Thursday, 19 March 2015

A Fine Question about Alpaca Fleece Statistics....

I have a bit of dilemma: it concerns at what point do you sell a potential stud male, and when should you be considering them for your own stud, even when you own the sire? The question I have for those of you out there who are interested in fleece statistics unusual is Beck Brow Crafter's dam...

We purchased Silversteam Galaxy (ET) in 2009 as a two year old (she has Czar, Ruffo, Hemmingway in her pedigree). Her fleece stats were: 

MFD: 19.8,  SD: 4.1,  CV 20.7,  CF: 97.5%. 

Now, anyone who has visited our farm will know we have very lush grass and we can add a micron or two to the best of them. This is why we like to use AAFT for our fleece testing as the graph over time shows clearly what happens here in the spring and summer. However this female has never had anything other than a minuscule change in her fleece stats. Her graph is a straight line. Her Seventh stats are:

MFD: 19.7,  SD 4.3,  CV 21.9,  CF 96.9%

She has had five pregnancies but lost two to prematurity due to stress when weaning (we will be leaving her future crias at foot until her due date). Her daughter has produced two show quality cria but has had some incremental increase in micron with age, although still fine. We sold her other progeny. She is due to have a Goldmine cria next month. Goldmine had kept his fineness well, but has crept to 20 microns (sixth fleece) from 17.0. as you might expect I have never seen a fleece not change at all.

So the dilemma...Her son (Crafter) with St Patrick is a handsome boy, he has good density and grew a first fleece of 150mm resulting in a skirted blanked of 2.2kgs (cria fleece). His first fleece stats were MFD 19.2 microns. Thinking that we would be placing him on our for sale list we have had second fleece stats taken...

MFD 19.0,  SD 4.3,  CV 18.7,  CF 98.3%

Virtually exactly the same as his dam's second fleece stats and no shift in micron (actually slightly less) than his first. He is very healthy and is a good weight. Are we seeing an unusual genetic influence? With black toe nails, we believe, like his sire, he will be capable of producing with a constant micron....

Has anyone else had a fleece that hasn't had any movement in micron over time? 

Beck Brow Crafter's fleece taken last week (9 months regrowth)

He is so sweet natured. Here is below running to get his photo taken earlier today.

Beck Brow Crafter

Beck Brow Crafter with Julia, winning 1st placed Intermediate Fawn male at the BAS National Show

Crafter and Tracey.

Tracey from Wiseman Alpacas started work on the farm three weeks ago and it seems like she has been here forever (in a good way). She mucks in with every thing. Today she was poovering and still managed a smile...

Whereas Paul had the sitting down job of sweeping but didn't manage a smile

I was out early with the camera this morning. It actually felt like spring might be on its way. Here are some photos with the dew still down...

Above is a group of weanlings. Far left is Stargazer who came all the way from New Zealand at 6 weeks old. She had been born prematurely but the decision was made that she was better to travel and go in to summer in the UK. She has never looked back...I adore her.

I also adore Beck Brow Posh Pants (sister of Snooty Boots and Cat's Pyjamas) who is the image of Lady Gaga

And of course everyone adores Dixie Chick who has appointed her self leader of the weanling group (behind her is best friend Asterisk and Sputnik...yes he needs to be moved in with the boys). Okay we will just assume that I adore them all now...

Beck Brow Seventh Heaven

Beck Brow Adventurer (went to the BAS National Show at only 6 months old last week and got placed 1st)

Looking very cute is Kingwell Smokey Joe who is for sale when I get him advertised.

Last and least is Beck Brow Bond 007 who is 6 months next week, when he will be weaned. He is our first and only Goldmine cria. He does rather like himself

It was still misty when I was first out. Astor likes to come round the alpacas with me. I am sure she thinks that she is helping!

Yesterday I decided to challenge myself to fail yet again with a fleece shot. I thought it would be good to share a photo of Furze Park Sputnik on Facebook but unfortunately none did him justice. The only one in focus was of his upper leg which looks rather strange.

Furze Park Sputnik upper leg fleece

That's it ...I'm back out to enjoy the weather!


  1. Barbara (and Paul), you have some truly wonderful alpacas, beautifully photographed and you should be very proud. See you next weekend!

  2. Mark summed up my thoughts entirely - do you hipnotize yours for a photograph? (I've tried spelling hipnotize, hypnotyse, hipnotise, but they all loo)k wrong!

  3. Sorry can't help with you fleece question...wish I could but I just look in admiration at those stunning Beck Brow pacas with all their gorgeousness!

    Great to see Astor leading the herd with that "Cats rule, O.K." look!

  4. Having subscribed to 'classic massy' magazine for some years I can tell you that's about as simily as I have seen ! A man should be left in peace while he has equipment attached !

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