Frequently Asked Questions - All FAQs

FAQs - All FAQs

A small charge of $AUD 5.50 per animal, per submission will apply to AAA members. AANZ members will be charged $NZ 5.78 per animal, per submission. Following analysis of submitted data, one Basic Private and all Public reports will be provided free of further charge to all breeders participating in the AGE. The development costs of the AGE project are being subsidised by Federal and State grants and some AAA funding.

Standard measurement instructions are being developed. Short Regional training workshops and printed guides will be provided to pass these on to all breeders. In other industries experience has shown that breeder's professional concern for their integrity ensures the vast majority of breeders reports accurate information to the database. Reported data that under or over values an animal will initially produce false ABVs. These ABVs will subsequently be adjusted toward the true ABV as new progeny are enrolled whose performance is correctly recorded. Members will understand that inaccurate data records will adversely affect their ongoing reputation and integrity as stud alpaca breeders and sellers.

Breeders will see from their annual results the direction and rate of genetic improvement in their own alpacas. Those results will either confirm their breeding decisions, or assist them to adjust direction to achieve their breeding objectives. Stud male selection and purchase of new stock can be assisted by the animal's AGE performance. The mating allocation of males and females will be greatly assisted, as will the marketing of animals and services.

Absolutely! The AGE is simply there so you can, if you wish, take into account an animal's genetic performance when making breeding decisions. You can use an animal's ABVs, in addition to your normal observation and general experience to assist you to select males and females for mating so you can accelerate your rate of genetic progress towards your chosen objective.

Yes, across-herd (or flock) genetic evaluation is widely used by dairy and beef cattle and wool and meat sheep industries throughout the world. These industries have had their own AGE in place for many years and consider it as one of their primary pathways for making genetic progress in their flocks and herds.

Yes, of course! But the enrolment fees paid for data entry in any one year are (naturally) non-refundable.

Look for the other articles and further AGE Q & As on the AAA web site. Use the Members' Discussion page on the web site to raise issues and ask questions. Raise issues at AAA Regional Meetings. Register your interest using the e-mail response form on the AAA web site.

Data will be collected and collated from June/July 2003 until such time as the AAA and its membership see fit to close the database. The AGE service is expected to continue indefinitely. RIRDC funding will conclude in Sep 2007. Data will normally be collected on a group of progeny during the first 2 years of their life; however an alpaca may have data entered in subsequent years if the breeder wishes to do so. A breeder may discontinue their involvement in the AGE at any time.

You choose the breeding females that make up your "AGE" breeding herd. However, if you are going to record some of the progeny from these selected females then it is very important that you record all of their male and/or female progeny (unless they are injured, resulting in performance not providing a good indication of their breeding potential). Also important is that males used in more than one herd have a major role in accurately estimating the performance of alpaca in different herds and in different years. Not reporting some of an elite male's progeny that result from matings to your AGE females will result in the accuracy of the male's ABVs being adversely affected, as well as those of his progeny (and his other relatives). But even more significant, performance of all the animals in the herd relative to other herds can be affected. This is serious, as it affects not just your herd, but also every herd that has used that male or his relatives. Overall, therefore, breeders need to take a strong ethical position on the inclusion of data from all progeny of alpaca included in AGE herd

Test houses will soon be able to obtain accreditation for fleece testing. When this occurs, breeders should only use an accredited test house. The AGE Working Party will consider whether fleece test variation needs to be especially considered (a special study of this is currently underway). While the test house is often considered the major influence in getting an accurate evaluation, the on-farm protocol for sampling the fleece to be tested is even more critical. It is therefore of particular importance that collection methodology be standardised across the stud herd - not just for fibre diameter but also for all traits assessed.