- South American Camelids are receiving increased interest not only in South America but also on a worldwide scale. They possess some unique features such as their fine fibre and their high adaptivity to many climatic regions across the world. Apart from the important productive aspects, their physical attractiveness also makes them popular as pet animals. However there are still many gaps in the scientific literature with regard to South American Camelids. This collection of papers brings experience of both South American and European experts together. It considers current trends in reproduction, nutrition, health, fibre morphology and genetics and discusses as new topic aspects of the potential of meat production and commercialization in South America. The particular advantages of South American Camelids for the sustainable use of fragile ecosystems with native pastures are outlined. Round tables discussions focus on the interaction between wild and domestic species, the management of alpaca populations outside of South America and health aspects under European conditions. South American Research is aimed at scientists and animal breeders as well as students studying veterinary, animal and applied biological sciences.
- But I was caught off guard by a recent question posed by a patron at our Guest House when they asked: “Do you have much competition?” I had to pause, as it spoke volumes to me concerning how we, the alpaca industry, have created our image, not through spoken words, but rather in our actions. Instead, I smiled through gritted teeth and told her yes, I had much competition. And then I told her about my opponents. I have to compete with synthetic fibers. I have to compete with the cheap manufacture. I have to compete with chemically altered “natural” fibers. I have to compete using an animal that takes long to see genetic improvement.
Alpaca Fleece Length Attributes for Processing and the Relationship with Assessment in the Show RingA discussion on aligning show ring standards to suri alpaca fiber processors needs and abilities in Australia.
The Effect of Age, Fleece Weight, Fibre Diameter and Live Weight on the Relative Value of Australian Alpaca FleecesThe 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.
- A snapshot of the Australian alpaca industry of 2006 and an interesting comparison to the industry today, both in Australia and the US in terms of what we are and where we need to go.