Alpaca farming for pedigree and show is very involved. It demands a scientific approach for success.
Pedigree refers to the quality of the breed of the alpaca. A true pedigree document should have 30 specific pieces of information on the alpaca’s heritage. Some farmers have 10 generations of knowledge of their animals’ heritage. Pedigree is hereditary. Fleece micron, color, physical well-being and general demeanor as well as the proclivity to reproduce are all considerations for a glowing pedigree. When an alpaca farmer is able to produce written family information on his herd, he is able to generate greater profits over time as prospective purchasers will be more inclined to spend their funds on what they know is a more viable breed.
Registering your alpacas is one sure way of selling them for a greater price. Registries abound, and a strict governing body will protect farmers from subpar or cross-bred animals. Alpacas are sometimes cross-bred with llamas and other South American members of the camel family. Quality of nurture, husbandry and a partially regulated environment all work together to influence pedigree. The ARI pedigree is extremely valuable. An alpaca can be registered if and only if its parents were previously registered. A registered alpaca attracts a greater price than an unregistered one. Production and performance records include information on fleece weight, fleece micron, color, uniformity and disposition.
Showing your alpacas will definitely help your reputation and your business grow. What special qualities do your alpacas possess?
Itemize them and concentrate on exhibiting them.
When your alpacas win medals and awards, fashion designers will favor your fleece and buyers will crave your cria. Cria are baby alpacas.
Train your alpaca to work around possible obstacles such as being led by a rope. Some shrewd alpaca farmers actually hire dog trainers to train their show alpacas based on alpaca traits and behavior. These farmers and their animals usually become seasonal showstoppers.
Alpacas are often jittery and unsettled on the road. However, an alpaca herd may be made comfortable in long transport trailers by luring them to the trailer before the start of the journey. This involves leaving a trail of goodies leading to a major treat deep inside the trailer. Giving the animals great latitude of movement will also naturalize them and make the trailer a more friendly area in their camelid consciousness.
Strangers will handle your animals at shows, so gently handle them yourself far in advance so that they become receptive to strangers and fondling. Be sure to attend many shows prior to showing your own alpacas.
There is a lot involved in alpaca farming for pedigree and show, but it is a worthwhile and rewarding process.
Alan B. Stables is a freelance writer on alternative agriculture, has organized alternative agriculture events and has also been a guest speaker in Brazil, China, Egypt, Italy, Latvia and Spain, on how to market agricultural produce for maximum returns.