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 1. Alpacas 101: Getting Started
 Pasture breeding proven female with unproven male?
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Mara DeBoe

110 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2011 :  2:21:39 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello-
We are new (as of this summer) to alpaca ownership, and we are loving it! We have 3 proven females, one with this summer's cria at her side, and 3 more unproven females coming in the spring. I've got all these thoughts and plans, but need some advice.
One of our girls would not breed this fall (she was willing, but 4 attempts did not take). Her last cria was in 2008. The previous owners said she wasn't bred after that 'to reduce herd size'. Our vet thinks she might be done, but is willing to run some tests in the spring (what exactly, I don't know -- like I said, we're new at this). She is a 1997 model.
We're considering getting a male. I have found a 2009, unproven guy I like.
I am thinking of housing the female in a small pasture with this new guy -- he would have companionship (wouldn't have to immediately get a second male), and she might just end up being bred. Thoughts?



Mark & Mara DeBoe
Wibotawot Farm
River Falls, WI

Paradise

922 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2011 :  2:44:47 PM  Show Profile  Visit Paradise's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Repeated breedings can cause infection. There is actually quite a bit of trauma inside the female after a breeding so I don't think this would be a good choice for you. You might check with nearby farms for a loaner male or even with the selling farm to see if they have another boy they would be willing to throw in for free.

Laura Hillman
Paradise Alpacas
Hempstead, TX
979-826-9559
www.alpacanation.com/paradisealpacasoftx.asp
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pacapeep

103 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2011 :  4:20:23 PM  Show Profile  Visit pacapeep's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I agree with Laura, repeated breeding could cause infection and the male could be really rough with the female causing stress and possibly injury.
Also, your location says that you are in Wisconsin. What is to say they male would breed her right off the bat? Fast forward 11 or so months, and you will have a cria in November. November's here in Minnesota are pretty cold, guessing you have close to the same weather as us.

Like Laura said, you could possibly borrow a male from another farm for companion or maybe buy a gelding male for a reasonable price. A gelding could also be used in assistance when it comes to weaning cria.
If the male you are thinking about getting will be in the same barn as the girls, he might not need a companion. Our very dominant male is in a pen by himself, but in the same barn as the others

The best of luck! Delaney

Delaney Holland
Katy Holland
Alpacas of Holland Acres
Olivia, MN

http://www.alpacasofhollandacres.com/
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Mara DeBoe

110 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2011 :  5:00:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the input.

We would not be getting the male now, but in the spring -- I'm still in the 'planning', 'hoping', 'thinking-it-through' stage. We'd have to get another pasture put in, a shelter, run water, etc. before it happens, and that won't be anytime soon, because yes, we are frozen here already. (Although we're in WI, we're considered the Twin Cities metro area).

Mark & Mara DeBoe
Wibotawot Farm
River Falls, WI
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elden harms

112 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2011 :  8:18:01 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes, winter is here and I'm sure you ARE frozen. We're down by Madison and thus far a bit warmer than you are. I travel by your area of WI frequently on the way to visit our daughter in the Cities. I'd be happy to stop by sometime and "talk alpacas" including the breeding issues you've had. Email me privately at: tcalpacas@aol.com if you want to take me up on that.

Elden Harms
Token Creek Alpacas LLC
Sun Prairie WI
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Heidi Christensen

4211 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2011 :  10:59:16 PM  Show Profile  Visit Heidi Christensen's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I like pasture breeding, have been doing it for years. The only thing is you need to remove him at some point so you will have an idea of when they will deliver. I leave them in for 2 weeks.

So, my answer would be yes, but you will need to remove him at some point so having a buddy would be inportant.

Oh, and one more thing. I have done both unproven females with proven males, and proven females with unproven males. Sometimes the little boys get to breeding the wrong end, and I have had to pull them around to the proper end, but a willing female is a good way to start a male out.

Heidi Christensen
WingNut Farm
Graham, Wa
(253) 846-2168
http://alpacanation.com/wingnutfarm.asp
http://wingnut-alpacas.com

Edited by - Heidi Christensen on 12/09/2011 11:01:46 PM
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Paradise

922 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2011 :  11:12:31 PM  Show Profile  Visit Paradise's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Heidi, I agree that pasture breeding is an option for a very limited amount of time, but I read Mara's question as being more about housing and less about pregnancy.

