Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Good breeding;bad seeds

This is a book cover.  It caught my eye because of the subtitle of "good breeding,bad seeds".
In the alpaca breeding business it is paramount that you consider this phrase.  No one male has the power to overcome all the inadequacies of the mate.  They can complement one another but not totally override things like poor fiber character, luster, skeletal issues, attitude and the myriad of other characteristics in fine breeding progeny.
This post is mainly for those of my readers who are in the breeding business.
It starts now.  Here and in this place.  When the progeny hit the ground, part of the equation might be corrected.  Then with the next generation of breeding, you get it better and better.  It does not happen overnight.  It takes years for this to put the best on the ground.  So do not get disenhearted if your little treasure is not as good as the dam or the sire, but the betterment you get with further refined matches will filter out the undesirables. You cannot choose just any ole guy on the farm and expect that match to help the next generation unless you take a very objective look at what you have achieved.  Same goes for the dam.  You may have paid a king's ransom for her just to find out she does not have a great 50% of the genes to add.  It is livesotck.  It is not a perfect game.
My question to the experts is how do you realisitically "fix a female'?
Face up to the reality that you may have to change your game plan.  Face the fact that not all that glittered was gold when you purchased your breeding stock.  We all cannot have a crystal ball that will let us look into the future and make the best choices.  but I guess that is really what the EPD program is all about.
Gelding is not a bad choice in many cases!

This is from Dr. M's garden.  It is an incredibly beautiful camellia named The Empress.  One thing I have learned from the study of Ikebana (Japanese flower arranging) is that the oriental culture likes to see the plant also after the petals have dropped to the ground to make a skirt of color.  When this happens I will show you how beautiful the grounds can be even as the flower comes apart.

Do you have corporate gifts to give this year?  We are getting George and Judy to fix up specially roasted coffee packages for us; sidebar has contact info.  The Alpaca Bean Coffee Co. matriarch is a lovely lady named Pinkie Speth.  She is 95!, is Judy's mother and owns Pinkie's Alpacas.  Can you believe it? She may hold  the record for an alpaca breeder's personal longevity. Now she is a real "sister" and we love her.

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