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 4. Breeding and Genetics
 Line breeding
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Kevin Truex

12 Posts

Posted - 11/29/2013 :  9:01:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ok, here is the scoop. Has anyone else had one of your herdsires get in with the females and get a related female pregnant. We did. The relationship is, both of his parents are her grandparents. Can anyone give me any insight on what we should do. Please help.
Thanks a bunch,
Kevin and Debbie

Christiane

2830 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2013 :  07:01:34 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
With that kind of relationship, you should not have any trouble. We breed our dogs like that, but then skip a couple of generations, before we do it again. If you want to, you can abort, but I would contact a vet before doing that. It has to be done at a certain period.

Christiane Rudolf
Tanglewood Farm
19741 Victory Lane
Fayetteville, Ohio 45118
(513) 875-2533
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Judith

4103 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2013 :  08:16:47 AM  Show Profile  Send Judith a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Is there any reason that you should be concerned about genetic problems? Is there any history in either line of genetic deformities? The two issues you face are (1) the potential for any predisposition toward a defect to be doubled by increasing the amount of those genes in the offspring, and (2) the difficulty of reselling the offspring and its ultimate production because of the perception of "line breeding" in the pedigree. If the cria goes to term and is delivered defect-free, you've actually taken a step toward proving there are no genetic defects in the original alpacas, but it may be difficult to sell that cria in the future. However, if you have no concern about genetic problems, I wouldn't be all that concerned because, as Christiane has said, this is not a bad move in other species. Unless you're concerned about the timing of delivery (i.e., did this just happen and you'd be worried about an early winter delivery next year), in which case I'd probably estrumate now.


Judith Korff
AlpacaNation Forum Co-Moderator
The Pastel Paca at LadySong Farm
Randolph, NY 14772
Cell: (716) 499-0383
www.alpacanation.com/ladysong.asp
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APacaFunFarm

1193 Posts

Posted - 12/08/2013 :  01:50:17 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Kevin and Debbie,

What you've done (if it were on purpose) is called a "foundation cross". This is how most line breeding programs start. The object here is to conserve the genotype of the grandparents. A bit unusual in this case as you are conserving the genotype of both the grandsire and grandam.

If this is something you want to do, no worries. If not, you can always abort the pregnancies. Best of luck,

Neil


Neil Padgett
A Paca Fun Farm
Dickerson,MD
mpcpneilp@gmail.com
www.apacafunfarm.com
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joeykatp

318 Posts

Posted - 12/08/2013 :  1:38:37 PM  Show Profile  Visit joeykatp's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Then again, maybe it was meant to be? Many great scientific discoveries happened by accident!
Good luck whatever you decide.

Kathy Paternoster
Our Father's Farm
New Hampton, NY
(845)374-7712
http://ourfathersfarm.net
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bluemare

5 Posts

Posted - 01/28/2014 :  6:34:24 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Judith

(2) the difficulty of reselling the offspring and its ultimate production because of the perception of "line breeding" in the pedigree.

... but it may be difficult to sell that cria in the future.



My apologies if I am opening up a can of worms, here. This is something I have been noticing, and wondering about, for awhile.

It seems to me that alpaca breeders actively attempt to avoid line breeding, even carefully thought out and controlled line breeding. Why is this?

Assuming the grandparents in question were exceptional animals, would a pedigree of this nature actually make the animal difficult to sell, in the experience of those on this forum?

... I am very new to the species, so my apologies if there is something overarching that I am missing here.
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Judith

4103 Posts

Posted - 01/29/2014 :  07:37:13 AM  Show Profile  Send Judith a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Hi Bluemare (could you please set up a signature block on your profile that includes at least your real name and location? See Forum Rules...) :-)

I suspect the reason so few alpaca breeders are comfortable with line breeding is that very few of us came into the industry with a clear understanding of genetics. Many breeders had heard stories about the excesses of other breed/species industries (for example, dog breeders whose line breeding was used to exaggerate show ring emphases on specific aesthetic qualities to the ultimate detriment of the health and longevity of the dog) and are anxious not to repeat that pattern. There are some very successful alpaca breeders whose breeding programs use line breeding to great results (think Snowmass, Nuala Farm and Wayne Jarvis, for example). However, the fear continues among the vast majority of breeders that any pedigree reflecting the same name more than once is indicative of potential genetic problems. I'd like to see a Beginner's Seminar in Line Breeding to help breeders understand both the hazards and the benefits in a well constructed line breeding program. Certainly my own program seems to have been built around one or two fine Bolivian boys since I've found very few Bolivians lacking one or both of those progenitors.

