Friday, June 3, 2011

July Cria

Our girls, Victoria and Kateri, are due in July.

Kateri will hit day 350 on July 12, 2011 (I couldn't get a full fleece picture of Kateri separated from the others so here she is with Victoria, Kateri is standing up, Victoria is cushed on the ground):

Kateri after shearing:

After shearing, we had a bit of a worry that Kateri might not have kept her pregnancy. We believe she is pregnant, but not 100% sure. Her belly just doesn't look clearly pregnant like Sancha and Victoria do. And we know in years past Kateri has had a very large cria belly.

Kateri is bred to Lightning. This will be Lightning's first cria. Kateri's color are brown and black (Bb). We don't know what Lightning's secondary color is. Both his parents are white, and he is white. There are no known cases of an alpaca having two white genes, so he got one of his parent's secondary color, either black from Sancha or fawn from his sire (I believe his sire has a fawn secondary color).

The color combinations could be:
Kateri (Bb) x Lighting (WF) = BW, BF, bW or bF
50% chance of white (BW and bW)
50% chance of fawn (BF or bF)

or Kateri (Bb) x Lightning (Wb) = BW, Bb, bW, or bb
50% chance of white (BW, bW)
25% chance of brown (Bb)
25% chance of black (bb)

If the cria is fawn, we know Lightning's secondary color is fawn, and if the cria is brown or black, we know his secondary color is black. If the cria is white, we still won't know his secondary color.

As for due dates, I've heard that females tend to deliever around the same day each year. This has not been true for Kateri, her due dates have varied greatly: day 360, 342, 338, and 351.

Victoria will hit day 350 on July 20, 2011:

Victoria shorn (she clearly has a cria belly, which given she is due last might not make sense that she shows more than the others. But, keep in mind that Victoria is a smaller alpaca. She runs around 120 pounds, when Snickers, for example, is closer to 200 pounds. Snickers has a lot more rom to hide that cria, whereas Victoria has no room to spare. Victoria has always had average size heathly cria with no birthing difficulties, so while she is a bit smaller, she's healthy and our best producer):

Victoria's past delieveries have all been fairly close to day 350: day 355, 347, 354, and 343 (that last one was a bit out of her typical range).

Victoria is bred to Georgio. I've written before that Victoria may have a dilution gene (I wrote more about that here). More recently we've thought that maybe Victoria's mother is diluted (exhibits a color lighter than would be genetically passed on), but Victoria might not be. (If her mother is really a brown with a black secondary color, Victoria could have gotten a brown gene from her mother, in which case Victoria is not diluted at all. We won't know this for sure unless she has a diluted cria). So far none of her cria have been a diluted down color. So for now, I will treat her as a brown with a black secondary color. If the cria is lighter than expected, then we will know she has a dilution gene, but until then we will assume dilution isn't part of the equation.

Victoria (Bb) x Georgio (Fb) = BF, Bb, bF, bb
50% chance of fawn (BF, bF)
25% chance of brown (Bb)
25% chance of black (bb)

Last year I posted some links to articles about alpaca color genetics. I will link to that post here. Anyone who is interested in this, I encourage you to look at all the links in that post.

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