[alpaca_fibre] Re: FW: Sire Reference Program

  • From: "Sixth Day Farm" <home@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <alpaca_fibre@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 17 Apr 2004 20:04:57 -0400

Hi Ian,
Glad you had a nice time across the pond.  You previously mentioned a US lab
for doing the skin biopsy histology for S/P Ratio, etc. Do you have contact
info for them? Some info about The G.A.I.N. is up at www.alpacagenetics.com
while the complete website is being fabricated, if you are interested.


-----Original Message-----
From: alpaca_fibre-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:alpaca_fibre-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]On Behalf Of Ian Watt
Sent: Saturday, April 17, 2004 6:07 PM
To: alpaca_fibre@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [alpaca_fibre] Re: FW: Sire Reference Program

I did receive your earlier mail but then I went off to England for a
couple of weeks!! Great trip travelling the canals of Shropshire and
Wales in a narrow boat - guaranteed stress buster!
I am awaiting a note from my Australian lab with all the details and
will be incorporating them into the final release of the plan. I have
had a good response from a very limited mail out and am confident that
it will appeal to those forward thinkers who want to work away from the
show circuit. I will let you know the details as soon as I have them -
hopefully later this week.
The advance copies of the book have arrived and I am posting your copy
on Monday. It looks better than I had hoped which is both exciting and
a relief!
Hope you are well.
On Wednesday, Apr 7, 2004, at 05:58 US/Pacific, Sixth Day Farm wrote:

