The effect on hogget productivity and wool processing performance of shearing Merinos for the first time as lambs was investigated. A flock of 200 fine wool Merino lambs were randomly separated into two lines. One line was shorn as lambs in late summer and both lines were shorn the following spring as hoggets. There were no differences in live weight at hogget shearing or in flystrike incidence and internal parasite levels. Total wool production was greater from the twice shorn hoggets compared to those shorn only once, with the hoggets shorn twice producing about 0.4 kg more wool. However the differences in hogget wool quality, processing and product performance when lamb wool was removed and the extra wool production did not cover the discounted wool values due to shorter wool staple length and the extra costs of shearing. At current price relativities justification for first shearing Merinos as lambs must relate to management advantages pertaining to individual properties.

S-AN, Newman, DC Maddever, and RMW Sumner

Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 56, , 328-331, 1996
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