Greenbriar Farm Alpaca-MAM Consulting Assoc. Inc.

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

May 03, 2013

By: Michael A Moack

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 years forward. This required the ability to objectify the data to make correct match decisions. I will not suggest that all worked as anticipated but selection results have been above 98% success with outliers in color and not fleece or conformation traits.

The data presented below reflects this intensive selection and application of Evaluate to Excellence. Each year represents an average trait measurement of all alpacas in that year class. The column labeled Age One represents the first shearing of all cria born in the associate year. The column labeled Age Two represents the progression of those alpacas into the next years and second year shearing.

When we look at the Female Fleece Data, this represents that we started in 2006 with cria first shorn at age 11 months produced an average AFD or 25.91 micron. Each subsequent year class of cria improved from the same dams and finally of age cria until 2012 where the average AFD was 19.31 micron.

We saw the consistency move from 7.06 down to 4.14 while increasing staple length and is reflective of our breeding choices and trait focus. We did however give up fleece weight and usable blanket as we moved toward fineness and consistency. Our focus at this time is improving the density of our progeny and moving the blanket weights up while maintaining the improvements in fineness, consistency, and staple length.

These improvements are strictly within the black Huacaya where our breeding selection is producing 99% black progeny with outliers being brown, fawn, and gray. We share this information in the hopes it will help others obtain similar or better improvements than we have been able to achieve with their breeding selections and are able to make breeding selections with confidence. We feel a breeding mistake the most expensive part of alpaca ownership, even above accidental loss of an alpaca.

If you have questions or interest in Evaluate to Excellence please do not hesitate calling and talking to us about our program. Thank you for taking the time to review this article.