Last update: August 17, 2011 02:09:11 PM E-mail Print

 

THE EFFECT OF AGE ON FIBRE DIAMETER OF GENETICALLY FINE AND STRONG WOOL MERINO RAMS

A.G. Bezuidenhout, J.J. Olivier1 & A.C. Greyling

Cradock Experimental Station, Cradock

1Grootfontein College of Agriculture, Middelburg

 

The change in average fibre diameter of 13 genetically fine wool (Group F) and 16 strong wool (Group C) Merino rams was investigated from six to 22 months of age. These rams were the progeny of fine wool ewes (c.21 micron) and strong wool ewes (c. 26 micron) mated to Australian fine wool (c. 20 micron) and locally bred strong wool (c. 26 micron) Merino rams, respectively. Simultaneously the change in fibre diameter was also investigated in the progeny (Group S) of the Australian fine wool rams mated to over-strong wool ewes (c. 29 micron). All the rams were kept on a high plane of nutrition (cultivated pastures under irrigation). The average ,fibre diameter of Group F and Group C differed highly significantly (P<0,01) at all ages with increases of 1,4 ± 1,33 and 6,3 ± 1,69 micron respectively from six to 22 months of age. From 10 to 22 months of age the average fibre diameter of Group S was highly significantly (P<0,01) lower than that of Group C. The biggest increase in fibre diameter oc- curred between 10 and 17 months in all the groups. It appears that Group F reached its maximum fibre diameter at 17 months of age, while the fibre diameter of the other two groups increased significantly from 17 to 22 months of age (Group C by 1,6 micron and Group S by 1,0 micron). It is concluded that the maximum fibre diameter of genetically fine and strong wool rams differs highly significantly and that fine wool rams reach their maximum fibre diameter at a younger age than genetically strong wool rams.

 

Published

Proceeding 30th SASAP congres