Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Alpaca Fibre production - Premium fleeces.

(RIGHT-Rae Ming fleece
Bottom 5th fleece of Seduction)

Whilst studying Fleece, and looking further into the GIFT technology, i was asking Paul Vallely who is behind "GIFT", why is all the Publications on Skin Follicle Testing, so dated. The most recent papers written by Independent Researchers, is written in 1996.
Surely, with so much marketing pushing people into subjecting their alpacas to skin sampling, and yet Independent research says the complete opposite to what the marketing tells you.
The answer to me was-:
we have to look at the sheep industry for the research notes and any research on fleece.
The sheep industry over the past 200 years have also made mistakes, and we alpaca breeders like to pride ourselves of not making the same mistakes other industries have made.
We are young enough to look at History, and save many years of breeding any mistakes, which take many years to correct.
Skin Follicle testing in the sheep industry now is nil.
This method is considered outdated, Sheep breeders no longer use this method to help make their breeding goals.
There are only 2 known complete machines that can test for the Skin Follicle testing in Australia, The only machione available to the wider community is now being put into moth balls, and only will be used for research if required.
There is no demand for this testing in the sheep Industry, and a small number of alpaca breeders are the only ones that are looking into this for their breeding dicisions.
The University that has done this research in South Australia, says that there is more to the fibre, than just the skin.
The fleece above the skin is being affected by many other factors, that the skin is only part of the story.
Looking at the papers that can be viewed, written by Independent researchers, say that we need to look at the genetic traits and identify the alpacas that have low variation betweebn fibres, and along the length of the fleece, which will ultimately identify the premium fibre producers.
It is such an exciting process to view your GIFT tests and even though by eye, and feel, both Elyse and i had already selected these alpacas as what we felt to be premium fleece producers, to have this confirmed is satisfaction that we are and have been identifying the right alpacas to bring our herd forward.
Many breeders now around the world are also starting to use this latest research and Technology to help make their breeding dicisions.
It is the alternative to what has been marketed, but importantly, it has been prooven in the sheep industry, and been in production for over 10 years. This makes this technology as the leading technology for Premium, and elite fleece production.
Alpaca breeders then can make the right breeding dicisions, which will ultimately make their alpaca farms profitable, as they start supplying the Ultra fine Bale.

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