> Hi Ian,
> I'm re-sending this as I never got a response about the lab doing the
> skin biopsies so I thought perhaps you didn't get the e-mail.
> Best Wishes,
> Wayne
> *****************************************************
> Dr. and Mrs. Wayne C. Jarvis            "In the beginning, God
> created.... "
>                                                               Genesis
> 1:1
> home@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx           www.sixthdayfarm.com
> Everyone talks about genetic improvement, at Sixth Day Farm we're DOING
> IT.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Sixth Day Farm [mailto:home@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]
> Sent: Wednesday, March 31, 2004 8:27 PM
> To: 'alpaca_fibre@xxxxxxxxxxxxx'
> Subject: RE: [alpaca_fibre] Sire Reference Program
> Hi Ian,
> I am getting ready to do biopsies at our shearing day in May. I have
> everything I need to take the samples. I was going to send them to the
> histology lab at OSU for slides to be made and then read them myself,
> but would prefer to send them to a lab in the US that already
> understands reading them for S/P ratio and density. Tell me about the
> processing you have available: how and where to send the samples, cost,
> and exactly how and what they will report.  Thanks!
> Also, The G.A.I.N. will be up and running by June.  Any of your list
> members who want to send in all of this phenotypic data that they are
> collecting for the sire reference site can submit the data for their
> sires, and or their hembras as well, and get computer generated reports
> of EPDs for all of the important traits that they want to select for
> and
> make genetic predictions about the offspring for.  Any who don't know
> about what EPDs are and their value for accelerating genetic gain in
> their herds can read the chapters on genetics in your upcoming
> International Alpaca Handbook, or the articles I wrote for Alpacas
> Magazine in 2002 and 2003, or the article on EPDs on Mike Safley's
> website excerpted from his book, or they can come to my lectures at the
> AOBA National Conference in Louisville.
> Wayne
> P.S. Don't tell me the handbook is really being printed ALREADY!
> *****************************************************
> Dr. and Mrs. Wayne C. Jarvis            "In the beginning, God
> created.... "
>                                                               Genesis
> 1:1
> home@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx           www.sixthdayfarm.com
> Everyone talks about genetic improvement, at Sixth Day Farm we're DOING
> IT.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: alpaca_fibre-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> [mailto:alpaca_fibre-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Ian Watt
> Sent: Wednesday, March 31, 2004 8:03 PM
> To: alpaca_fibre@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: [alpaca_fibre] Sire Reference Program
> I am delighted to announce that I have found a laboratory to undertake
> the follicle and density counts for alpacas both here and in Australia.
> I have also secured a website to be called alpacasiresUSA.com which
> will be the home of the new sire listing I wrote to you all about
> several months ago.
> I have extended the original concept to now include some phenotype
> features that may help disclose the underlying genotype of sires of the
> future. I am awaiting a response from Elizabeth Paul and will, in all
> probability, include details of gum, toenail, point and eyelid colour
> in the sire disclosure list. I would be very interested if anyone has
> any comments about this aspect of the project.
> I am pasting the new program guidelines into this email for you to
> peruse and consider. If you have any comments, I would greatly
> appreciate you airing them on this site so we can all share the
> thoughts.
> Incidentally, another 20 odd breeders have joined the list as they
> attended a workshop in California several weeks ago. New workshops are
> planned for Maine, Colorado and Virginia later this year.
> And the International Alpaca Handbook is finally off the presses and at
> the bindery awaiting binding!!
> Cheers,
> Ian Watt
> Preamble
> Selection of sires is possibly the single most important breeding
> decision any owner makes in striving for excellence in their alpaca
> business.
> The impact of a sire across a herd is more significant than any other
> single breeding decision.
> The American alpaca industry uses more sires across its national herd
> than is probably necessary. Supporters of a wide gene pool for the
> industry would dispute this, but, from a production perspective, it is
> hard to argue an alternative point of view.
> The lack of a breed standard (for the industry) allows the broadest
> possible interpretation on what comprises an acceptable conformation. A
> show standard goes beyond what is, or could reasonably be expected of,
> an animal primarily devoted to fibre production ie the show standard
> aims at a much higher level of conformation correctness than is usually
> reflected in a fibre production breeding emphasis.
> Breeders who aim for fibre excellence in their alpacas often lack the
> tools with which to make informed and productive genetic selections.
> Too often males are offered for service that have little or no
> supportive objective data that provide objectively obtained information
> for the female owner and breeder. This information may not be important
> to many breeders (at the moment) but will become increasingly important
> as the rate of genetic improvement becomes harder and harder to
> achieve. This is reflected most dramatically when the phenotype
> differences between animals being considered for joining are not
> immediately or apparently obvious.
> Breeders seeking superior fibre characteristics and production will be
> looking for more than show results and perceived quality than is
> currently the industry standard in the United States.
> Breeders aiming to sit inside the top 20% or better of the national
> herd (any national herd) will seek more and more objectively measured
> information to aid their individual selection processes.
> Professionally oriented breeders will adopt a much more challenging
> approach to the selection of sires and this will also apply to the
> introduction of new female genetics into the individual herd as well.
> This program is designed to not only apply objective assessment data to
> both male and female selection criteria but to also show a way for
> progressive breeders to position themselves for the future in terms of
> breeding and selling advanced fibre genetics.
> The following criteria suggestions are aimed at sire selections but can
> apply equally to female selection protocols as well.
> This program is about placing fibre as a higher priority than
> conformation by objective measurement and the underpinning of
> conformation correctness through strict adherence to a standard.
> The Program
> Because the influence of any sire is far greater across the national
> herd than any individual female, it is important that sires be
> rigorously examined for possible genetic conformational weaknesses. It
> is important that these traits be identified as health and welfare
> issues rather than cosmetic or environmental differences or effects.
> There is currently no industry conformation standard in place to
> measure sires (or females for that matter) against, nor is there any
> prospect of being one in the foreseeable future.
