Quantitative genetic analysis of micron blowout in alpacas – fact sheet

  • Published: 2 Jan 2014

  • Author(s): Greeff, Johan , Munyard , Kylie

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For alpacas, as is the case with many fibre-producing species, the finest fibre is of the greatest value. It has been well established in many fibre-producing species that fibre diameter increases with increasing animal age; a phenomenon known as micron blowout. In addition, micron blowout can also be caused by over-nutrition, or by a combination of both factors.

The results of this research confirm that micron blowout has a moderate genetic component in alpacas. Therefore, it may be possible for breeders to select animals that do not exhibit the trait (or do not exhibit it as strongly), thereby improving the yield of high quality fibre over the lifetime of an animal.