Effect of time of joining and rate of stocking on the production of Corriedale ewes in southern Victoria. 3. Wool growth and the composition and availability of pasture
PA Kenney and IF Davis
Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture and Animal Husbandry
15(73) 159 - 166
A study was made during a three year period (1 968-1 970) of wool production by a flock of 540 ewes grazing annual pasture at Werribee, Victoria. The ewes were stocked at three rates (5, 7 1/2 and 10 ewes ha-1) and lambed between July 6 and August 20 or between September 10 and October 29 each year. Fibre diameter and length of wool samples were measured in 1968, 1969 and 1970 ; in 1970 growth of greasy wool was calculated from staples of dye-banded wool. Wool growth was reduced in all ewes during late pregnancy and early lactation but was not affected during late lactation in ewes lambing in September. The proportion of tender fleeces from all ewes was greater in 1970 and the weight of fleeces from only those ewes bearing single lambs was less in all years for ewes lambing in July than for ewes lambing in September. More ewes were barren and fewer ewes had twins in July and consequently the mean fleece weights of all ewes from both groups were similar. Fleeces from ewes stocked at 10 ha-1 were lighter, shorter and finer than fleeces from ewes stocked at 5 and 7 1/2 ha-1, but the proportion of tender fleeces did not differ between the groups. Wool production of ewes stocked at 5 and 7 1/2 ha-1 increased from 1968 to 1970, whereas that of ewes at 10 ha-1 did not. This was associated with differences in pasture availability and composition. At 10 ewes ha-1 less pasture was present in winter and spring in 1970 than in 1968, whereas at the other stocking rates it was greater. In 1970 the density of weeds in autumn was greater and in spring more silver grass (Vulpia spp.) and less brome grass (Bromus spp.) was available at the high stocking rate.
Full text doi:10.1071/EA9750159
© CSIRO 1975