> The use of objectively collected and measured fleece data is not widely
> used in the promotion of sires.
> It is doubtful whether many breeders physically examine sires unless
> they see them at a show or live close by. Many breeders send females
> for mating to sight unseen sires and presumably rely upon a show result
> as a tick of conformational approval. This is not necessarily a sound
> breeding practice.
> First requirement.
> Each sire will be required to pass a physical conformational
> examination as described on a pro-forma established for such a purpose.
> This examination is identical to that adopted by the Australian Alpaca
> Association (AAA) for registration of males as sires approved for
> progeny registration into the International Alpaca Register, owned and
> operated by the AAA. Under the AAA scheme, any male used to sire cria
> able to be registered must pass this test before the sire is used to
> get a female pregnant.
> Each component of the standard must be passed for the male to be
> considered satisfactory - there are no trade-offs, an animal must pass
> every requirement.
> There is no fleece component.
> The examination must be done by a veterinarian so that potentrial
> customers can be assured that the certification has been done by an
> independent and qualified person.
> Second requirement.
> Each sire will be required to be fleece tested using the OFDA2000
> testing technology. A fleece sample from each mid-side will be required
> and the average of the two tests used as the final figure.
> The sample will be collected by an independent person, divided in half
> with one sample forwarded by the sampler to the program coordinator and
> the other half retained by the owner under seal.
> The information required by the program will include micron, standard
> deviation, coefficient of variation, comfort factor, staple length,
> colour and average fibre profile.
> Third requirement.
> The fleece will be weighed at shearing by an independent person who
> will record total fleece weight and saddle. The male will be required
> to be shorn from the ears down the neck, the body and legs down to the
> knee, excluding the tail.
> The weight will be recorded and affirmed by the owner.
> The shorn fleece will be raised to a height of eighteen inches from a
> table top and dropped. This will be done three times and the weight of
> the fleece recorded. This procedure will remove a considerable part of
> any dust in the fleece.
> Fourth requirement.
> Breeders of coloured alpacas are becoming increasingly aware of the
> phenotype expression of the genetics underlying what they see in the
> flesh. There is an increasing sophistication being exhibited by
> coloured breeders especially since the publication of Elizabeth Paul's
> "The Alpaca Colour Key". In order to meet this demand and to foster
> itys growth, each male will have any identifying colour spots disclosed
> as well as eye colour, eyelid colour, points colour, toenail colour and
> gum colour. These potential genetic colour identifiers will be
> important to discerning colour breeders of the future.
> Additional option.
> This option will allow owners of sires to have their sire tested for
> primary:secondary follicle count as well as a density count. Owners
> will be provided with a kit comprising all the materials and equipment
> needed to undertake the test and a comprehensive set of instructions
> which will allow a competent person to do the collection without the
> need for a veterinarian. It is suggested however that the vet could do
> the biopsy at the time of the physical examination. This is a one-off
> procedure and is offered for those breeders who might want to identify
> their top females within the herd.
> The information derived from the processing of the four requirements
> will paint a composite picture of any sire using objectively collected
> data. This data can then be used to make some initial assessments of
> the sire, allow comparisons between sires and lets sires be assessed on
> performance rather than subjective assessment reinforced by emotive
> promotion.
> The exercising of the additional option adds a far deeper dimension to
> the selection process and strikes a very new line of breeder disclosure
> to potential customers for sire services. This is very much leading
> edge genetics.
> Access to data
> The data and documentation of each sire would then be collated and
> processed into a website listing within a listing of "accredited sires"
> (or some such identifier). This website would be managed and maintained
> by Alpaca Consulting Services of Australia and would be open for public
> access.
> There would be a fee structure for animals entering the program and an
> annual fee to cover the testing, collating and data processing of the
> annual shearing results.
> Once entered into the site, the animal will remain until, either it
> dies, the owner decides to withdraw or no new data has been collected
> for two seasons.
> There will be a photograph of the sire on the site.
> There will be no mention of show results.
> There will be an option to link any particular sire to the owners
> website or email address.
> There will be no service fee or other advertising on the site.
> Benefits
> The industry-wide benefit is access to sires demonstrating objectively
> measured fleece and conformation information collected by an
> independent person. This feature alone will place these sires at the
> forefront of breeders minds as the collection, testing and distribution
> of the information is not managed by the owner of the sire - a truly
> vested interest - but by someone with absolutely no interest in any
> animal.
> By making the data public both breeders and sire owners have a
> benchmark against which they can measure any potential sire but also a
> wider range of sires as this program allows any sire, or potential
> sire, in.
> Over time, the fleece history of the sire will become clear with those
> sires not blowing out in any measurable traits becoming more recognized
> and thus, potentially, more attractive as future herd sires.
> Owners of listed sires will no doubt be recognized as leading edge
> breeders as demonstrated through their strength of conviction in
> submitting their animals to scrutiny over the internet.
> Breeders looking for sires will, for the first time perhaps, have a
> broader range of sires from which to select as small breeders unable or
> unwilling to exhibit at shows will have a vehicle through which they
> can market and promote their animals at minimal cost and at maximum
> credibility.
> Finally, the conformation examination by a veterinarian will, for the
> first time, underpin an expanded guarantee of correctness of
> conformation by a sire owner.
> These are benefits that will not only enhance the reputation of the
> animal but also the owner in an industry which will place more and more
> emphasis on fleece production than is currently the case.
> In essence, breeders offering sires entered into the program will be
> attesting that their animals have met a documented conformation
> standard, have undergone independently collected, tested and recorded
> fleece measurements and, if selected, are prepared to disclose
> secondary to primary follicle ratios to buyers of both animals and
> service options.
> ---
> List Name: Alpaca Fibre Production
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> ---
> List Name: Alpaca Fibre Production
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