Laura Hillman
Paradise Alpacas
Hempstead, TX
979-826-9559
www.alpacanation.com/paradisealpacasoftx.asp
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Heidi Christensen

4211 Posts

Posted - 12/11/2011 :  11:41:41 AM  Show Profile  Visit Heidi Christensen's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I agree Laura, which is why I put the disclaimer to have a place to remove him after two weeks.

Heidi Christensen
WingNut Farm
Graham, Wa
(253) 846-2168
http://alpacanation.com/wingnutfarm.asp
http://wingnut-alpacas.com
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Mara DeBoe

110 Posts

Posted - 12/11/2011 :  7:52:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I guess my question was aimed at both the housing aspect and the breeding. I was hoping to kill two birds with one stone! Never thought of having to pull her out once she's preg. So I would need to get a second male.

It makes sense to pull her out every two weeks, check for pregnancy and give her a break. But what if she's not pregnant? Could I put her back in?

And Elden, thank you for your offer. I will.

Mark & Mara DeBoe
Wibotawot Farm
River Falls, WI
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jillmcm

3204 Posts

Posted - 12/11/2011 :  9:12:29 PM  Show Profile  Visit jillmcm's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Mara, pasture breeding can lead to as many problems as it can sometimes solve, as folks have pointed out. If this girl has not had a reproductive check up (uterine culture and ultrasound [US] of the repro tract), I'd do that first to see if there's an underlying infection causing problems. Many girls end up with low key infections that don't have many symptoms - other than causing problems getting pregnant. If she gets the green light from the repro exam and is cycling (which the US will tell you), then I'd try hand breeding, and as a last resort, pasture breeding.

As for the male, if he shares a fenceline and part of the barn with the girls, he doesn't need any more companionship in the short term - and I'll bet you could find a free companion male with no trouble at all if you wanted to go that route instead of waiting until you have male cria.

Jill McElderry-Maxwell
Bag End Suri Alpacas of Maine - ¡BESAME!
Benton, ME
(207) 453-0109
bagendsuris@roadrunner.com
http://www.bagendsuris.com
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jharwood

10 Posts

Posted - 12/27/2011 :  6:59:05 PM  Show Profile  Visit jharwood's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I thought part of the question was breeding to an unproven male. I have read a lot of articles on Alpaca Nation and have enjoyed what most of you breeders have said and have learned a lot. I believe the one reason why breeders don't sell anything is that they breed to unproven males with no show record,no fiber records, no micron records,ect. I put ect in because I know a lot of folks don't beleive that a male needs a good show record to be a great breeder, I agree but it really helps. I believe the male makes up as much as 70 percent of that female sale. I had a breeder tell me one time, I will not tell you his name but he sold me a lot of alpacas and one day we started talking about breeding that is where I get the 70 per cent from. He explained it this way Jerry you have a female cria and the sire is Captain Wasabi and you are asking 20,000. I have a female cria and the sire is Inca, it is also 20,000. Where do you think the folks are going to buy? That was 9 years ago and I have learn that he was right,the male you use is really really important. If you don't want to sell a lot of alpacas then continue to use unproven males.
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jillmcm

3204 Posts

Posted - 12/27/2011 :  8:07:48 PM  Show Profile  Visit jillmcm's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Well, someone has to use unproven males, or we'd never have any proven ones! Unproven males related to animals with excellent track records can be an economical way to get great genetics. Unproven does not have to mean bad, by any stretch of the imagination - and there are plenty of proven studs out there that don't produce cria worth the hype.

Jill McElderry-Maxwell
Bag End Suri Alpacas of Maine - ¡BESAME!
Benton, ME
(207) 453-0109
bagendsuris@roadrunner.com
http://www.bagendsuris.com
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JimR

1046 Posts

Posted - 12/27/2011 :  8:45:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think in proven he was referring to it's show record, which also does not guarantee that male will produce top quality alpacas.

