Thursday, 13 June 2013

Working on it...but I need Alpaca fleece help!!!

Ok, just a quick post...just a little advice please :)

I am pushing to purchase four new white females, and they come with a six month fawn/brown male who looks like he might be good enough to certify (and eat LOL).  Now the people selling are breeders and show their Alpacas, they are selling because the Husband is sick and a bit frail, and we were first choice as we purchased the four girls from them in January.

The two Mum's that we purchased previously had pretty good fleece stats, one at five years old and 24micron, the other at 26micon and six years old - both of their cria are beautiful! However the six year old (Ambrosia) is showing quite a bit of guard hair already, after being shorn in January.

So...I'm not very confident with my understanding of what are 'good' fleece stats?  What should I be looking for - any examples (please)?  Their pedigrees are pretty impressive, Jolimonts and Accoyo's, but I am a bit worried as I don't really understand what I should be looking for in their stats, apart from low micron and SD?

LOL...Hubby has said yes and we go to see them on Sunday...oohhh and probably take the trailer :)


  1. I knew you would get your way!

    Big subject to cover in a comment but you are right basically you are considering the micron in relation to age ( number of cria etc). The SD looks at the uniformity of the micron. Obviously ideally you would have a low micron combined with a low SD. Remember environmental factors will influence micron I.e a thin under nourished alpaca will generally have a lower micron count than if it were over weight.

    In relation to guard hair look at the transition line, that is how high in the blanket do the obvious guard hairs start. The lower the better and again it is somewhat in relation to age. If you pull a piece of fleece from the mid side and place it on a contrasting colour ( your sleeve for example) spread out the fibres and look at the uniformity of the fibres. Are they pretty similar or are there lots of stronger fibres? Are the stronger fibres straight (medulated and considered guard hairs) or kinked ( semi medulated and less undesirable at this stage).

    Of course all this is relevant to price. However if you are armed with some knowledge and you can say " I would have liked to have seen a lower transition line " or " I am slightly disappointed on the lack of uniformity of micron" then this could be a bargaining tool. Remember uniformity of colour if a primary desirable trait

    Good luck buy well!


    1. Barbara, thank you so much for taking the time to reply, we really appreciate it :) Thank you for your explanation of how to check uniformity of fibres too..I will be plucking them tomorow :) Taking on your advice and doing all of the research into fleece stats (well Hubby is the scientist of us both), we had a good look at these new alpacas and have decided that they are really a good buy to forward our plans.(Yippee :) )

      What we were getting really confused about was that an alpaca with stats (Micron 24.0, SD 4.4, CVD 18.4%, CF 91.8%) would show lots of guard hair (visible 6mths after being shorn) but realise now that the alpaca is six years (stats were taken 1.5 years ago) and that her age probably contribute to the increase in guard hair? Hence, we have an alpaca that has 'blown out'?

      I can't wait to pick them all up tomorrow :) :)

  2. Exciting, challenging, and even more exciting.

  3. Go get 'em, guys!! Shirley & Robbie

  4. I am just catching up on my blog reading - how exciting!
    Shall look forward to hearing if you have new additions!

  5. Well I just learned somerhing that I found very interesting , even though I don't own Alpacas.
    Good luck , seems like you have some good info in that answer.
    I raised and showed Angora rabbits for years,although it is apples and oranges a bit with Alpacas and ANgora rabbits ....I did understand about the guard hairs .