Sunday, August 30, 2009

how does GIFT reports look at across fibre SD to eliminate the environmental effects.

Paul Vallely answers this question on a recent forum

Firstly, the issue of Across Fibre SD (AFSD). AFSD does not tell us what part of the AFD is influenced by environment. If we test a sample and it comes back with an average fiber diameter of 20 microns, AFSD does not tell me how much of the 20 microns is genetically influenced, and how much is environmentally influenced. AFSD, however, tells me how much of the overall SD or CV in the test report is influenced by genetics and how much is influenced by environment.

It does this quite simply. In a sample, there are two forms of variation in diameter that make up SD or CV. Firstly, there is the change in diameter along each fiber. This change in diameter is determined by variation in nutritional intake by the follicles. This ‘along fiber’ variation is therefore environmentally influenced. Secondly, there is variation in the average diameter of each of the fibers in a fiber/follicle group or bundle. This variation in the diameter of each of the fibers in the group is largely determined by the follicle make-up in the follicle group. This degree of variation is repeatable over the fleece (although the overall average will change). The difference in the average of each of the fibers in the sample is therefore largely genetically influenced.

With new technology, we can measure the variation both along the fibers and between the fibers, thereby separating the environmental influence from the genetic influence upon the overall SD or CV.

This has tremendous benefits in identifying alpacas that are genetically capable of lowering the incidence of coarse fibers over the fleece (which is one of the major problems in processing alpaca fiber).

The other thing Raelene has mentioned is the cost benefits of growing fine micron fleeces. In Australia, we have tapped into a lucrative ‘top end’ fashion market. When I was in Italy earlier this year, I saw a suit made with wool/alpaca blend. The suit had a price tag of $AUS 37,000. The fabric was absolutely magic. Tapping into this market has enabled us to pay $60 per kilo for under 19 microns, whereas 23 micorn was selling for only $4.00. This price premium is also reflected in the ultrafine wool market where 4 microns is the difference between $150 per kilo and $10 per kilo.

My business is now conducting workshops aimed at showing alpaca breeders how to breed for ‘Premium Fleeces’. In fact I have always believed the intrinsic properties of alpaca fiber combined with the enviro/welfare nature of its production and the luxurious image associated with ‘alpaca’ ensure that the top end fashion industry is the rightful place of alpaca fiber.

Raelene also mentioned SRS. On this point, I should mention that we also operate a sheep wool testing laboratory as well as breed merino sheep. SRS has largely lost popularity in the Australian wool industry. This is mainly due to a lack of understanding of the concept of soft rolling skin (a concept that actually pre-dates Jim Watts) and a mass of misinformation being paddled by ‘professional consultants’. The misuse of follicle testing is a prime example. In fact the University of Adelaide who used to do a lot of skin testing for American alpaca breeders, has now closed this service, partly because they were concerned at how the practice was being used.

A classic example is that secondary to primary ratios is only moderately heritable and is unlikely to show significant improvement in trait selection. In fact pre/post natal nutrition will probably have a greater impact on sec/pri ratios than what you can achieve through breeding. To put a further point on this, it is not the ratio that is important in fiber production, but the incidence of coarse fibers that is more crucial – and this is achieved through AFSD which is about twice as heritable as sec/pri ratios.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

where i would love to be now

Fiji is one of my favourite places, Rob here at Mystery Island, sometimes i think it would be nice to escape the pressures of normal life.
This week saw me writting another submission, that takes alot out of me.
Reading through pages and pages of legislations which are looking like double dutch by the second paragraph when you have to refer to this directive, and then that directive.
Fun times, and dissappointments, and lots of hard work, but slowly ploughing my way through endless bookwork.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Yaviernne Supreme

A fantastic Mother, this girl Yviernnes Supreme, dam of Seychelles.
We will be mating her very shortly to Masterpiece, as she has put everything into her cria.
She is available for viewing at Hummzinger Alpacas in Manitoba, just give Tannis or Carla a ring.
She can be sold as a package with Seychelles, or separate.
With the next group starting quarantine and are due into Canada 27th October. 2009
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Monday, August 24, 2009

New Zealand National Elite Show and Auction

Going to the New Zealand National Show and Auction, and do not know how to export from New Zealand, let me know, as i am organising groups to go through from Auckland at end of 2010, which your alpacas can be incorporaterd into these export groups going to UK, Luxembourg, belgioum france and Germany.

Looking to buy an alpaca at the 19th Australian National Auction In Adelaide.

Warlord available for the export market place.
His Gift Report is amazing

If you are from UK, Europe, Canada, USA, NZ, and looking to buy some alpacas whilst at the Australian alpaca National SHow and Elite Auction, then we can pick them up straight from the show, and bring them back to join in the next group to go into quarantine, at the end of October.
Let us know before hand that you may be in the market so we can make sure we have enough vehicles to pick up the alpacas after the show.
Just email me, we have shipments going in 3 directions at the moment.

The Birth of a new Venture- Mariah Hill Boer Goats

As we are starting to export a few goats overseas, acting as as the exporter, and quarantine facility for small numbers, we decided that the demand for the boer goat is high so we have plenty of spare land, an opportunity came up, so whats the heck.
give it a go.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Black Stud Male enters Quarantine for Canada


How do you make your fleeces pay?

‘Premium Fleece’

Taking alpacas to the next level

Mariah hill Alpacas are

proud to present the ‘Premium Fleece’ workshop on

3rd October 2009.

Topics Include

· Breeding programs for high value fleeces

· Market signals from the ‘luxury’ fashion sector

· Maximising market opportunities for alpaca fibre

· Genetic Improvement Fleece Technology

· Fleece preparation for the Premium market

· Latest fibre production research

“Alpaca will be recognized as one of the world’s most luxurious fibres – but only with a consumer driven focus combined with strategic breeding and management practices”

“I attended the Premium Fleece Workshop at Tasmania and found it was a great insight into where the alpaca industry is inevitably going, and has to go – I would recommend it to anyone who has alpacas or intends to buy alpacas…….”

(Ken Manning, President Tasmania Region, AAA.)

“As an experienced alpaca breeder, the Premium Fleece Workshop gave me valuable information with which to re-evaluate my breeding direction, but is also a must for new breeders.”

(Robyn Summers, Sandridge Bay Alpaca Stud. Tasmania)

Venue- Mariah Hill Alpacas

127 Mt Ararat Nth Rd

Nar Nar Goon 3812

For more details, contact:

Rob, Raelene or Elyse Strong,

Mariah Hill Alpacas

Phone: 03 59 425722


Booking Form

No people attending……………Price $66 (this includes 1 GIFT Report value $35)




Contact Details………………………..


Please confirm bookings by 25 Sept 2009

Cheques payable to -: AAFT, and send to 127 Mt Ararat Nth Rd, Nar Nar Goon 3812