A study was conducted to determine the effect of breed group, age, period of birth, season of shearing and sex on shrinkage percentage. Wool samples were collected from Bannur (n=68) and UAS-improved strain (n=120) maintained at UAS campus, Bangalore. Wool samples(n =608) were also collected from Bannur(n=69), Rambouillet X Deccani (n=56), Corriedale X Bannur(n=76), Corriedale X Deccani (n= 122) and Deccani(n=97) before shearing at the left side region at Large Scale Sheep Breeding and Training Centre, Kudapura, Chellakere of Chiradurga district of Karnataka. The Least squares analysis of variance technique was adapted to detect the significant sources of non-genetic variation.The overall least square mean of shrinkage percentage was 28.51 ± 0.21 c.m. The comparison of means among genetic groups revealed that the highest in Corriedale X Bannur (31.84 ± 0.64) followed by Deccani (29.69 ± 0.49), Rambouiller X Deccani (29.14 ± 0.72), Corriedale X Deccani (28.43 ± 0.43), Bannur (27.43 ± 0.43) and the least in UAS-improved strain (27.89 ± 0.38). Significant differences in shrinkage percentages were noticed with respect to breed groups and age, period of birth, season of shearing and sex did not have a significant effect on shrinkage percentage.
The rural economy of developing countries will be improved only by breeding and development of superior breeds of sheep for wool and mutton. Wool production in India is inadequate. Hence, to meet the increase in demand for apparel wool India imports more than 20 million kg of wool every year. This predisposes an increase in the production of fine wool as well as carpet wool from the indigenous sheep.
The wool quality determines the use of wool for various purposes by the industry, as the properties of the yarn or fabric depend on a complex interrelation between the fibre arrangements and fibre properties (Chopra, 1990).
Shrinkage percentage is an important trait determining wool quality in sheep. This trait is affected, both by genetic and non- genetic factors with varying degree. Hence, an attempt was made to determine the effect of breed group, age, period of birth, season of shearing and sex on staple length.
Materials and Methods
Wool samples were collected from Bannur (n=68) and UAS-improved strain (n=120) maintained at UAS campus, Bangalore. Wool samples(n =608) were also collected from Bannur(n=69), Rambouillet X Deccani (n=56), Corriedale X Bannur(n=76), Corriedale X Deccani (n= 122) and Deccani(n=97) before shearing at the left side region at Large Scale Sheep Breeding and Training Centre, Kudapura, Chellakere of Chithradurga district of Karnataka.
Samples were collected from one square inch area in left mid side region using curved scissors . The samples collected were packed in labeled plastic bags.
Greasy fleece weight of each animal was recorded immediately after shearing, to the nearest gram.Clean fleece weight was estimated by weighing the samples after scouring as per the techniqur of Johnston (1934) as described here under. Four scouring units with scouring solutions of the following concentration and temperature were used.
Tub 1: One per cent soap solution and 0.5 per cent washing soda at 48 to 50˚C.
Tub 2: 0.5 per cent soap solution at 45 to 47˚C
Tub 3: Clean tap water at 42 to 43˚C
Tub 4: Clean tap water at 40˚C
The samples were kept in each scouring unit. The samples when transferred from one tub to the next were squeezed manually. The samples were passed sequentially from first to fourth tub. After removal from the last tub the samples were squeezed completely and dried by placing it in an incubator for 24 hours at 37˚C. After ensuring complete drying of the samples, other extraneous materials like burr were removed from the sample manually. The samples were then weighed and clean fleece weight of the samples recorded. The difference between greasy fleece weight and clean fleece weight of the sample was expressed in terms of percentage.
The Least squares analysis of variance technique was adapted to detect the significant sources of non-genetic variation if any( Harvey, 1987).
The following mathematical model was adapted.
Yijklmn = µ + Gi +Aj + Yk + Sl +Xm +eijklmn
Where, Yijklmn is the record of the nth individual belonging to ith genetic group, jth age group, kth period of birth, shorn at lth season belonging to mth sex.
