Fleee One Year Class At A Time

Greenbriar Farms Fleece Development

When we refer to fleece improvement we are not referring to a single alpaca or a single year improvement but are referring to consistent year after year improvement across multiple alpacas. Our observations regarding a single alpaca or a single year improvement are easy to obtain and usually are achieved with selection of an alpaca with superior traits.

Dedication developing a line of true black huacaya demanded comprehensive scrutiny to selection and planning selection three, four, and five... read full article

Mites - Problem or Condition?

Mites identification, life, treatment

Prior to this discussion getting fully underway we need to realize that there are many types of mites, four of which are most prevalent and each carrying there own level of severity of condition and treatment. Please understand, I am not an Acarologist (one who studies ticks and mites) but an Alpaca rancher who has encountered mites and done the research to understand the condition.

The four types of mites are divided into two groups; burrowing and surface. Burrowing mites are Sarcoptic and... read full article

Strange Words on Wisconsin Farms

Learning venacular of the new Livestock in Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin farm started seeing strange terms such as cria, hembra, macho when referring to livestock. Add in a few others like Huacaya and Suri and you start to wonder are you on a Wisconsin Farm or a South American Estancia.

The rural landscape in Wisconsin is evolving perhaps seeing the reduction in the family dairy farm slowly replaced with what are now called factory farms where dairy cows are milked 24/7. That trend does not sit well with adjacent neighbors but to attain economies o... read full article

AOBA, ARI, Affiliates – What Are They Good For?

Foundation of the alapca community.

Questioning ones membership in an organization is what provides challenge and quality to an organization but when that question draws the conclusion the organization no longer is beneficial to me and I no longer need to support it through membership is perhaps a very short sighted view.

Responsibility is the usual argument compelling people to remain in an organization after benefits are no longer perceived. Responsibility is not without merit however I have not convinced anyone to rejoin fr... read full article

Peruvian, Chilean, Bolivian - Time to Fess Up!

Quality alpacas arise from informed quality breeding decisions.

Peruvian, Chilean, and Bolivian is touted as a difference in quality and I find this hard to believe and offer my reasons why.

Peruvian, Chilean, and Bolivian refer to Port of Export. Port of Export is the exit point of an alpaca from South America. This does not even designate Country of Origin. On point, a story related to export was related to me by the exporter. He originally had exit visas for his alpacas from Peru when that exit visa was cancelled just prior to shipment. He there... read full article

Line Breeding – Husbandry Practice or Inbreeding

Powerful breeding tool and considerations of the method

When we accept the premise that line breeding is defined as the mating of alpacas with common ancestry then we have also defined inbreeding. The difference appears to be in perception. Inbreeding, especially relating to human mating refers to single generation mating such as father daughter, brother sister, or mother son. In fact, law dictates that marriage between relations closer than third cousins is prohibited. This provides the negative stigmatism associated with inbreeding. Queen Vict... read full article

Alpaca Fence

Good neighbors, good fence, safe alpacas.

Good fence makes good neighbors. This defines fence that is best for alpacas considering that most livestock are injured by attacks from outside the fenced enclosure. Other than an amorous male, alpacas do not challenge the fence. These two facts best define how fence for alpacas should be chosen and designed.

Wire fence is preferred to wood, vinyl, or composite in our opinion. Wood fence provides containment for alpacas but fails to protect alpacas from animals outside the enclosure. Cr... read full article

It's All About Prepotency

Evaluate to Excellence

We need to agree on what prepotency is before we can entertain it as the single best tool to select an alpaca. Prepotency is an alpacas’ ability to pass on heritable phenotypic traits that it possesses without regard to environment or selected mate.

There are four evaluation criteria used for selection; pedigree, show results, phenotype, and progeny. Taken together, they are an adequate method to make a selection and use in a controlled breeding program.

Pedigree is research of an alpaca... read full article

Skirting - A whole New Animal

Value Added Skirting Fleece Improves Profit

We sheared our prize alpaca – prized because he received red and blue ribbons in every halter class he entered and because the judges all agreed, “you have a good one there.” The fleece, the reflection of this alpaca, was an extension of the halter show ring, so the preparation of the fleece, skirting, was no different than our preparation for the halter ring. Get the Beans out!

We rolled the fleece onto the skirting table when the debate between my wife and I began. How much, and what sho... read full article