Aragon Alpacas, breeding for fine color fleece

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breeding for fine color fleece
 

After seeing alpacas for the first time, I supplemented my online research with a trip to the library and found one book about them — Alpacas: Synthesis of a Miracle by Mike Safely. As I devoured it, I was alert to names for our possible alpaca ranch. I read the story of Don Julio Barreda of Peru. His mother's maiden name, Aragon, kindled my interest. I "googled" it and followed links to Catherine of Aragon, Henry the Eighth's first wife.

Catherine was a seven-year-old princess of the Spanish court when her parents sponsored Columbus' sailing venture, so she was not a stranger to new ideas. Later betrothed to English royalty, Catherine held fast to her dignity and integrity when faced with willful politics. A pomegranate adorned her banner, symbolizing her native country and suggesting abundance and success. Thus, "Aragon" seemed to suit our enterprise.

Furthermore, the double-A initals serve as scentific shorthand for dominant breeding characteristics.

Like a new sweater, I tried on the name and wore it in my thoughts for a few days. After verifying that no other alpaca ranches have a similar moniker, I registered the domain and began creating a style that evokes the charm of these ancient aristocrats of the animal kingdom.

Naming your Cria

You have waited long months for the birth of a new cria, hoping for a little female, or at least for exquisitely crimpy fleece in a color reflecting your best breeding choice for the dam. Similar to naming one's own children, selecting a cria's name is an opportunity to bestow high intentions. In alpaca breeding, this means abundant fleece, vibrant and predictable color, or bright personality. Perhaps some poetic blend of the parents' names.

A herdsire's name should reflect his heritage, genetic strengths and virility. Names for females or companion males may take on more personal or thematic significance. Explore other languages, or historical or place names that are meaningful to you and your family.

Some ranches choose a thematic approach, selecting monikers from Shakespearean characters or constellations or popular songs. Grab a book of baby names or an almanac to spur your imagination. Such boundless possibilities...

Don Julio Barreda, the World's Finest Alpaca Breeder
Doña Victona Aragon Barreda bred Alpacas prior to bringing Julio into the world. As a young boy, Julio felt the pulse of the alpaca as he ran with them on the plains of Peru and in the Andean foothills. He learned the art of breeding camelids and harvesting their fiber.
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Catherine of Aragon, 1485-1536. The daughter of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain, Princess Catherine became the first and true wife of Henry VIII. Queen Consort 1509-1533. Her badge bore a pomegranate, symbol of fertility and bounty.
Queen's motto: Humble and Loyal

Genetics — the Function of an Allele
A pair of genes consists of two alleles, one inherited from the sire, the other one from the dam. Parental combinations may be homozygous (AA or aa) or heterozygous (Aa). It is crucial to understand that each allele carries the information needed for performing a specific function or for deleting that function. The possible parental combinations at the No Spotting locus ("spotting" is reflected as a pinto, piebald, or tuxedo pattern) are therefore:

  • no spotting/no spotting (AA)
  • spotting/spotting (aa)
  • no spotting/ spotting (Aa)

Think of the two alleles at one locus as a married couple. They work together, they affect each other, they create and live in a single home... but they are and will always remain separate entities.

 
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Aragon Alpacas

website by Design Mine
Alpaca Sales & Breeding
Alpaca Sales & Breeding
33005 Dillard Rd.
Eugene, OR 97405