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THE PRODUCTION OF FIRST GENERATION FINE x STRONG WOOL MERINO SHEEP UNDER VELD CONDITIONS IN THE KAROO


J A Roux, J J Olivier, A P Pretorius & B R King

Grootfontein College of Agriculture, Middelburg CP

 

The production of first generation Fine x Strong wool Merino's versus that from Strong wool Merino's were investigated. Four hundred flock Merino ewes (c. 23,6 ± 1,59 micron) were divided at random into two groups of two hundred each. Group F ewes were mated to super fine rams (< 20 micron) and the Control group (C) to strong wool rams (> 24 microns). The data of the first generation of both groups at the age of 12 months were analised. The results can be summarized as follows:

 

Group F C P*
Fibre diameter (micron) 19,1 ± ,14 21,2 ± ,15 **
Clean fleece mass (kg) 2,5 ± ,06 2,9 ± ,06 **
Clean yield (%) 72,5 ± ,69 74,6 ± ,73 *

* Significant level (** P < 0,01; * P < 0,05)

 

No significant differences (P > 0,05) in body mass from four to 12 months of age were found. It is concluded that the use of genetically fine wool Merino rams on strong wool Merino ewes resulted in a significant decrease of fibre diameter and clean fleece mass, but no change in body mass (growth) from four to 12 months of age.

 

Published

Proceedings SASAP Congress 1991