Investigation of the potential to use pre and post- shearing liveweight as an alternative accurate method of determining fleece weight for merino sheep.

Annesley, Kaitlyn
University of Sydney


This summary has been extracted from the application. A copy of the student’s Abstract/Thesis has not been received.

Fleece weight provides a beneficial measurement of individual animal productivity for sheep producers but is time consuming to determine, as it requires individual fleeces to be weighed at shearing. This research project will compare pre- and post-shearing liveweights of merino sheep to determine if this is an appropriate alternative method for establishing the accurate fleece weight of individual animals. It is envisaged data collection will occur on several properties where sheep and their fleeces will be weighed with consideration of variables such as season, gender, age, strain and time off feed considered. It is likely two large sheep producers will be utilised, including the Poojinook Merino Stud at Jerilderie NSW that shears in autumn and the University of Sydney ‘Arthursleigh’ commercial farm at Marulan NSW that shears in spring. Both properties have the capacity to weigh sheep pre- and post-shearing as well as weigh individual fleeces. Individual sheep RFID tags will enable liveweight and fleece data to be matched. Data from a range of sheep categories (e.g. age, gender, strain, time off feed) will be collected to determine the correlation between pre-post-shearing liveweight and fleece weight for individul animals over two seasons (e.g. autumn and spring). Numbers to be included for each sheep category to determine statistical signifigance will be finalised following consultation with a statistician. Animal ethics approval will also be obtained.