The release of the South African Angora from quarantine will be the single factor with the greatest impacts on the New Zealand mohair industry over the next few years. In order to provide information on production under New Zealand farming conditions, trial was carried out comparing the liveweight and fleece production of South African, New Zealand and first cross South African x New Zealand (Crossbred) Angora goats from birth to two years of age. Crossbred and South African goats were significantly heavier than New Zealand Angoras at most ages. South African Angoras were heavier than Crossbreds for the first 8 months only. Fleeces from South African goats were heaviest, New Zealand Angora fleeces were lightest, while Crossbred fleece weights were intermediate between the parental breeds at all shearing times. Fibre diameter of fleeces from New Zealand goats was finer at 12 months of age (24.8 ± 0.4, 27.0 ± 0.4, 27.6 ± 0.3 µm for New Zealand, Crossbred and South African respectively) but there were no differences at 18 and 24 months of age. Medullation and kemp levels were higher in New Zealand than South African fleeces at all sampling times. Medullation and kemp levels in the Crossbred fleeces were higher than the mean of the parent levels, indicating heterosis effects. Medullation levels did not differ in Crossbred and New Zealand fleeces at 18 and 24 months of age. Advantages of the South African Angora over the New Zealand Angora goat were confirmed in this study, however anticipated improvements in fleece quality were not achieved in the first cross.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 54, , 151-154, 1994
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