The cold resistance of cashmere wethers in which cashmere had been harvested by shearing the while fleece, or by removal of down only through repeated hand combings, was studied at two ambient temperatures (10 C and 30 C) and two wind speeds (0 and 6 km/hr). Heat production was calculated from oxygen consumption measured over 24 hours, in 8 pairs of goats fed at 1.25 times maintenance level. In shorn goats, heat production increased by 50% during exposure to 10 C (compared with 30 C) while the corresponding increase for combed goats was only 9%. The interaction between the effects of the low temperature and the methods of fibre removal was significant (P<0.001). Similarly at 10 C, exposure to a wind of 6km/hr caused a larger increase in heat production in shorn goats than in combed goats; the interaction was significant (P<0.05). The data show clearly that the combed goats were considerably more resistant to cold conditions that the shorn goats.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 51, , 327-332, 1991
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