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Influence of stocking rate and mixed grazing of Angora goats and Merino sheep on animal and pasture production in southern Australia : 3 : mohair and wool production and quality

journal contribution
posted on 2010-04-08, 00:00 authored by Bruce McGregor
The effects of animal species (AS; Angora goats, Merino sheep, mixed-grazed goats and sheep at the ratio of 1:1) and stocking rate (SR; 7.5, 10 and 12.5 animals/ha) on fibre production and quality were determined in a replicated experiment on improved annual temperate pastures in southern Australia from 1981 to 1984. Separately grazed sheep produced the most total clean fibre/ha at each SR. Mixed-grazed treatments produced amounts of clean fibre/ha similar to the arithmetic mean of sheep and goat treatments at 7.5/ha (21.9 versus 21.3 kg/ha), 10% more at 10/ha (28.3 versus 25.3 kg/ha, P < 0.05) and 7% more at 12.5/ha (31.6 versus 29.6 kg/ha, P < 0.10). Clean wool production/head was affected by AS and SR but not year. Clean mohair production was affected by SR and year but not AS. Variation in mean fibre diameter (MFD) accounted for 67 and 71%, respectively, of the variation in clean wool and clean mohair production/head. There was an AS SR interaction for clean fibre production/t pasture. Growth rate of mohair was highest in autumn and least in summer. In each season, an increase in the SR reduced the clean mohair growth rate. Growth rate of wool was highest in spring and least in summer. Wool and mohair MFD were affected by an AS SR interaction. Mohair MFD was also affected by year and season. At 10/ha, wool from mixed-grazed sheep had a greater MFD than wool from separately grazed sheep (20.2 versus 18.9 μm) and mixed-grazed goats grew mohair 1 μm coarser than separately grazed goats. At 12.5/ha mixed-grazed goats grew mohair 1.9 μm finer than separately grazed goats. Mohair MFD was predicted by a multiple regression that included average liveweight for the period of fleece growth, season of growth (summer 1 μm finer than winter) and year (range 1.27 μm). Mohair MFD increased 4.7 μm/10 kg increase in average fleece-free liveweight (P = 6.4 10-14). Fleece-free liveweight alone accounted for 76.4% of the variation in mohair MFD. There was an AS SR interaction for the incidence of kemp and medullated fibres; under severe grazing pressure their incidence was suppressed. This experiment indicated that the principles associated with the effects of SR on wool production on annual temperate pastures apply to mohair production. Mixed grazing of Merino sheep and Angora goats produced complementary and competitive effects depending on the SR. Angora goats should not be grazed alone or mixed-grazed with sheep on annual temperate pastures at SR greater than that recommended for Merino sheep.



Animal production science






168 - 176


CSIRO Publishing


Collingwood, Vic.







Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2010, CSIRO

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