Sunday, February 7, 2010

Breeding Age Grey Males

We now have FOUR breeding age grey males.

We have found ourselves drawn to grey alpacas. I know many farms set out to specialize in grey fiber. That was not our specific plan. I wanted superior fiber in a variety of colors to use in crafts. This is still our goal, but we have found that we use the grey fiber the most. We also like grey males because they also have black cria, the other color that we find we could use the most in our knitting projects. This had led to our seeking and gaining quality grey males.

I have heard that there have been vast improvement in grey fiber in a very short time frame. It was not that long ago that there were few alpacas in the grey classes at shows. Not only are those classes growing, but where grey fiber used to not have crimp, now it is quickly catching up to the quality found in other color classes.

Grey alpacas have undergone some clasifications. Recently there was a separation made between modern and classic grey. My understanding is that classic greys, also known as tuxedo greys, are the ones that look like our Tucker: where he has a white face, and white on his legs, with grey wrapped around his back and into his chest, as if he is wearing a tuxedo. These animals have white on their extremities and are considered to have a white spot (which does need to be taken into consideration as they risk passing on the white spot gene. When bred to another animal with a with spot, there is a 25% chance of having a blue eyed white cria. A blue eyed white is not bad in itself, but this gene can also cause the animal to be deaf, which is a defect we would not want to carry on in the industry.) The modern grey does not have a white spot, they do not look like they are wearing a tuxedo. These greys are at the base black or brown (rose greys are at the base brown, silver greys are at the base black). They breed like a solid black or brown. Their fiber has grey fibers throughout, but no white spot. Both modern greys and classic greys have their pros and cons. For example, classic greys are more likely to have grey offspring, modern greys are safe to breed to a white/white spot female (as the classic greys risk the white spot gene). We are excited that we have both on our farm!

The newest addition is NL Smokey, who we co-own with Ashton Stone Alpacas. Smokey is a modern dark silver grey with a compact body style that we like so much. He also has held onto his fineness even as he has gotten older. We are excited to add him to our list of males. Smokey is the sire of our newest little girl, Rosco. And, he is the sire of the cria that Maddie will have this spring. He already has quite a few cria on the ground.

SA Peruvian Greyt Exxpectations came to us in December. He is a modern grey, with a brown base, though his grey can easily be seen even from a distance. Greyt has a beautiful rose grey color, on his compact body frame. Greyt will be ready to breed this spring. We already have some girls picked out for him! Greyt is co-owned with Ashton Stone Alpacas.

Our Peruvian Navigator also came to our farm in December. I asked what Navigator would be considered, a classic or modern grey, given he does have white on his extremities, but it's not really a tuxedo shape. I believe the answer I got was that he is classic, but because he really doesn't look like he is wearing a tuxedo it was suggested he be referred to as a "fancy grey." Navigator has some confirmed pregnancies, all are at the farm we co-own him with, Zenith Alpacas. Those cria are due this year. We are excited to see what he will produce.

We have had ARF Our Peruvian Tucker for awhile now. Tucker is co-owned with Zenith Alpacas, and currently is at their farm. We bred Tucker to Victoria last year and are very eager to see what they produce this year. We have breeding plans for Tucker when he comes back to our farm next year.

1 comment:

Noah and Jillian Schwander said...

What a beautiful array of grey!!!

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