Our small herd of Alpacas are winning prizes!
From the best genetics we seek to breed fineness and density into our Alpaca’s fleeces while improving their conformation.
The welfare of our Alpacas is a priority and we are committed to high levels of husbandry and responsible ownership.
We research the genealogy of our females and mate them with champion herd-sires, including our own, whose genetics will enhance our breeding programme.
We seek to breed Alpacas producing high yielding fine fleeces with good density and staple length.
Good husbandry and nutrition are paramount to the conditioning and welfare of our herd and we continuously update our management techniques.
Each year our Alpacas are sheared and we send a sample of fleece off to the Australian Alpaca Fibre Testing lab (AAFT) so that we can monitor individual Alpaca fleece statistics year on year and take breeding decisions.
What we are aiming for is an ultrafine fleece (<18.01 microns) with little variation across the fleece (low SD, low CVD); longevity of fineness with age; good staple length and crimp (high CRV). While these fleece attributes are heritable they can be affected by other factors such as nutrition. The second diagram displays fibre growth profiles over time that are sensitive to changes in nutritional status.
When we started breeding our Alpacas, we tended to simply monitor fineness but now we are paying more attention to nutrition which enhances attributes such as fleece density sometimes at the expense of fineness.
Over the last couple of years, we have started taking our Alpacas to shows across the country. This has allowed us to see how our small breeding programme is progressing but the experience has also taught us so much about what a prize winning Alpaca should look like and has given us something to aim for!
We initially had high hopes for our Alpacas with excellent fleece stats but soon realised in the show ring that conformation and fleece traits hidden by these statistics such as lustre, style and handle are all important. We are learning all the time and are now understanding more why our Alpacas such as Eva and Tally and our stud male Crafter have achieved success in the show ring.
We are committed to high levels of welfare and husbandry and this underpins our breeding programme.
Good nutrition through pasture management and supplementary feeding is important especially with the vagaries of the North Yorkshire Moors weather! Fortunately with Nicky’s medical experience we are able to monitor our herd health and undertake many aspects of husbandry ourselves (vaccinations, worming, vitamin supplements) supported by an excellent veterinary practise. We regularly body score our Alpacas, monitor weight and ensure that toe nails are clipped.