Quality characteristics of Huacaya alpaca fibre produced in the Peruvian Andean Plateau region of Huancavelica

M. Montes, I. Quicaño, R. Quispe, E. Quispe, L. Alfonso

Abstract


The quality of Huacaya alpaca fibre produced in the region of Huancavelica (Peru) is described based on a sample of 203 animals belonging to eight herding communities located between 4,100 and 4,750 m above sea level. The mean fibre diameter, 22.7 μm (SE 0.2), was lower than values reported for Huacaya alpacas from other areas and varied with sex, age, and community origin (P<0.01). In contrast with results from other studies, males had finer fibre than females, but this may be because they represent selected breeding stock brought from Puno and Cusco. No linear relationship was found between fibre diameter and staple length. Further research is needed to better characterise fibre production traits and quantify their economic values prior to establishing a breeding program to improve fibre production in the region. Although conducting this type of research in the Peruvian Andean Plateau might seem difficult, the active participation of alpaca owners and development promoters made it feasible.


Keywords


age; diameter; fibre; fibre quality; genetic selection; local development; sex

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DOI: 10.5424/sjar/2008061-5258