Monday, June 28, 2010

Breeding Decisions

The time has finally come!  We are preparing to breed the first female alpaca born under the Alpacamundo Breeder ID.  She's actually been ready since February but I didn't want to have a cria in the middle of a snow storm next year.

I was planning to breed her in the spring, after shearing.  Then some of my friends had issues with still-born cria, so I decided to delay her breeding a little longer to ensure she wouldn't be too pregnant during shearing next year.

Our lead herdsire has been calling to her and she flirts with the boys whenever we bring them around.  My plan was to breed her with our lead herdsire, so I was happy they were interested in each other.

Then Wednesday, the girls got out.

The maiden (Daisy) went directly to the boys and started flirting, the pregnant girls went out to the pasture for some fresh grass and our 12 month old female (Frieda) went to the boys corral and cushed.

The boys (Charlie and Bandit) orgled, jumped on the fence and fought over who would have Frieda.  I told Frieda she's not old enough yet, and told Charlie they're related so it wasn't going to happen for him either.

The incident made me realize I hadn't thought about who I would breed Frieda to when the time comes.  And the time could very likely be this fall when we're breeding the other girls.

So I put together two matrices.

Ancestor Matrix:
Our herd across the top and their ancestors down the left.  I indicated what generation each ancestor was for each of our alpacas.  I already knew that some of our alpacas are related since they share a sire/dam or are full siblings.

Able to Breed Matrix:
Boys across the top and girls down the left.  I identified if the match was ok.  This is not a matrix to show who I plan to breed with who.  It is only to show whether they could be bred together based on ancestry.

I learned a few things by doing this.
1.  The planned Daisy - Bandit matchup would not work.  They are related 3 generations back.
2.  Daisy could be bred with one of our junior herdsires.
3.  Frieda has many options when the time comes.

The Junior Herdires:

Blue Mesa Yoda:  We bought this Legacy grandson with the express purpose of breeding to our Augusto granddaughter, Enchanted Sky's Kocoa Moon.   Both alpacas have amazing fleece.  Yoda is showing signs that he is ready.  We plan to make this match up in the fall after Kocoa has her cria.

Alpacamundo's Augustus:  Gus is three weeks older than Daisy.  He was the very first cria to be born under the Alpacamundo ID.  He has beautiful, fine and lustrus fleece.  He tried to breed a female when he was two weeks old while other breedings were going on.  Gus is part of the Augusto line and will be two years old in the fall.

The Decision:
I have decided to hold Daisy until the fall when we are breeding the other girls.  We could have four match ups and therefore, we should have four cria born close together next year, which would then be weaned about the same time too.  This way the crias will be able to have friends their own age rather than one born this time next summer and three others a few months later.


Sarah {The Student Knitter} said...

That's so exciting! I love hearing about these kinds of decisions, how you solved the problems that you're coming up against. Thanks for sharing the process! Totally interesting. :)

WonderWhyGal said...

Remember that you also want to consider what fiber and confirmation traits need to be improved on in your females. If she's lacking density, brightness, fineness, uniformity. These things can be corrected and improved on in 1-2 generations...same with confirmation.

Kathryn Ray said...

Thanks Sarah!

@WonderWhyGal - both Juniors have luster and fineness which would be good for Daisy... but you bring up a very good point and a very good reason to pull out their blankets and do a side to side comparison.

Of course, I still need to send the samples in for analysis.