New findings from Alpaca Research Foundation

I got an email today talking about the new findings from the Alpaca Research Foundation (ARF) and the study going they did on ovulation in female alpacas. We have all been told the story that ovulation occurs because of the sound (orgling) the male makes during the mating process. I really found this hard to believe myself after one of our males made little to no noise and was still able to get the female pregnant. I had heard about this study starting shortly after that incident so, the results are of no real surprise to me. Basically stating that there is something in the male seminal fluid that causes the female to ovulate. This make sense to me, despite there being only one other animal that was known to do this, which is a relative, the bactrian camel.

Now what does will this mean for the breeding programs going forward? Will the Alpaca registry begin to allow breedings where the male is not physically present at the time of breeding? Will this lessen the value of some males and increase the value of others as they can breed more often, assuming the registry opens up to the idea, of course?

There could be ramifications for this down the road to be sure and I know I am not thinking about all of them right now, but thought I would throw this out there.

I would like to include a link to the article, but the website doesn’t let me get the actual link. But check the ARF website and go to Research and Completed Projects.

Since this project was completed over a year ago, and is being blasted out to the Registry members now, I am thinking they are thinking about opening the registry up…just my thought though.

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2 Responses to New findings from Alpaca Research Foundation

  1. admin says:

    This all sounds very good for now. I am not against ARF sending out research notes. I just wonder about the reasoning behind which research was chosen. Not that it is a bad subject. I am glad there is nothing more to it at this time, but I am sure it will come up for a vote at some point when the board feels it is time. I am glad to have gotten your ear so quickly and really appreciate the response!


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  2. Susan Forman says:

    Dennis —

    As the author of the eblast from ARI on Ovulating Inducing Factor in Seminal Plasma Fluid of Alpacas and a member of the Alpaca Research Foundation Development Committee, I would like share the following response I posted to Alpaca Talk where I first became aware of your suspicions re: the email sent with the results of this study.

    Please don’t get all excited about the eblast we all got from ARI. I won’t officially speak for anyone other than myself, but I do sit on the Development Committee of ARF. In our (that being the Alpaca Research Foundation) efforts to keep the alpaca community informed of both old research and newly funded studies, we have an agreement with ARI in sending out the eblasts–we write them, they do the sending part. Actually, I’ll fess up here and tell you that I was the one that wrote that eblast. It is my words that you saw yesterday which were a synopsis of the completed study. To let you know a little more, I write, submit to the ARF Board who approves and it’s only then that ARI gets the copy for emailing to their members. No nothing more than what you saw. No hidden meanings, at least from ARF. I have no reason to believe that anything else is afoot. It was a study that we found interesting and not sure folks were aware of. It’s strictly educational and to keep ARF on people’s minds. The eblasts seem to be going about quarterly and we also try to have a Researcher Profile in the magazine each issue….it’s all about educating the alpaca community about what’s being funded and how donated dollars are being spent. ARF has no interest in anything other than educating all of us and keeping donations coming in. If anything, we rely on the annual Super Stud Raffle every year to generate an income for research, so draw whatever conclusions you want from that. Personally, I was not aware of that study when it was first released or I forgot if I saw it. It’s all about education and the eblasts are an inexpensive and easy way to do what we want….educate, remain in the ‘news’ and generate donations.

    So, with that said, it is very easy to donate to ARF. You can donate on line and any donation will be gladly accepted and ALL monies generated go toward research. We are all volunteers. I invite all of you to visit ARFs website and at least check out the work that they have supported and that is available to the community for review. Some is very practical and can be used by all of us as in the study done on ulcer meds. Other research lays foundation for future work. Remember, we are still very new to camelids, so there is a great deal for all of us to learn in terms of health, management, fiber, genetics, etc.

    Finally, I will say it is at least a pleasure to know that these eblasts are being read. That’s our goal. As for the OIF, if you have a stud who seems to lose his potency or a girl who isn’t getting preggers but no reason can be found, this is just one little thing that we now know could play into a breeding problem. It could be a very important factor as we learn more about it. It’s something new to not only the alpaca community, but to veterinary medicine across the board. I choose to celebrate these little new things that we learn and try to keep them in my ‘bag of goodies’ should an issue like I’ve read about pop up here. It’s a small piece of a very big pie and every bit of knowledge helps us take better care of our guys…..

    So with that, hope all have a good day!

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