AlpacaGram 10.16 | Prepare your fleece samples for testing

AlpacaGram 10.09
AlpacaGram 10.16April 18, 2023

Submit your Fleece Samples for Testing

Fleeces can be tested year-round, but to have your trait data included in the next calculation, ship your samples by August 3.

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.

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.

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

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.
  • Include the order form from SGS with the fiber samples.

Shipping Instructions to SGS

  • Value your package at $1, not the cost of testing. Otherwise, your samples are taxed as product.
  • Track your package!

Shipping Instructions to AOA

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

  • Shipping has gone up again. The cost to ship will be determined by AOA in the Spring. As a guideline, it was 78 cents per sample in 2022.
  • An additional $3.00 per sample will be charged for all samples that don't meet the packaging requirements. Samples can also be returned at member expense.
  • Track your package!

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

AOA Collection Sites

  • Robin will collect samples at The Futurity on Saturday, April 22, and before noon on Sunday, April 23.
  • Robin will collect samples at the Great Midwest Alpaca Festival, April 29–30.
  • Samples will be collected at the 2023 AOA National Education and Fiber Conference in Kentucky, July 12–16.

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

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

Submit your fleece samples today!

Man in the Moon Farm, LLCAOA Silver BenefactorsHasselbring's Harmony Ranch

© 2023 Alpaca Owners Association, Inc.