by Tracy Pearson, PPR LLama Company
We're the gamblers...the llama, alpaca, horse and cattle breeders of the world. Every part of the breeding industry is a gamble. You cannot control everything, but you can put the odds in your favor. First, get past being "barn blind" and move on to critiquing your animals without being prejudice. Take a look, a good long look, to see what is really in those pastures. To do the best job of sizing up your herd, analyze them when they are wet or sheared and on the move. Movement tells it all. Know your llamas completely, if you can. This will greatly benefit you in reaching the best results of your breeding as well as help you to pick up on anything out of the ordinary, health wise. Knowing your animals completely is your responsibility and your job. "Body talk", movement and attitude will give you the insight you need to care for these lovely animals and to make sound decisions in breeding. Their destiny is in your hands.
I see a llama walk - I am critiquing it automatically - - it becomes second nature. I'm always sizing them up from cria to adulthood. All the time you are watching and recognizing qualities of the sire and dam on the cria. See what traits are dominant and fairly consistent in the cria's that represent the sire or dam. Once you are able to recognize these, their strengths and weaknesses will jump out at you. Don't breed to name if it isn't going to compliment the female. Too many people breed to name and don't look at the male in conjunction with their female. His strength to their weakness. First and foremost, breed for form. A correct frame is far more valuable than a fuzzy ear without good structure and soundness in that woolly little body. Your progress for improving your overall herd will keep advancing - - the industry reflects this. Especially if you use common sense and do not go out on a limb with a selection of breeding animals based on a passion purchase. Look at health, strength and soundness in form, bone, fiber and disposition. Look to your ladies and what they produce and evaluate them. The ladies are not only important for their genes, but they are the ones that will be raising the cria's. They are 50% of the breeding - - maybe more. I also believe the females are the key to how fast you will get to where you want to be in producing that special look in your offspring. I don't care how wonderful the herdsire or the lady is, you can always find something wrong or something that can be improved upon. Once again, breed strength to the weakness. Structure is the cornerstone to performance, cart pulling, showing and breeding. By getting into serious breeding, you are creating your own recipe that builds your own distinctive look. Llamas represent movement, form, strength in structure, tolerance and intelligence.
All of these factors come into play when choosing which herdsire to breed to which female. Positives to negatives - - strength to weakness. Then when all else is equal - - enhancement. Let's try to make better without losing the essence of the llama. That is where fleece comes into play. We must not lose sight of the llama while growing the quality fleeces - - but in the back of my mind and in my heart, the llama can do it all. We are showing proof of that now at this ranch. Performance with power of a good strong structure and the beauty of silky, crimped, high quality fleece can be the end result. When all is said and done, nature has the last word. You can have two identical consecutive breeding's and they can come out to be entirely different in every way. By doing everything you can possibly think of, it still depends on the roll of the dice and what Mother Nature dictates.
Hence - - The Gamblers
We welcome visitors by appointment , call or write
Jack and Tracy Pearson:
Pearson Pond Ranch & Llama Co.
242 Llama Lane (Charles Lane), #6017
Ellijay, GA 30540
Phone: (706) 276-3658
Fax: (706) 276-3680