µ is the population mean
Gi is the fixed effect of ith genetic group ( i=1,2,3 … 6)
Aj is the fixed effect of jth age group (j=1,2,3 … 7)
Yk is the fixed effect of kth period of birth (k=1,2)
Sl is the fixed effect of lth season of shearing (l=1,2)
Xm is the fixed effect of mth sex group (m=1,2)
eijklmn is the random error associated with Yijklmn and assumed to be identically, independently and normally distributed with mean zero and unit variance and interaction between various effects was assumed to be zero.
The Least Square means of different groups within each of the factors were compared by computing the Least Significant Difference (LSD) (Snedecor and Cochran, 1968).
The least square mean and standard error computed for shrinkage percentage are presented in Table-1
Table-1:The Least Square Mean and Standard Error for shrinkage percentage.
|Genetic and Non-genetic
|Number of samples||Mean||Standard
|Coefficient of Variation|
|R X D||56||29.14cd||0.72||18.46|
|C X B||76||31.18e||0.64||17.90|
|C X D||122||28.43bc||0.43||16.53|
|½ to 1 ½||52||27.67||0.69||17.10|
|1 ½ to 2 ½||65||28.89||0.63||17.65|
|2 ½ to 3 ½||64||28.69||0.78||21.65|
|3 ½ to 4 ½||106||27.80||0.45||16.55|
|4 ½ to 5 ½||114||28.58||0.45||16.90|
|5 ½ to 6 ½||83||29.17||0.47||14.81|
|6 ½ to 7 ½||124||28.67||0.49||19.01|
|Period of birth|
|1991 – 94||224||28.53||0.36||18.65|
|Season of shearing|
|Dec – Jan||292||28.74||0.28||16.74|
|Jul – Aug||316||28.30||0.30||18.66|
R X D : Rambouillet X Deccani; C X B : Corriedale X Bannur; C X D : Corriedale X Daeccani
UAS : UAS improved strain; Column-wise means with atleast one common superscript do not differ significantly.
The overall least square mean of shrinkage percentage was 28.51 ± 0.21 c.m. The comparison of means among genetic groups revealed that the highest in Corriedale X Bannur (31.84 ± 0.64) followed by Deccani (29.69 ± 0.49), Rambouiller X Deccani (29.14 ± 0.72), Corriedale X Deccani (28.43 ± 0.43), Bannur (27.43 ± 0.43) and the least in UAS-improved strain (27.89 ± 0.38).
Differences in shrinkage percentage due to genetic groups were found to be significant (P ≤ 0.01). In case of indigenous purebreds, Bannur had significantly lower shrinkage percentage (27.43 ± 0.43), as compared to Deccani (29.69 ± 0.49). Amongst the crossbred sheep, UAS-improved strain had the least shrinkage percentage (27.89 ± 0.38) differing significantly from those of Deccani crossed with Rambouillet (29.14 ± 0.72) and Corriedale (28.43 ± 0.43) and Bannur with Corriedale (31.84 ± 0.64).The difference in shrinkage percentage among different breeds may be attributed to impurities like grease and dust particles adhering to the wool fibres. However, Umrikar et al (1992) had reported that genetic groups did not reveal significant effect on shrinkage percentage in Nilgiri (55.8 ± 1.11) and Merino X Nilgiri (52.7 ± 1.27) and Singh et al(2008) did not find any significant effect of breed group on shrinkage percentage in his studies with Corriedale, Poll Dorset and South Down.
The least squares mean of shrinkage percentage of fleece of sheep aged half to one-and-a-half years was the least (27.67 ± 0.69) and sheep aged five-and-a-half to six-and-a-half was the highest (29.17 ± 0.40). In this study, it was observed that effects of age , period of birth, season of shearing and sex on shrinkage percentage were not significant. In contrast to this observation, Lopez and Ulloa (1988) observed a significant effect of age on shrinkage percentage. Figueiro and Candido (1987) reported significant effect on age and sex on shrinkage percentage. The probable reason for this might be associated with the management of the flock including grazing practice. If the managemental practices are good enough, the dirt, burrs and other materials likely to be adhering to fleece can be minimized and this reduces the shrinkage percentage which will be considered as the most favourable one as far as the wool textile business is concerned.
Chopra SK. 1990. Wool quality evaluation and tactile apparisan. In: Proceedings of Workshop-cum-Seminar on Recent Advances in Sheep Production and Utilization. September, CSWRI, Avikanagar, Rajasthan. Pp. 12-25
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