Implementation of shorter shearing intervals

Turner, Emma
University of New England


Neither and Abstract nor a Thesis was submitted. The following is extracted from the application.

Shearing at 6 monthly intervals has not been considered until recently, due to discounts on short staple length. However the market indicators show that carding wools are achieving comparable prices and more producers are choosing to shear more frequently than every 12 months. This project will investigate the merits and gains achieved by shearing 6 monthly on wool quality and quantity, improved reproduction, reduced incidence of disease, such as flystrike and lice and the financial incentives of changing shearing interval.

Previous research outcomes have been done on experimental flocks and not investigated the benefits of 6 monthly shearing intervals. Experimentation on a commercial property will also allow for better engagement of the outcomes by producers.

Experimental design;

The experiment will be conducted on my family property ‘Stanbridge Station ‘in Ivanhoe, NSW. A mob of 500 ewes will be split into 2 groups, one shorn 12 monthly + crutch and the other shorn 6 monthly and no crutch. Measurements will be taken on both groups to compare differences in fleece measurements, such as greasy fleece weight, fibre diameter, staple length and strength and position of break and DMF test. Bodyweight, body condition score, scanning percentages, lambing percentages, weaning percentages and survival will be assessed to determine effect of shearing interval on animal performance.