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December 11, 2019

By: Patti LaCroix/LaCroix Alpacas

Buying or Selling a ‘PROVEN’ dam? (LaCroix Alpacas)

A very reasonable approach to improving your herd and allowing another breeder the opportunity to obtain the genetics that have already benefited you.

“Why would anyone want to buy or sell a ‘proven’ dam?”

You own a “proven” dam that has produced quality crias for your herd. You’d like to keep her offspring as improvements to your herd and sell her instead. She isn’t a cute cria or a shapely maiden anymore. What is her real value to the prospective customer?

Marketing a “proven” dam is a very reasonable approach to improving your herd and allowing another breeder the opportunity to obtain the genetics that have already benefited you. Marketing ideas for selling the “proven” dam are established. However, not everyone is aware of them. This is especially true for the newer alpaca breeder who owns a small herd.

Here are some insightful thoughts to help sell the “proven” dam. They’re derived from common sense, as well as an excellent article written by Lucy Farrar for Alpacas Magazine {“Looking for Alpaca ‘Auntie Mames’: Finding $$ Value in Those ‘Golden Girls’”, Alpacas Magazine, Summer 2002, p.61-62.}

1. The proven dam has a “track record”.
This means that she has a birthing record: how easily she conceives; how easily she gives birth; how consecutive the births are year after year within 345-370 days.
2. The proven dam also has a “criation” record: crias, grandcrias, and, perhaps, a recent weanling at the same farm.
Therefore, the quality of her offspring is evident.
3. The proven dam is an experienced mother.
She should bond easily with her cria and allow it to nurse without human intervention.
4. The proven dam may be sold at a lower price than a young, unproven female that has comparable bloodlines and value.
5. The proven dam has years of production ahead of her.
The new owner doesn’t have to wait while a cria or maiden matures enough to produce that first cria.
6. Whether or not the proven dam is an “easy keeper” has been established.
It should be evident in her medical record.
7. The adult conformation and bite of the proven dam are apparent and an indication of how well she will age.
8. The quality of her “mature” fiber can be examined.
9. The crias of the proven dam may be “custom ordered” by a repeat breeding with a particular sire.

These are ALL great reasons to consider selling (or buying) the proven dam. She may no longer be as beautiful as the young female, but the purchaser has an excellent idea of what he or he is paying for in the long run.

Patti LaCroix