Friday, July 23, 2010

Our 2010 Cria

These are pictures of our 2010 cria. The big thing about this years crop of cria is this is the first year we picked all the breedings (this does not include Rose, she came as a separate deal with her mom, Snickers). The first year we were alpaca farmers, our girls came bred. Of course we purchased them based on who they were bred to, so we did "pick" it. But, they came that way. The decision had already been made. The second year, we had several breed backs as part of purchasing the females. A breed back is when the farm you purchase the female from allows you to breed to one of their males, as part of the deal for buying the female (no additional cost). Some females come with no breed backs, some come with one or two or whatever the selling farm offers. For example, when we bought Victoria and Kateri from South Haven Alpacas, they put as part of the deal that we could have some breed backs to their males. We used one of them when we had Kateri bred to the Buccaneer, producing our Pocahontas. This year we were totally on our own, no breed backs used. We also for the first time had some of our own males to use. In the end we had four girls bred, and all had an *unknown* factor. (unknown in that they had never had a cria previously).

Our Copper Canyon

Sancha was bred to Apollo producing Our Copper Canyon

Copper's birth story link
Copper's alpaca national page

The unknown factor for this breeding is that this was only Apollo's second breeding, his first cria was born a couple months prior to Copper. We did not know what Apollo could produce.

We were very happy to see this cria! For one, it shows that Sancha's secondary color is black (see this blog post for more about color genetics). We like the darker colors, so were excited to see that Sancha can produce darker colors. I love how his face is woolly (a trait I like), and that he has nice straight lines (great conformation). We were excited to see his crimpy zig zap fiber. We are anxious to see how his fiber grows back in since it was shorn, and we are eager to see how he does in the show ring next fall.

I would say the thing we are most concerned about is his density. We were not home when he was born, so we don't know how long it took for him to dry off (a sign of density is that they take a very long time to dry). It's hard for me to feel density on a cria. We will continue to evaluate this, and ask other farmer's opinions also. So far he looks and feels great.

Smokey's Twilight

The second cria born this year came from Maddie and Smokey. While Smokey is an experienced male with several cria on the ground, Maddie was a maiden, so she was the unknown. Together they produced Smokey's Twilight.

Twilight's birth story link
Her alpaca nation page.

While Twilight looks like a mini Maddie, I think next spring after shearing when we have Twilight's fiber analyzed, we will see Smokey's impact. I think Twilight's histogram will show that she is finer than Maddie ever was. As far as how she will do in the show ring, I'm not sure. I thought Maddie would have done well. She has shiny bright black fiber, with a short frequency crimp. Though more recently I've noticed Maddie is a bit soft on her back pasterns. This may have been more of an issue in the show ring than we ever knew (no judge ever said anything, we didn't even notice it until recently). This is an example of something that would have been nice to have known before. A live and learn experience. I do know Maddie's fiber is weak on bundling, staple length, and fineness. It's too early in Twilight's fiber growth to know if she will have those. But I do know she is not at all soft on her back pasterns. She is rock solid in her conformation. So far her fiber looks very shiny, soft, crimpy, and to have bundles. She has potential to do well.

OHVNA Chaska

The third cria born this year came from our Kateri bred to Express's Accoyo Adonis. Adonis is the unknown in this paring. This was his first breeding ever. Adonis is a Accoyo Express son, and is 100% Peruvian Accoyo! (Kateri also has quite a bit of Accoyo in her.) Pictures on his site (link on his name) show how woolly his face is. He's reported to be a fiber machine. Together these two created OHVNA Chaska.

Chaska's birth story link
Chaska's alpaca nation webpage

We had high hopes for this pairing, but in reality there was some risk. It was a risk in that the sire did not have any cria on the ground. Adonis was not in the show ring himself. So while he has the traits we wanted for Kateri, he held a lot of unknowns. We know Kateri can produce incredible cria, and we felt Adonis has what Kateri needs - mostly fineness. Kateri and her offspring are a bit higher in micron than we'd like.

We were incredibly pleased with the birth of Chaska. While we weren't really thinking of such a light color (at this point he is beige, though if after he is shorn if he ends up being white we would not be surprised), we knew this was a possibility from the pairing. We are amazed and impressed with his fiber! He shows all the signs of being incredibly dense. It took forever for him to dry after he was born. He has lots of rolls in his neck, another sign of density. His fiber is hard to part, it's hard to get down to his skin, another sign of density. One of the pictures above shows the fiber cracking in his neck, which can be a sign of density. I have never seen such bright, shiny fiber on a cria! It is not like anything I can describe. It's almost like he has a glossy conditioner on. The pictures don't capture that part of it at all. The pictures do show his curly cue crimpy bundles - how incredible are those! Most tui tips do not show the bundling crimp like that. He has a nice woolly face, I don't think we'll see anything but fuzz come spring time. He has nice straight lines, all great conformation.

We have nothing but great things to say about Chaz. This is what his alpaca nation page says:
When we bred our best foundation female to an Accoyo Express son, Chaz is what we envisioned. As soon as he was born, we were amazed by this little boy. He took a day and a half to fully dry. He has curls from his nose all the way to his toes. He has a light fawn stripe from his top knot all the way his back. He fades from the light fawn to beige and then white on his legs and belly. He may turn white after shearing, just like his sire did. His fiber has so much luster, you would swear he could be a suri with huacaya crimp. I fully expect him to have the bold crimp style of his sire.

Chaz's sire is Express's Accoyo Adonis, an Accoyo Express son from Autumn Alpacas. We chose to bred to him, not because of his sire, but because of his dam. She is from the North Coast Alpaca breeding program. She has produced champions for them, and several herdsires. Adonis is very fine and has extreme density, shearing 10 lbs as a juvi.

Chaz's dam is our own Kateri. She is a show quality producing dam. All of her previous offspring have won blue ribbons, and 2 have taken banners.

We are expecting big things from this boy.

OHVNA The Challenger

Our fourth and last cria for 2010 came from Victoria bred to Tucker. In this pairing Tucker was the unknown, this is his first cria. They produced OHVNA The Challenger.

He was only born a few days ago (story here). It's too early for me to really give a good analysis of him. I will say that both J and I agree that if we had Tucker on our farm right now, we'd repeat this breeding. In his birth story I describe what the parent's lack and how by every appearance that we can see, Challenger got the best from both parents. We are very excited about him.

Here are a few pictures of him:

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