Breed one unshown male to 15 different females. See how many show quality cria you get(and yes you do have to show them to prove their dad can produce winners)if he produces at least 7 winners out of 15 (because you have to take the females into account too) than IMO that male would than be considered "proven" even if he never attended one show.(proven to produce winners)

You can also throw the dice and pay 3000 for a breeding to a male that has 10 blue ribbons, but no cria on the ground yet, and see what you end up with. If it is just average you wasted 3000.00

Point, there is no guarantee 10 blue ribbons, or no blue ribbons, but unfortunately I will have to agree even a dud who's dad is Matrix will sell way before a blue ribbon winner of a male with no ribbons, maybe so they can say they have a matrix boy out in the pasture? And I will also bet that people will breed to that cow hocked 30 micron count 2 year old before they breed to the proven show producing, but unribboned herdsire, just because his dad is Matrix.
No explaining human stupidity.



Susan Rempe
Four Corners Alpacas
Bloomfield NM 87413
505 360-8375
River11524@msn.com
www.AlpacaNation.com/fourcorners.asp
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jharwood

10 Posts

Posted - 12/27/2011 :  9:46:51 PM  Show Profile  Visit jharwood's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Breeding is like throwing dice and if I have a pair of dice I would like to come up with the higher number rather than snake eyes.If you breed to an unproven male that has never been in the show ring or there is no micron count, or the breeder has never enter his fleece in the show ring why would you breed to him? I agree that a show record is not the final requirement for me to use that unproven male,I want that male's fleece to have place high in a show and I want his Yocum-McColl test to be outstanding with a micron count below 19 for white and below 21 for color with a SD somewhere 3.5 to 4.8. I use a male that has never been in the show ring but his fleece and micron count at age two was below 19 and at his present age it is still below 23. His fleece has won major shows in the US. His bloodlines: Sire is Ice Dancer who never lost in the showring and his dam Akuti has had numerous blue ribbon winners. He comes from Snowmass breeding program that was sold to Latah Creek Alpacas. I want to make it clear that just because they win in the show ring does not mean that cria is going to be great. I have named four things that will allow that male to breed here at Alpaca Rose Ranch. If they fall short on any of the 4 items,show halter,fleece shows,Yocum-McColl test,Bloodlines, they are sold as fiber alpacas.
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jillmcm

3204 Posts

Posted - 12/28/2011 :  08:19:45 AM  Show Profile  Visit jillmcm's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Proven means has offspring. It says nothing about the quality of the offspring. The original post had to do with putting a sexually inexperienced male in with an experienced female. You're talking about something quite different - breeding to an animal with some evidence that it will produce quality offspring.

Not all herdsires will have been shown or entered into fleece shows - mine wasn't, due to very unusual circumstances before I owned him. He probably should have been - all of his full sibs were (and they continue to do well in fleece shows). It was due to his full sibs' records (and those of their cria) that I bought him anyway - and he has begun to produce excellent cria that have been doing very well in the show ring and have what I'm looking for in fleece characteristics. It's nice to see that an animal did well in showing - but if their cria are what you want, it shouldn't matter.

Jill McElderry-Maxwell
Bag End Suri Alpacas of Maine - ¡BESAME!
Benton, ME
(207) 453-0109
bagendsuris@roadrunner.com
http://www.bagendsuris.com
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bobvicki

2967 Posts

Posted - 12/28/2011 :  11:57:50 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
jharwood wrote: If you breed to an unproven male that has never been in the show ring or there is no micron count, or the breeder has never enter his fleece in the show ring why would you breed to him?

Most breeding that take place are within ones own herd and many owners are capable of picking their best herdsire for the characteristics that they are striving for and can do this without the animal having been shown or even knowing the micron count. The point is most breeders don't sell breeding's. Maybe the reason our fleece improvements are rather slow is because people breed to the big name winner instead of the best producer. So why would I breed to him, because I know he has what I want regardless of show record.
quote:
jharwood wrote: His bloodlines: Sire is Ice Dancer who never lost in the showring and his dam Akuti has had numerous blue ribbon winners.

