Critical evaluation of cashmere nutrition experiments and suggestions for the design and conduct of successful experiments
McGregor, B. A. 2008, Critical evaluation of cashmere nutrition experiments and suggestions for the design and conduct of successful experiments, in Proceedings of the 4th International Cashmere Identification Technique Symposium 2008, Inner Mongolia Erdos Cashmere Group, China, pp. 315-331.
Cashmere fibre production is an order of magnitude less than fibre production of Merino sheep or Angora goats and is more difficult to measure. Based on a comparison between cashmere experiments reporting responses to nutrition and those reporting no response, 13 design and management characteristics were identified that are related to the ability of experiments to discriminate among treatments. Methods must be adopted to reduce the variance in cashmere production within treatments, by using sufficient. animals per treatment, having enough replication to provide plenty of degrees of freedom to reduce error terms in analysis, and using pre-experimental cashmere production attributes as co-variants in analysis. It is preferable to use more productive and older goats, and goats that are used to handling, and to the conditions and feed to be used. Nutrition treatments need to produce different live weight growth curves and an appropriate control is needed such as live weight maintenance. As the raw cashmere fleece is composed primarily of hair and other contaminants, careful attention is required to measure, sample and test cashmere. Cashmere growth experiments should start by midsummer and last for at least four and preferably six months. These requirements make it more difficult for many university students to plan, undertake and complete long-term cashmere nutrition experiments without considerable management support.
Field of Research
070204 Animal Nutrition
Socio Economic Objective
830599 Primary Animal Products not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category
E2 Full written paper - non-refereed / Abstract reviewed
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