EPD’s represent the breeding value of an animal based upon it’s own merit and production along with up to four generations of its pedigree and relatives merit. The EPD trait value will be within the predicted value OR better about 85% of the time. 85% are great odds for making breeding decisions!
Its easy to get EPD values mixed up or confused with histogram data. Histogram data represent visible traits of an animal at a particular point in time. EPD trait values represent how offspring will perform as compared to the entire group in the program. Regardless of age or sex. Program size is currently 27,000 and growing.
We just received the test results back from our 2013 clip. Great news to report on our fleece quality improvement program. It’s no secret that we have been using the EPD program to help with our breeding decisions. Each year we have seen a progressive orderly improvement on the several traits that are considered when determining fiber value. Average Fiber diameter for our whole herd has dropped to 20.8 microns, almost identical to our core breeding group average of 20.1micron. We are very pleased to see these numbers as well as learning that we are also improving uniformity and comfort factor by decreasing % of fibers over 30 to a group average of 3.6%, (almost in half from where we started). We test all our breeding stock each year, through 10 years of age, to help us with extending fineness and uniformity through advanced ages. “Perpetual” fineness is one of our breeding goals.Achieving superior production results is a matter of putting together the right data to help identify the strengths and weakness of your breeding stock. The learning curve to get up to speed is not a difficult process. We can help give you a jump start with our consulting and mentoring services free of charge to our clients and customers.
We couldn’t be happier with the results we’ve experienced using EPD data to improve our herd.
For the third year in a row The Stargazer Ranch breeding program has produced 25% or more of the top 100 males & females in the ARI-ALPACA EPD program for producing the finest offspring while still increasing Fleece Weight!
With participation in the EPD program increasing by about 100% per year. We are thrilled that our little breeding program is maintaining such high rankings.