On the other hand how about "King Kong" he rewrote history, was bred a lot for excellent fees and disappointed many in may ways.
quote:
jharwood wrote: I have named four things that will allow that male to breed here at Alpaca Rose Ranch. If they fall short on any of the 4 items,show halter,fleece shows,Yocum-McColl test,Bloodlines, they are sold as fiber alpacas.

By bloodlines??? Bloodlines have been determined by show records haven't they? You might also say advertisement has also had a lot to do with establishing the important "bloodlines" So it appears that you have placed the show system high over fleece testing or even proven producing results. By the way in 2004 since Ice Dancer's DOB is 6/20/02 and he is white, his micron count was slightly over 19 so you wouldn't have used him!

While your "system" works for you if everyone followed it we would all be breeding mostly related alpacas, the same names would be appearing on everyone's pedigree more than once, and probably more than twice!

Knowledge is the most important item in any breeders arsenal!

Maybe as breeders we should ask ARI or AOBA to put into place a herdsire breeding registration where all breeding's are registered and the outcome registered, for example Male XXX bred to female YYY date confirmed, result (terminated, cria born but died from complications, live cria, registry #, not registered reason. Can you imagine how that would help with making decisions? Boy would "proven" take on a whole new meaning!

Bob

Bob & Vicki Blodgett
Suri Land Alpaca Ranch
10371 N 2210 Road
Clinton, Oklahoma 73601
641-831-3576
alpaca@htswireless.com
www.alpacanation.com/suriland.asp
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jharwood

10 Posts

Posted - 12/28/2011 :  7:34:56 PM  Show Profile  Visit jharwood's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Bob you are saying something that is not true, I look at all 3 areas of a male,show,fleece,micron be for I make them or sell them as a herdsire. I believe and it is just my view point that some of the best breeders in the US have done just what I do. Take a look if you are a Suri breeder at Latah Creek breeding program. When they were breeding and I realize not everyone as an Inca put they gelded more males because they did not meet certain requirements. They not only won in the show ring but sold 20 to 25 alpacas every year with this breeding practice.Most of the cria's that came from that breeding program had micron counts below 18. Yes they had some line breeding and those alpacas sold in the good old days for 20,000 and up. Bob you have every right to disagree and if you have something to say that is new to me to help in breeding I will love to look at it and maybe try it. I was trying to let this new breeder know that breeding to just any male is not the way to go. When I sell alpacas to folks who are serious in becoming a breeder I will contiune to use the Latah Creek way of choosing breeding males. Thanks
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jharwood

10 Posts

Posted - 12/28/2011 :  7:43:03 PM  Show Profile  Visit jharwood's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Yes I would have used Ice Dance since is micron was well below 20 at 18 months old. His six year micron is 23.3. and I would love to have some breeding to him.
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bobvicki

2967 Posts

Posted - 12/29/2011 :  01:50:31 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
jarwood wrote: Bob you are saying something that is not true, I look at all 3 areas of a male,show,fleece,micron be for I make them or sell them as a herdsire. I believe and it is just my view point that some of the best breeders in the US have done just what I do.

quote:
Bob wrote: Most breeding that take place are within ones own herd and many owners are capable of picking their best herdsire for the characteristics that they are striving for and can do this without the animal having been shown or even knowing the micron count.

I think that is about as truthful as you can get!
quote:
Bob wrote: By bloodlines??? Bloodlines have been determined by show records haven't they? You might also say advertisement has also had a lot to do with establishing the important "bloodlines" So it appears that you have placed the show system high over fleece testing or even proven producing results.

Since alpacas are relatively new to the US how did Bloodlines get established if not by the show ring and advertising?
quote:
Bob wrote: While your "system" works for you if everyone followed it we would all be breeding mostly related alpacas, the same names would be appearing on everyone's pedigree more than once, and probably more than twice!

This is really true since in the early days there were hardly any suri's being shown.
quote:
On the other hand how about "King Kong" he rewrote history, was bred a lot for excellent fees and disappointed many in may ways.


What is not true about this?

While I realize my post contradicted many points you were making I never said your method was wrong just that they were not the only way to go.

