Aragon Alpacas, breeding for fine color fleece

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breeding for fine color fleece

 

As a livestock industry, there are unique terms associated with alpacas...

Accoyo: the Peruvian ranch of the world-famous alpaca breeder, Don Julio Barreda; imported animals that orignated on his ranch carry this name.

agist: board alpacas at a ranch; used originally of the feeding of cattle in the king's forests, and collecting the money for the same.

allele: the pairing of genes — dominant 'AA', recessive 'aa' or mixed dominant-recessive 'Aa'

                   Alpacas grazing on the altiplano.

altiplano: the foothills of the Andes moutains in Peru, Chile, and Bolivia, original home of alpacas ~ "New World camelids"

Aragon: region of Spain; symbolized by the native pomegranate, a fruit of bounty [see the Name Dance]

blanket: prime fleece on the main body of the animal; best quality for spinning

breed back: a breeding with any herdsire from the ranch from which a pregnant female is purchased, following her delivery; offered in contracts as a three-in-one deal.

brightness [of fleece]: the quality of alpaca fiber that reflects light

camelid: mammal family to which the alpaca belongs; also includes camel, llama, vicuna, and guanaco

colostrum: the initial rich milk produced by a new mother soon after delivery; vital to stimulate immunities in the newborn [see IgG]

conformation: the appropriate alignment of the alpaca's body structure in proportion to the whole animal

The cria is "cushed."
cria

cria: an unweaned camelid baby; from old Spanish word for "create."

crimp: the wavy crinkle of fiber strands from a Huacaya alpaca [see photo of fleece below]

cush: upright resting position, sitting with all legs tucked under; sometimes spelled 'kush.' A female ready for breeding will cush for the male so he can get into position behind her.

dam: female parent

fhleming: male behavior of sniffing pasture areas (especially the poop pile) where females have been, lifting their nose into the air to inhale the scent, much as a person would test the aroma of a wine

fiber: the product of shearing an alpaca; interchangeable with 'fleece;' never referred to as 'fur' or 'wool.'

fighting teeth: the tiny sharp teeth that grow mid-jaw in adult alpacas; males use them to render other males in the herd impotent. These teeth are filed down in a managed herd situation.

alpaca fleecefleece: the fiber of an alpaca; lanolin-free. Huacaya fiber is crimpy, while fleece of the Suri alpaca is silken.

gelding: a castrated male

guard hair: the longer, medulated single hairs interspersed with the finer fiber on a huacaya alpaca or llama


          a guanaco

guanaco: the rarest relative of the alpaca, native to the Andes

hembra: adult female alpaca

herdsire: adult male alpaca used for breeding

 

 

a huacaya alpaca in full fleece
huacaya herdsire

huacaya (wah-KI-yah): one of two types of alpaca, with thick, fluffy fleece suggesting the 'teddy bear' look

humming: the most common audio communication between alpacas; a melodic, purring sound that indicates nervous attention, as a mom calling to her cria, or an adult separted from the herd.

husbandry: the watchful care and intervention by humans to the herd for optimal health maintenance; vaccinations, toe-nail trimming, nutrition, protection, etc.

ideal alpaca: perfect in every sense of conformation — proportional body, straight legs, dense fleece, overall coverage, crimpy fiber, presence and stature, aligned teeth.

IgG: Immunoglobulin G; a blood test during the first days of a cria's life determines IgG levels, to monitor absorbtion the necessasry colostral antibodies from its mothers milk.

improved alpaca: the overall look of the animal is balanced and typey

induced ovulator: the female is stimulated by the breeding process to release an egg for fertilization; cats are also induced ovulators, different from a female cycle that the male then responds to.

junior herdsire: intact young adult male alpaca, not yet mature for breeding

lama: umbrella term for sub-category of camelids that includes llamas and alpacas. An alpaca is a lama.

llama: larger cousin of the alpaca. A llama is a lama.

luster: the rich gleam of the Suri's silky fiber

macho: adult male alpaca

maiden: young adult female, not yet bred

medulated fiber: the thicker, hollow-shaft fiber that sometimes populates the fleece and sticks out beyond the finer, crimped fleece of a Huacaya

micron: one-millionth of a meter; referring to the width of single fiber of alpaca fleece

micron count: the average of measurements within a fiber sample

orgling: the trumpeting love song that a male sings to the female during breeding

orchard grass: low-protein grasses either  growing in the pasture or baled as hay; not alfalfa

pasture breeding: placing a male in a pasture with females in a to breed 'at will' according to their maturity and readiness; less human involvement than with pen breeding.

pen breeding

pen breeding: purposefully placing one male and one female in a pen together with the intention of breeding

Ppperuvian: the 3 "p's" indicate the third Peruvian import of alpacas into the US

primitive alpaca: one whose overall conformation and structure is out of symmetry

pronk: romping, cavorting and prancing behavior, especially between young animals

proven: an animal, either male or female, who has successfully parented an offspring

retained CL: "corpus lutum" = yellow body, referring to the casing of the unfertilized egg. When not shed by the body (i.e., retained), hormones may still respond, thus giving a "false pregnancy" reading when spit-testing (see below).

roving: fiber that has been cleaned, carded and rolled (much like a clay 'snake'), ready for spinning

ruminant: having a multiple stomach digestive system, maximizing low-quality food sources

shearing: the annual clipping of the fleece off of the animal

full fleece and sheared  (same animal)
full fleece sheared

show ring: events sponsored by by national and regional organizations to judge the quality of animals; show divisions are by type, fleece color, age and gender

AOBA National Alpaca Show

sire: male parent

spinning: creating yarn from the fleece — using a spinning wheel or a drop spindle — to be woven, knitted, crocheted or felted into clothing and accessory items

spit test: parading a bred female in front of a potent male. If she 'spits him off, ' his services no longer interest her. This is a low-level pregnancy test.

a suri alpaca

suri : one of two types of alpacas, marked by silky fleece that hangs in long, curled pencil 'dreadlocks'

tui [too-ey] fleece: softest first fleece sheared from a young cria

typey: refers to 'ideal' look, with good conformation  and proportional balance of body parts: legs, body, neck and head of similar height and relative to overall body length. Visual test: animal 'fits in a box.'

unimproved: an alpaca with characteristics more 'primitive' than 'ideal,' such as camel-like head and face, banana-shaped ears, elongated body

unproven: an animal that has not yet participated in breeding; if female, has never been pregnant; if male, he has not yet impregnated a female; no offspring has been born.


          a vicuña



vicuña
: smaller cousin of the alpaca and llama with even softer fleece; native to the Andes of South America but not allowed for export.

vicuña coloring: red-brown above with cream under neck, belly and insides of legs; referred to in Huacaya alpacas that probably carry vicuña genes.

weanling: a newly weaned alpaca, usually at least six months old but less than one year.

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Aragon Alpacas

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Alpaca Sales & Breeding
Alpaca Sales & Breeding
33005 Dillard Rd.
Eugene, OR 97405