• Free Fiber Booklet

    This booklet is an introduction to a better understanding of what is alpaca fiber, how it grows and how breeders assess it. more »
  • Worms and Drench Resistance

    Drench resistance is generally regarded as the most economically important sheep health problem in Australia today with an estimated 90% or more farms experiencing the phenomena. There is no sheep drench on the market today that is not affected to some extent. Unless unnecessary drenching is reduced, the cost of drench resistance to the sheep industry alone is estimated in excess of $700 million per annum in the next five years. Less well documented but equally well known are drench resistance problems in other livestock industries. more »
  • The Effect of Age, Fleece Weight, Fibre Diameter and Live Weight on the Relative Value of Australian Alpaca Fleeces

    The impact of commercially important alpaca fibre production and quality attributes on the relative economic value of alpaca fibre production was investigated. Fleeces from five farms in southern Australia (n = 1100) were measured using mid side samples and standard tests and were assigned a relative economic value based on an analysis of market price data. The total relative economic value increased with increasing greasy fleece weight and with increasing saddle weight up 2.5 kg. Total relative economic value declined as mean fibre diameter increased above 23μm, increasing live weight above 60 kg and with increasing age above 2 years for Huacaya and 3 years for Suri. The relative economic returns from fleece production of Huacaya and Suri breeds was similar. The main drivers of economic value for Australian alpaca fleece production are lower mean fibre diameter and increasing fleece weight. Higher economic value for fleece was associated with younger and lighter animals. This work provides a method to assign an economic value to alpaca fleeces thus enabling animal selection based on international commercial economic values. more »
  • Is Crimp Important?

    Much has been written about crimp and the relationship with curvature, frequency and microns, as well as curvature and compression. Many of the comments you hear are fact and fiction. We have heard the crinkle theory, the popcorn theory and various statements like “crinkle provides bulk which is created by the air pockets” (processors have concerns re the lack of bulk in Huacaya fibre – products too heavy) and of course that “crimp frequency is a reliable indicator of fineness”. I will demonstrate quite clearly that well-defined crimp is more consistent in its relationships with crimp frequency, curvature and micron. more »
  • Study into Comparative Differences of Scientific Testing Machines used in Alpaca Fibre Measurement

    Objective measurement of alpaca fibre is now an integral process in the showing, breeding, marketing and classing of alpacas and alpaca fibre. Four systems are in common use, those being the OFDA and Laser systems in their laboratory and shed configurations. This study aims to test the comparability of those techniques in measuring alpaca fibre, and thereby validate their use in comparing fibre measured by different techniques. more »