Regarding Inca who is white, when his micron count in 2004 was listed it was over 19 and you did say
quote:
I want that male's fleece to have place high in a show and I want his Yocum-McColl test to be outstanding with a micron count below 19 for white

So I was just pointing out he did not fit all of your point of being under 19 microns!

quote:
jarwood wrote: Bob you have every right to disagree and if you have something to say that is new to me to help in breeding I will love to look at it and maybe try it.

Wouldn't this be new
quote:
Maybe as breeders we should ask ARI or AOBA to put into place a herdsire breeding registration where all breeding's are registered and the outcome registered, for example Male XXX bred to female YYY date confirmed, result (terminated, cria born but died from complications, live cria, registry #, not registered reason. Can you imagine how that would help with making decisions? Boy would "proven" take on a whole new meaning!

With a system in place like that you could see that a herdsire has been bred 80 times, 10 ended in aborts or deaths on birth, 70 live births, 33 males of which 27 were registered, 37 females of which 33 were registered. You could track show records eliminating those under 8 months and see that of the 55 progeny in the group 50 were shown and there were 2 blues, one color champion, 8 reds, 6 thirds, a fourth, a fifth and a sixth. This would tell you that 4% of his shown progeny won or that actually 3.6% of his actual age appropriate cria won. That additional 16% (14.5 of total age appropriate) took seconds. These percentages should be able to be compared whether a herdsire has 30, 75, or over 100 breeding's.

If micron counts ever got down to just a few dollars each because everyone was doing it, then almost all alpacas would have it done and then you could compare Microns of the progeny produced and get an even better complete picture. Wow could you imagine a $2 fee to ARI to have just a butt cut micron on every alpaca registered.

quote:
Jarwood wrote: I was trying to let this new breeder know that breeding to just any male is not the way to go.

A point we both agree on. By the way I am not knocking your program or your system, I am just pointing out that it is not the only way. As I said before:
quote:
Knowledge is the most important item in any breeders arsenal!

Bob

Bob & Vicki Blodgett
Suri Land Alpaca Ranch
10371 N 2210 Road
Clinton, Oklahoma 73601
641-831-3576
alpaca@htswireless.com
www.alpacanation.com/suriland.asp
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Judith

4103 Posts

Posted - 12/29/2011 :  08:09:41 AM  Show Profile  Send Judith a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
I'd like to add that there are other things about a male that can make him an attractive breeding prospect. For example, in addition to conformation and fiber, I would suggest that you consider temperament and management qualities, such as exceptional parasite resistance and "easy keeper" status. One thing that's imperative to having a profitable herd is not having to spend large amounts of time and money on management, which means not have to pack extra nutrition into animals who otherwise go around looking skeletal, not having to administer frequent worming meds, not having to call the vet out for diagnostic or treatment purposes. All those expenses cut significantly into your profit, so having livestock that thrives on minimal input can mean the difference between a profitable farm and annual losses. I have a male that I haven't used but am beginning to seriously second-guess myself about because he seems to have an exceptional ability to thrive in adverse conditions, an ability that I'd like to foster within my herd. This male meets all my other criteria except his fleece is a bit coarser than I'm used to (not tested, but I'm estimating probably running around 24-25 AFD at 2 years), so I haven't considered using him until now. Now I've realized that despite what appears to be a developing parasite problem within my male herd, with nearly half the group now being treated for what I believe are parasite-related health issues (see my other thread on this issue), this fellow has remained stout, hardy and healthy with no supplemental input, and no wormer whatsoever. His fecals show no treatable parasite load. This is certainly a quality I want to perpetuate, if possible, and I plan to use him on a couple of my more susceptible females (two who are constantly thin and who have required worming more than once in 2011) in 2012 to see if their offspring will reflect his superior ability to thrive. If so, I consider that a good trade-off for some potential increase in micron, particularly since my fiber clients are less interested in micron than other characteristics. This is a quality that would never be measured in a show ring, of course, but is one that I believe any producer should take seriously when analyzing profitability and overall management ease.

Judith Korff
AlpacaNation Forum Co-Moderator
LadySong Farm Bolivian Suri Alpacas
Randolph, NY 14772
Cell: (716) 499-0383
www.alpacanation.com/ladysong.asp
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