Rare Gem Alpacas

Breeding Harlequin, Appaloosa and Unique Colors!

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Breeding for Rare Colors

Lynn Edens and Darcy Phillips

If you’ve seen an unusually colored alpaca recently and thought “that’s the one for me!”, you are not alone. The popularity of animals with rare fleece colors and patterns has far outstripped their supply in recent years and led to an increase in both salability and prices. That has prompted more alpaca owners to think about breeding to produce them. But the rarity of these animals has limited the amount of information available to help run this type of breeding effort, both from the standpoint of producing animals with the color or pattern of interest and with respect to running a business based on this production. In this discussion, we provide a framework for thinking about some of these challenges and do a deeper dive into our understanding of three patterns of interest to many: the harlequin, leopard-spotted and appaloosa alpacas. 

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Tuesday, January 23, 2024