The relationship between feed and quantity and kind of wool produced
Among our domestic animals the sheep has an outstanding virtue; if required to, it can live and produce, at least wool, on the most ’ sparse and inhospitable grazings, and because of this ability it has always tended to be relegated to the less favourable environments for plant and animal growth. On the other hand, as we well know, it can, when given the opportunity, produce at high levels on the highly productive pastures that are a feature of our modern farming. This versatility of the sheep in general is highly exploited in New Zealand and the position is unique in that we use very few breeds, with the emphasis quite clearly on one, the Romney. It is typical, too, of our sheep farming that an overwhelming proportion of our sheep stocks are dual-purpose animals, and in a system of sheep farming such as this, some sort of balance must be achieved between the demands and outcome of the business of producing meat and wool. It is important, therefore, that we clearly recognise the amount of emphasis that may profitably be devoted to wool-growing as such and that we have some understanding of the principles and processes of wool gr,owth so that we may make full use of feed. For dual-purpose sheep over the last 10 years, income has had a ratio of about 40 per cent for wool and 60 per cent for meat on specialised fat-lamb farms, and something like 60 per cent for wool and 40 per cent for meat and surplus stock on breeding and store-sheep farms. To add further to this background, wool has some claim to fame in that a good use can be found for it whatever its nature. In general this tends to make quantity of greater importance than excellence, except when premiums may be paid for small quantities of wool with special characteristics. It is within this framework that we have to examine the wool growing enterprise.... [Show full abstract]
Fields of Research0702 Animal Production
TypeConference Contribution - published (Conference Paper)
Copyright © The Authors and New Zealand Grassland Association.