What's the G.A.I.N.? ps. hi, how are you doin'? mary At 09:26 PM 3/31/2004, you wrote: >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 > >ALPACA SIRE REFERENCE PROGRAM > >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 >ListAddress: alpaca_fibre@xxxxxxxxxxxxx >List Archives: //www.freelists.org/archives/alpaca_fibre/ >List Administrator: Ian Watt (alpacaconsult@xxxxxxxxxxxxx) > >How to Unsubscribe: send an email to alpaca_fibre-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx >and put "unsubscribe" (without the quotes) in the Subject line of the >email. > >--- >List Name: Alpaca Fibre Production >ListAddress: alpaca_fibre@xxxxxxxxxxxxx >List Archives: //www.freelists.org/archives/alpaca_fibre/ >List Administrator: Ian Watt (alpacaconsult@xxxxxxxxxxxxx) > >How to Unsubscribe: send an email to alpaca_fibre-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx >and put "unsubscribe" (without the quotes) in the Subject line of the email. Mary Forte Goodman www.marysalpaca.com --- List Name: Alpaca Fibre Production ListAddress: alpaca_fibre@xxxxxxxxxxxxx List Archives: //www.freelists.org/archives/alpaca_fibre/ List Administrator: Ian Watt (alpacaconsult@xxxxxxxxxxxxx) How to Unsubscribe: send an email to alpaca_fibre-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx and put "unsubscribe" (without the quotes) in the Subject line of the email.