Journal article

Coarser wool is not a necessary consequence of sheep aging: allometric relationship between fibre diameter and fleece-free liveweight of Saxon Merino sheep

BA McGregor, KL Butler



The mean fibre diameter (MFD) of wool is the primary determinant of price, processing performance and textile quality. This study determines the primary influences on MFD as Saxon Merino sheep age, by allometrically relating MFD to fleece-free liveweight (FFLwt). In total, 79 sheep were grazed in combinations of three stocking rates and two grazing systems (GS: sheep only; mixed with Angora goats) and studied over 3 years. Measurements were made over 14 consecutive periods (Segments), including segments of FFLwt gain or FFLwt loss. Using shearing and liveweight records and dye-bands on wool, the FFLwt and average daily gain (ADG) of each sheep were determined for each segment. The mean and r..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Funding Acknowledgements

Financial support for the grazing study was provided by the then Victorian Department of Agriculture and the Rural Credits Development Fund. Former colleagues from the Ruminant Nutrition Department, Werribee and the Fibre Quality Department, Attwood are thanked for their assistance.