Friday, 1 June 2012

Rosettes and Fibre

Great excitement this morning when the post came as Yossarian's rosette arrived from the North Somerset Show - they had run out when they got to him and they said they would post it on but, to be honest, we thought they might forget as they were so busy and the weather was so foul - we didn't mind as we knew we had won, but it arrived!  Carl and Sam are off shearing and I have no one to wave it around in front of so I spent ages trying to make him stand still and pose whilst manipulating the camera with the other hand - it did not go well!

An attempt with the halter on - arms not long enough to manipulate camera

An attempt with halter off - ran away and rosette blew away
An attempt whilst ignoring him - he started a fight

Finally it blew away and landed on Bert who posed almost perfectly!  Note - it is NOT her rosette!

Now I have to think of what to do with it.  We are amassing a select collection, including a sash from the GWR but it is hardly enough for a full trophy room according to Carl.  At the moment they are stuck in a drawer.  I did try festooning the kitchen with them but Carl said they constituted a fire hazard and I should tie them up in the barn.  What does everyone else do with their rosettes (and sashes)?  Any other blogger who fancies posting a picture I would be very interested!

And on a serious note - if you are reading this AAFT Paul (and if not, I will email you the question!), I know I should know the answer to this one but I don't and I am never worried about showing my ignorance!  I know the SD of a fibre sample is as important as the actual micron and I know the SD should be as low as possible being a measure of fibre diameter variation within the sample and that it is highly heritable BUT what I want is an SD to aim for!  So what counts as a good SD?!


  1. Rosemary, This is the question I am probably asked the most. The simply answer is, as you indicated, to aim for as low as possible. If your SD's are not under control, your microns never will. The average SD for alpacas that we test is about 4.3 to 4.6 for huacaya and about 5.0 for suri. For huacaya, we find the best SD's are around 3.5 microns - we have seen one test at 2.2. Aim for, say, under 4.0 microns. For suri, aim for under, say, 4.5 microns.

    By the way, SD can be influenced by severe fluctuations in environmental conditions such as changes in available feed or a cria leading up to weaning. If the 'SD along' figure is above 2.0 microns, then the variation in diameter along the fibres (environmental influence) will have affected the SD to a degree of about 0.5 to 1.0 microns. I would need to look at the respective results to comment.

    Let me add that SD is the key to genetic gain for alpaca fleeces. Hope this helps.

    By the way, we soon will have paper sample bags available to breeders for their samples.

    Also by the way, AAFT is now on twitter (AAFT @ Paul_M_Vallely)

  2. Rosemary, I should have mentioned to the readers of your blog that AAFT is in the process of setting up our new technician. Samples should now be sent to Ed Billington at Manor Farm, Stour Provost, Gillingham, Dorset SP8 5SA. If you have already sent the samples, Ed will eventually get them. Sorry about any delays - this is a 'one off' event.