If you asked 10 different alpaca breeders how they go about selecting herdsires for their females, you would likely get 10 different answers. Do you breed strength on strength to make those strengths more dominant? Strength to improve weaknesses? Histograms? EPDs? Skin biopsies? Pedigrees? Is there a particular animal who's offspring are bringing a lot of money compared to others? Is there a certain bloodline that you covet, and breed to him or a son for that reason alone? Some combination of all of the above?
Do you bring an animal in that is very strong is a particular trait that may be lacking in your herd overall, and cover numerous females with him, trying to breed in that particular aspect during that breeding season?
As conscientious alpaca breeders, we must first know exactly what we are trying to achieve in our breeding program! What do we have, that we can further develop to separate us from the crowd? What is paying the bills, and how can we enhance that aspect?
What, specifically are you breeding for? What do you envision the resulting offspring to possess? Someone breeding for heavily fleeced animals. with super uniform fleece, that needs to be easily processed by the mini mills, will undoubtedly be seeking a different type of herdsire than someone breeding for sub 18 micron fleeces with 10 year old alpacas. Someone heavily involved in promoting their herd via the AOA show circuit is going to have different aspirations and will be seeking different mates for their females than someone much more focused on white animals for fleece only.
The point is, when trying to select the perfect male to compliment your very best females, you need to have definite goals, and let them lead you to the herdsires that can help you achieve those goals. Anything less, in my humble opinion, may work out, but is more likely to hold you back and delay your reaching them. Granted, short term goals differ from your long term goals and are more apt will change over time, but with the idea of realizing your long term goals.
Clearly defining your goals as a breeder, goes a long ways in creating an actual path to achieving those goals!
Pinpointing your specific goals as an alpaca breeder is something we can help you with. Sometimes just having someone to discuss things with can make a big difference. Honest, unbiased discussions, another set of eyes, so to speak, can help you cut to the chase. Give us a call, if we can be of assistance.
We're only interested in top quality. We believe that only the truly elite males should be used as herdsires, those individuals coming the closest to the total package. The reason for this, is simple. We feel that too much credit is given to the herdsire and too much blame when the offspring is not what was anticipated.
People tend to single trait breed, often placing too little emphasis on other important aspects of the overall package. So while a particular male may have a bit less fineness, he may be much more uniform in micron, have much more density and a longer, more highly developed staple than another choice.
We also believe that inexperienced breeders may be better off choosing herdsires that are strong in numerous categories, than individuals that may be extremely strong in one trait, while being average or slightly better in several others. In my humble opinion, the potential for disappointment is much less opting for a more well rounded male. Having said that, we have kept only 2 mature males intact, with a few younger prospects.
Furthermore, we feel our stud fees are very fairly priced, and discounted for multiple breedings as well. We invite you to come look at our males, first hand. We think you will be pleasantly surprised.
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