Judith Korff
AlpacaNation Forum Co-Moderator
The Pastel Paca at LadySong Farm
Randolph, NY 14772
Cell: (716) 499-0383
www.alpacanation.com/ladysong.asp
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Christiane

2830 Posts

Posted - 01/29/2014 :  2:00:58 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Linebreeding should be done by those who are careful about selecting animals that are healthy and also knowing what their"lines" produce. We have done linebreeding in our dogs, but with the knowledge that those dogs have not shown any defects that we don't want in their offspring. We also only do linebreeding by skipping several generations before repeating it. Again, being careful to use only sound animals. I think the reason many alpaca breeders are loth to do so is because alpacas have not been in N. America that long, and it takes longer to raise an alpaca than a dog.n I, for one, would not have a problem with a line bred alpaca, provided the breeding was done by someone who has had a lot of experience with alpacas and that the animals used in the breeding, have not thrown any traits that are undesirable. It takes years to learn how to do this successfully.


Christiane Rudolf
Tanglewood Farm
19741 Victory Lane
Fayetteville, Ohio 45118
(513) 875-2533
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bobvicki

2967 Posts

Posted - 01/29/2014 :  5:22:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Bluemare,

I personally think the fear of line breeding is because while trying to get the highly desirable results of line breeding you stand a good chance of also increasing the negative genetics (faults) and problems.

People who are successful doing line breeding must also be willing to cull very strictly to remove any problems. At $10,000 to $15,000 average for good female alpaca's not many people wanted the risk, or the risk of purchasing a cria from breeding's that might produce a problem. Now with much more reasonable prices people might be more willing to accept line breeding progeny.

My opinion is that with the current value of alpaca's it is time for more understanding of genetics and breeding's and it would be great to see lots more done in the field of Artificial Insemination and Embryo Transplant. I believe these things would immediately make a significant impact on our herds.

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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APacaFunFarm

1193 Posts

Posted - 01/29/2014 :  9:45:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by bluemare

It seems to me that alpaca breeders actively attempt to avoid line breeding, even carefully thought out and controlled line breeding. Why is this?

Assuming the grandparents in question were exceptional animals, would a pedigree of this nature actually make the animal difficult to sell, in the experience of those on this forum?

... I am very new to the species, so my apologies if there is something overarching that I am missing here.



Hi Bluemare,

The fear of line breeding reflects both the youth of the industry and the fact that most alpaca breeders had little or no livestock breeding experience before beginning their alpaca adventure.

Linebreeding has become much more accepted over the past few years, at least in part because folks see double ancestors on the pedigrees of show winners. Breeders I talk with at shows no longer bat an eye, and some see line bred alpacas as desirable.

Judith, who is Nuala?

Best regards,

Neil

Neil Padgett
A Paca Fun Farm
Dickerson,MD
mpcpneilp@gmail.com
www.apacafunfarm.com
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Judith

4103 Posts

Posted - 01/30/2014 :  07:54:53 AM  Show Profile  Send Judith a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
LOL, Neil, Nuala Farm is Andy and Ann Merriwether. I definitely should have included you in my list; I must have been having a brain freeze!

Judith Korff
AlpacaNation Forum Co-Moderator
The Pastel Paca at LadySong Farm
Randolph, NY 14772
Cell: (716) 499-0383
www.alpacanation.com/ladysong.asp
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bluemare

5 Posts

Posted - 01/30/2014 :  2:21:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sorry, Judith! Should be set up properly now.

Thank you all for the discussion. I figured that "fear of the unknown" was primarily behind the avoidance, but I didn't know if there was some reason (either actual or political/cultural) that was specific to alpacas that had escaped me.

I find it really fascinating to read Bob's comment that alpaca breeders with more expensive animals were unwilling to take the "risk" of line breeding. For performance Quarter Horses, the level of genetic diversity is beginning to dip dangerously low, according to some researchers, but very few performance horse breeders are willing to risk taking a chance on an out-cross!

I seem to recall reading that the "background" inbreeding level from animals from the Accoyo ranch can be expected to be higher due to the more intensive selection pressures of this breeding program. Can anyone confirm if this is true?

Kitt Hollister
Howling Hill Farm, New Hampshire
HowlingHillFarm.com
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bobvicki

2967 Posts

Posted - 01/30/2014 :  4:09:15 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Kitt,

In the older days of extremely expensive animals and probably quite a few people spending more than they should have on alpacas and not being "Rich" the idea that line breeding can enhance problems just as it can make improvements makes linebreeding appear to be very risky. My comment wasn't that people with more expensive alpacas weren't willing to take the risk, but rather all alpacas were expensive. Couple that with the risk of line breeding possible problems and the risk of having a bad cria from breedings that were running anywhere from $2000 to $7000 and you should be able to understand the negativity toward line breeding "so why take a risk if you didn't have to."

