Wool production characteristics were investigated for fine-wool sheep of different genotypes at Nanshan Stud Farm, Xinjian Uygur Autonomous Region, China. Four main sets of data were available. The 1985 ewes were mixed-age Xinjian Finewool (XF). The 1986 ewe and ram hoggets were XF, F1 Australian Merino (AM) x XF and F1 Chinese Merino (CM) x XF. The 1987 ewes included CM, mixed-age XF, F1 AM x XF 2 year olds and F1 AM x XF hoggets. The 1987 rams included AM, CM and mixed-age XF. Observations were made and samples collected at shearing in June. Measured traits included: -body weight (BW); greasy fleece weight (GFW); clean yield (CY); clean fleece weight (CFW); fibre diameter (FD); crimp frequency (CF); staple length (SL): colour (CL); weathered tip (WT); dirt (DT). dirt penetration (DP): suint (SU, and wax (WX). Significant differences (P<0.05)) occurred between hogget genotype and between sexes. AM x XF hoggets produced more wool than CM x XF, or XF, but there were no differences in BW. Ewe and ram hoggets had similar BW's, but ewe hoggets produced more wool of lower FD with greater SL and WT. In the XF ewes, as age increased there were significant (P<0.05) changes in GFW, CY, CFW, SL and WX. Clean fleece production of 3-6 year old XF ewes declined by 0.17 kg/yr and SL by 0.33 cm/yr. In the XF rams, there were significant (P<0.05) increases in BW and DT with age, whilst wool production increased to 3-4 years and then declined. There were significant (P<0.05) differences between years in GFW, FD, SL, WT, DP, DT, WX and SU in hoggets, and CY, CFW, FD and SL in mature ewes. The 5 body sites of XF ewes in 1985 had significant (P<0.05) differences in fleece traits for FD, SL and CL. There were significant (P<0.001) correlations between traits for pooled data from all genotypes, ages, sexes, years and sampling sites. Negative correlations included WX with WT, DP, and DT; and DT with CY; whilst DP was positively correlated with WT. These results have implications for future sheep breeding and wool technology research, and development of programmes for improved clean wool production and quality in China.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 54, , 167-172, 1994
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