Seasonal wool growth and objective fleece characteristics were measured for a group of Texel, Oxford Down (Oxford) and Romney ewes at Hopuhopu Quarantine and Research Station and a group of Finnish Landrace (Finn) and Romney ewes at Flock House Quarantine and Research Station. The ewes were born in 1987 and aspects of wool production measured from November 1988 to August 1990. All breeds exhibited a seasonal pattern of wool growth with a late summer-early autumn maximum and late winter-early spring minimum. The seasonal amplitude of wool growth of the Oxford was less, the Texel similar and the Finn greater than the Romney. Average annual clean fleece weight of the Romney (100) was heavier than the Texel, Oxford and Finn (60, 59, 44 respectively). Oxford and Texel wool was shorter (69, 59 respectively), more bulky (157, 162 respectively) and of a similar mean fibre diameter and brightness compared with Romney wool (100). Finn wool was shorter (70), slightly more bulky (115), finer *(74) and similar brightness compared with Romney wool (100). Texel, Oxford and Finn wools all showed less yellow discolouration (92, 77, 70 respectively) than Romney wool (100). Calculated net wool returns for the Texel, Oxford and Finn ewes were approximately $7, $7 and $11 per ewe per year less than for the Romney.

S-AN, Newman, and DJ Paterson

Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 51, , 271-276, 1991
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