Some alpacas maintain fine fibre throughout life, while others suffer from significant coarsening of fibre as they age, a trait known as micron blowout. Micron blowout results in reduced productivity, through reduced yield of high quality fibre over the life of an animal.
Data from a well-established alpaca herd in Peru was used in a complex quantitative genetics analysis to determine if genetics plus environment, or environment alone was responsible for micron blowout in alpacas. This project has shown that micron blowout has a moderate heritability in alpacas, and that selection against micron blowout would be successful in reducing the extent of the problem.
This report is targeted at Australian alpaca breeders.