AlpacaGram 11.39 | Prepare your Fiber Samples for Testing

AlpacaGram 11.39
AlpacaGram 11.39June 13, 2024

Submit your Fleece Samples

and get your data in the next
Expected Progeny Differences (EPD) Calculation.

With the shearing season in full swing, now is the time to prepare and submit your fiber samples for testing!

So what are EPDs? Expected Progeny Differences or EPDs are genetic predictions that producers can use when making breeding and buying decisions. EPDs are not unique to alpaca owners. These values are readily available on registered animals from most livestock associations. It was member feedback that led to the development of the AOA EPD program in 2007.

It’s really important to us to provide our customers with the best possible animals for their breeding program. To do this we need an in-depth understanding of both what fleece genotypes our animals will bring to their effort and how their farm environment will contribute to the fleece qualities they are striving for in their animals. EPDs contribute essential information to this process and we consider participation in the EPD program to be a crucial part of the customer service we provide. — Lynn Edens, Little Creek Farm/Snowmass Alpacas

Testing is done by SGS Fiber Testing Lab for AOA's EPD program. SGS machines are calibrated annually against international standards, resulting in accurate reporting.

Required Steps to Participate

  • To have your fleece trait data included in the calculations you must use the AOA Shear Report Tool. The Shear Report Guide provides step by step instructions for using our online shear report tool. After completing the information in the shear report tool and downloading your order forms visit the SGS page for ordering instructions.
  • Samples must be 2" x 2" and packed in a snack-size zip-lock bag. Sending one staple is NOT enough to test.
  • If you are also requesting color testing, samples must be 4" x 4" and packed in a 5" x 5" zip-lock bag.
  • Take your sample from the mid-side, in the same location every time.
  • Make sure your sample is not contaminated with seconds.
  • Each baggie must contain the AOA shear report for that animal. Fold the report so it fits in the baggie with the animal name visible. This helps SGS identify who the sample belongs to.
  • Include the order form from SGS with the fiber samples.

Shipping Your Samples

You can ship your samples for testing two ways, either send them to SGS or the AOA office.

Shipping Instructions to SGS

  • Follow SGS's shipping instructions that were sent with your order confirmation.
  • Value your package at $1, not the cost of testing. Otherwise, your samples are taxed as product.
  • Track your package!
  • SGS must receive samples by August 19 to include them in the 2024 EPD calculation.

Shipping Instructions to AOA

AOA will collect samples at the office and ship them to SGS. This service is being offered to keep shipping costs down for our members. Shipping will occur every time we have a full box.

  • Shipping has gone up again. The cost to ship will be approximately $1.00 per sample.
  • An additional $3.00 per sample will be charged for all samples that don't meet these requirements. Samples can also be returned at member expense.
  • Track your package!
  • Samples must be at the AOA office by August 5, 2024, to be included in the last shipment of the year to SGS.

If you have questions, contact the office before you package and ship your samples!

AOA Collection Site

  • Samples will be collected at the AOA National Education and Fiber Conference in Kentucky, July 12–14.

Expected Progeny Differences (EPD) and trait data is confidential unless you choose to mark it public on the AOA website.

For more information on EPDs, check out the education on Alpaca Academy or watch the educational videos by Dr. Enns.

Submit your fleece samples today!

Alpaca Country Estates, LLCAOA Gold BenefactorsTierra Prometida Alpacas

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