Choosing a Stud Male

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When choosing a stud service, always consider the following:

Does the stud you are considering have any progeny?
If so, have a look at them and see if they are an improvement on their dams.The proof is in the progeny – if the stud is cei-gold-flash-dna-logoacheiving good quality offspring over a variety of dams, he is a good stud regardless of his physical characteristics! If he is a young male without cria on the ground as yet, look at other close relatives (his father, mother, sibling and half siblings). If they are of good quality, the chances are this untried stud will also sire good cria – and his fee may be
cheaper because he is “unproven”.

Does your prospective sire have a good pedigree?
While the inclusion of top animals in a pedigree is not a guarantee of quality in the animal concerned, having recognised industry icon studs included in his pedigree can give an indication of his breeding performance. Most people make the mistake of choosing studs based on the physical attribute of the animal only. However, the genetic makeup of the alpaca is more important than what you see – some males consistently produce cria that are better than themselves, while others are disappointing in the quality of their offspring. A pedigree points towards the genetic inheritance of the alpaca, thus enabling you to make a better choice – learn to recognise the names of outstanding studs that may occur in a pedigree.

Does this Stud have DNA Parent Verification?

Parent verification by DNA verifies the information giving in your pedigree by guaranteeing your alpacas parentage. Pedigree matters! Many alpacas can produce cria that are better than themselves – this is because their genetic makeup is good, even if their physical attributes don’t show this. These studs can be identified by the strength of their pedigree, and DNA Parent Verification guarantees this – look for AANZ Parent Verification  logo in the studs pedigree – and the more often it occurs, the more satisfied you can be that the pedigree is valid.

 

What are the physical attributes of the stud?
He should have good, even if not outstanding conformation, with no genetic or conformational faults. His fleece quality should be in line with the stud fee asked. Density, crimp and micron are all factors to be considered, but be aware that many working studs lose their crimp, and their fleece is likely to coarsen as they age. His current fleece micron is not necessarily relevant at this stage, but try to find out what his micron was at ages 1, 2,and 3  and whether he held that micron or his fleece coarsened quickly. Unless you see a sample of an early fleece, it is impossible to know what crimp he might have had, but the quality of fleece displayed by his progeny will help, or show wins he was awarded before being retired to stud may give an indication of this also.

How does he compare to your female?

The male you are considering should not have the same faults as your female. eg if your female has a narrow chest, it is important that the male has a good depth of chest. You want the stud to be strong where your female is weak, but not to over-compensate -ie, if your female has a long neck, you need a stud with a good neck length, not one with a short neck. Using a fault to fix a fault does not work!

Does he have a show history?

While this is not as important as a pedigree (what you see isn’t always what you get), it can help, as you know he has been independently assessed by knowledgeable people.

What is his stud fee?
This should match his quality and the quality of the cria he is siring. The average stud fee for a 2nd level stud start around $600, while premium studs start around $1000.

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