Neils comment:
quote:
Linebreeding has become much more accepted over the past few years, at least in part because folks see double ancestors on the pedigrees of show winners. Breeders I talk with at shows no longer bat an eye, and some see line bred alpacas as desirable.

I don't see as much as being line breeding but being more acceptable because there have been many post explaining that many of these situations are far enough apart or back in the pedigree so the possible problems are minimal and they are not actually examples of "linebreeding".

Judith has just had one of those "Brain F**ts" because she knows that Andy & Ann's farm is "NYALA" . LOL

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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APacaFunFarm

1193 Posts

Posted - 01/30/2014 :  11:33:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Judith

LOL, Neil, Nuala Farm is Andy and Ann Merriwether. I definitely should have included you in my list; I must have been having a brain freeze!



ROTFL……..

I think Andy would rather shoot himself in the foot than breed two alpacas with common ancestors Judiith. Nyala's sheep are line breed though :-)

I'm not line breeding at this point Judith. I first have to criate a group of "excellent ancestors" who's genotype I want to conserve. Getting close (probably 2 generational intervals) but not there yet.

Kitt,

There has been lots of speculation about the genetics of the Accoyo program. What Julio Barreda did (by report) was introduce a dozen or so males to a large group of females for about 2 weeks, then a second group of a dozen males for two weeks, etc, until all of the females were bred. With a herd of 500 to 1000+ and the limitations he faced this was probably as good as it was going to get.

By the definitions I use I would expect his herd had some degree of inbreeding, but there was no line breeding going on. Check the previous 40 pages in Breeding and Genetics for earlier discussions.

I think Andy Merriwether (who is a molecular geneticist) did research that didn't show a higher degree of inbreeding in the Accoyo herd compared to others. This might well be true if Don Julio's method of breeding was commonly used.

Best regards all,

Neil

Neil Padgett
A Paca Fun Farm
Dickerson,MD
mpcpneilp@gmail.com
www.apacafunfarm.com
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Judith

4103 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2014 :  07:23:14 AM  Show Profile  Send Judith a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Ya know, the older you get, the more f**ts! Nyala, not Nuala. What is Nuala??? Oh yeah, isn't she a lioness in the Lion King? At my age, I'm lucky I remember anything at all.

I was pretty sure Andy wasn't himself line-breeding but I knew he would understand enough about it to be someone knowledgeable enough to discuss it. I didn't realize you, Neil, weren't line breeding although I knew you did have a pretty wide range of genetics to play with. I guess I had thought you were developing a "line" of your own.

Judith Korff
AlpacaNation Forum Co-Moderator
The Pastel Paca at LadySong Farm
Randolph, NY 14772
Cell: (716) 499-0383
www.alpacanation.com/ladysong.asp
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APacaFunFarm

1193 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2014 :  2:30:09 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Judith

Ya know, the older you get, the more f**ts! Nyala, not Nuala. What is Nuala??? Oh yeah, isn't she a lioness in the Lion King? At my age, I'm lucky I remember anything at all.

I was pretty sure Andy wasn't himself line-breeding but I knew he would understand enough about it to be someone knowledgeable enough to discuss it. I didn't realize you, Neil, weren't line breeding although I knew you did have a pretty wide range of genetics to play with. I guess I had thought you were developing a "line" of your own.




Indeed I am Judith….from scratch.

When we started in alpacas 15 years ago the difference in quality between gray/black alpacas and white/lite alpacas was wide. If a gray alpaca had any kind of crimp, anywhere, it was assured of a ribbon in shows. There were no topknots in grays, only "flop knots" :-)

Fast forward to now, the grays in my herd today would hands down bannered against the whites of a decade ago. In fact, one of them recently has, winning judges choice fleece at nationals in Ft Wayne.

Despite this, my current herd is (IMHO) not good enough for me to want to lock in their current fleece characteristics with line breeding. Linebreeding doesn't create great alpacas. It allows you to maintain greatness once you have it.

That why Kitt made this comment earlier in the thread;

"For performance Quarter Horses, the level of genetic diversity is beginning to dip dangerously low, according to some researchers, but very few performance horse breeders are willing to risk taking a chance on an out-cross! "

If you already have an excellent genotype, outcrossing may well dilute it. In past years many in the alpaca industry have not understood this. Thankfully, this is now changing and serious breeders are already selectively inbreeding (count me in this group).

Linebreeding (at least by the definition I use) is a breeding strategy that seeks to conserve the genotype of a single excellent ancestor, or a small group of excellent ancestors. To thoughtfully use a line breeding strategy you first have to have those excellent ancestors.

I'm close, but not there yet.

Continued best regards,

Neil


Neil Padgett
A Paca Fun Farm
Dickerson,MD
mpcpneilp@gmail.com
www.apacafunfarm.com

Edited by - APacaFunFarm on 01/31/2014 4:01:28 PM
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