Experience Definitions

S.H.I.P. Classification Definitions

First S.H.I.P. Experience

The primary goal of the first-time evaluation is to educate herd owners about the 16 characteristics being assessed.  The eight conformation traits and eight fleece traits are identified individually through a thorough, hand’s-on examination of every characteristic for each alpaca being classified.  Explanation of the ideal is given as a reference for evaluating degrees of variation or deviation.  A consistent methodical approach is used for each alpaca, taking additional time as necessary to identify, highlight, explain, define, and evaluate every characteristic on the S.H.I.P. Classification Form.

Once the herd has been evaluated, the classifier spends time going over the scorecards with the owners.  This is an extremely valuable portion of the classification in that it affords the opportunity to synthesize and sort the data according to expressed farm goals, both current and future.

All the data collected is entered into the Suri Network S.H.I.P. database by the classifier.  Once that process is complete, the owner has access to the electronic sorting and on-going feedback related to the scores in their herd relative to the annual input of data.  Performance percentages change over time as additional data grows and accumulates nationally.  The classifier will explain the current database system to farm owners.


Second S.H.I.P. Experience

The same consistent methodology is used during the second herd visit as in the first, however less time is usually taken in detailed definitions of traits. Most breeders have developed a very good understanding of the variations in the characteristics from their first experience and are looking for validation of what they have learned and applied in subsequent breeding and sorting decisions.  More importantly, they have produced offspring from those considerations or added different bloodlines to their herd or changed the focus of a certain group in the herd and want to see the resultant scores added to their S.H.I.P. herd database.  Tracking the rate of change over time is one of the primary tools afforded by the database.  Traditionally, more time is spent between the classifier and owner analyzing these data shifts and looking at them within the context of other data generating tools, such as annual histograms, skin biopsies, fleece show scorecards, EPD’s, fiber sorting and grading reports, etc.


Third and On-going S.H.I.P. Experiences

The greatest value in these ongoing classifications is the addition of data and herd feedback available to the owner.  Rich opportunities exist for a more complete, detailed analysis of the growth and changes in a herd over time.  The classifier and owner can dig back in time and fast forward to the present to highlight those characteristics and bloodlines most contributory in making both positive and negative gain.  It is of vital importance that breeders continue to contribute their current S.H.I.P. scores to the national herd database in order to reflect advancements and receive dynamic feedback.


  Suri Network
P.O. Box 1984
Estes Park, Colorado   80517
Phone: (970) 586-5876
Fax: (970) 591-0007

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