It is well established that naturally occurring wool sulphur concentration is lower in high wool-producing sheep, however little is known of the relationship between wool sulphur concentration and wool fibre characteristics. Mid-side wool samples were collected from ewe hoggets differing in lamb wool sulphur concentration. Wool from hoggets, which had lower wool sulphur concentrations as lambs, had longer staple lengths, were higher yielding and had lower loose wool bulk values. There was no relationship between wool sulphur concentration and mean fibre diameter or colour. An increase in length should have a positive effect on the price of wool, especially for second shear crossbred wools. At present the price premium for bulk is poorly defined, but is unlikely to have a significant impact on the value of these wools. These findings suggest that selecting animals for low lamb wool sulphur concentration will, if anything, positively affect the per kilo price of wool produced.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 59, , 43-45, 1999
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