It’s the beginning of a new month, time to AD & E all the cria, to give them that injectable sunshine boost that they so need at this time of year.
Whilst I had them in hold it was a chance to take my first photos of their growing fleeces.
The pictures are not particularly good as they were taken in the barn, very quickly so as not to upset the youngsters. At their age standing still is not much fun especially when combined with an AD &E shot.
Here are a few of the photos that I managed to get in focus, notice that they are girls, I’m saying nothing 🙂
My favorite at the moment is probably Cassandra but they are all so close it’s really impossible to choose between them.
What did really surprise me was Wilson.
Wilson is the son of Dora and Imposition. Dora as those of you who follow my blog will know is my herd Matriarch. Genetically she is not very special at all and would never ever be classed, even if you squinted real hard, as an elite alpaca. Her fleece is one of those that go straight in the bin, that kind of quality.
Having cria from her however has been useful as a control case, it enables me to see the true value of my herd sires. Mating elite alpacas, like to like will always produce good quality offspring but the true worth of a stud male is when he can greatly improve the offspring of a poor quality female.
Up until now and this is the third cria I’ve seen from her, the two prior were sired by top end studs(not owned by me, one before I owned her and one she came to me carrying), had fleeces very much like their mother with hardly any improvement at all. As far as crimp goes they were lucky if they had what can be loosely called a wave.
Whereas Wilson, I let you judge for yourself.
The picture really doesn’t do it justice at all, mind it doesn’t help that it’s not quite in focus, those darn boys don’t half wiggle.
Wilson has an extremely heavy and dense fleece, it is very soft and bright, with individual staples that have great crimp definition.
I’m not saying it’s the best fleece I’ve ever seen, far from it, but as far as improvements go I’m amazed at the jump in quality. I would not normally bother fibre testing one of Dora’s offspring, but with Wilson’s come shearing, out of interest I just might.
Impy I’ve said it before and I’m going to say it again if you can make that kind of improvement over Dora, You’re definitely the Daddy!!! 🙂
Having my camera out with me today I couldn’t resist taking a quick snap of Angelo’s latest fleece. Now he’s a working stud I wondered whether all those raging hormones were starting to have a effect on fleece quality. I’m happy to say that there not, in fact this year’s fleece looks better and feels finer than his last.
This leads me to question whether the haylage the herd were fed the previous year, due to the poor quality of hay available, had a detrimental effect.
I would be interested to hear if any of you had found this was the case. Hay over Haylage does it make a difference to micron?