Yes, I apparently skipped over all of the greys in my fiber photos. Since that is the color that we are primarily focused on, that is pretty remiss.
For those not initiated to the alpaca world, let me state that grey alpacas are, in general, less "evolved" than whites and fawns when it comes to fiber. According to some loose data compiled by Ian Watt, by the year 2011, roughly 35% of 12 - 36 month old white alpaca fiber was under 20 microns. By contrast, only 18% of rose grey and 16% of silver grey 12 - 36 month old alpaca fiber was under 20 microns. This is not even taking into account fiber crimp, brightness, organization and density.
Many (about 16-18%, apparently) greys do rival the lights in terms of fiber statistics, and all of our grey boys are among them. However, when it comes to grey alpacas, you often wind up having to choose between crimp and fineness. There are still only a small handful of greys in the country that can compete with the light colors in terms of both fiber statistics and character (that sweet combination of traits that, when ideally configured, can earn an animal the coveted, yet undefined title of "elite fleece").
I am pretty pleased with the greys we have here, and in only a year or two, I hope to be producing animals in that latter category (the rare and outstanding "elite grey").
Note that by some standards, our greys are elite already. My standards are such that I reserve the word for animals whose "eliteness" is indisputable -- even though the word isn't defined, so really, anything you want can be considered "elite" if you define it right. Because I am so strict with my use of the word, I actually only have a few whites and fawns that I feel qualify. At the 2014 Parade of Champions auction, only a handful of animals qualified for "elite" status by my standards (just to give you a sense of how damn fussy I am about that word).
With that blather over with -- here are my grey fiber shots.
This is the fourth fleece of Stillwater Island's Avalanche. Avi's fleece is very dense, bright, and high-frequency, though, at age four, she has lost a lot of organization. The most exciting thing about this girl is that she is lavender. I want a whole herd of alpacas that are this color.
This is the third fleece of Miss Silver Surfer. I love this girl's fleece. The best part about it can't be seen in a photo, and that is that it is so incredibly soft (that is, like, my thing when it comes to alpaca fleece). Her 2nd-year histogram read 16.6 AFD / 4.1 SD / 24.4% CV / 100%, and her 3rd fleece shows zero signs of guard hair, so that softness seems to be holding steady. She also has an almost totally spotless silver blanket, which is pretty cool.
Here is the 3rd fleece of Knightrider's Rosedale. Rosedale is a junior boy who has a lot going for him. He hasn't been properly "introduced" on the website yet. Rosedale's 2nd year fleece stats: 18.6 AFD / 4.2 SD / 22.8% CV / 98.4% CF.
Here is the cria fleece of our ever-photogenic harlequin, Logan. I wasn't sure what to think about Logan's cria fleece at first, but I think I like what it's turning into. The crimp isn't terribly high-amplitude, at least not yet, but it has a nice, high-frequency, which I prefer. The color is gorgeous, too. No stats on him, because he hasn't been shorn yet!
Best for last, IMO, as far as grey fiber shots go: our new boy, Eddie Cloud. I posted Eddie on our Facebook page and on Openherd, but haven't quite had a chance to make his page on this site, yet. (It does get to be a bit of a task keeping three different sites current!) This is Eddie's fourth fleece. I wish I had seen his second, because, given the crimp that his third and fourth fleeces have, I'm sure it was absolutely awesome. His third fleece tested out at 18.6 AFD / 4.5 SD / 24% CV / 98.4% CF, which is completely rokken for a three-year old grey stud. The fourth feels like it is going to come in about the same.
Eddie will start his breeding career here next spring ... Huzzah!
K writes this stuff, for some reason that has yet to become apparent.