Performance data were collected between October 1985 and October 1991 from a flock of approximately 600 mixed-age Romney ewes allocated to 3 equal sized age-balanced groups and grazed on the same area at Whatawhata Research Centre. Two groups were shorn 3 times in 2 years at approximately 8-monthly intervals. One group was shorn in May, January and October and the other shorn in January, October and May during each succeeding 2 year period. The third group were shorn once-yearly in October. Eight-monthly shorn ewes weaned heavier lambs and grew more greasy and clean wool than once-yearly shorn ewes. Shearing treatment did not affect ewe live weight after shearing in October or any parameter of lamb production, other than lamb weaning weight. Incidence of casting was less than 1%. Net wool returns from 8-monthly shorn ewes exceeded that of once-yearly ewes with the associated benefit that shearing 8-monthly as a split flock system would improve cashflow relative to a once yearly system.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 52, , 179-182, 1992
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