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Abstract

Wool production and quality measurements were carried out on 100 Omani native female sheep (body weight 38.6 ± 5.5 kg; age 993 ± 488 d). Sheep were kept in partially shaded pens and fed ad libitum Rhodes grass hay (crude protein 8.83%) plus a daily amount of 200 g general ruminant concentrate (crude protein 16.5% DM). Animals were shorn once a year and samples were taken from the left mid-side site to determine fleece and fiber characteristics. The scanning electron microscope (SEM) was used to study the fine appearance of the wool fibers. A skin sample was used to study the histological arrangement and number of secondary and primary follicles. The greasy fleece weight (GFW) in Omani sheep ranged between 0.50- 2.65 kg (mean 1.12 ± 0.43 kg) and the GFW expressed as a percentage of BW ranged between 1.0-7.6 with a mean of 2.9 ± 1.16. Clean wool yield in Omani sheep fleece ranged between 57.1 and 88.4% with a mean of 76.4 ± 7.6. Omani sheep fleece contained various staple shapes and had a mean staple length of 22.9 ± 1.16 cm, 4.3 ± 0.8 crimps per staple; and a mean fiber diameter of 46 ± 12 µm. Electron microscopy revealed three types of fibers; wrap-around, angled type and polygonal and elongated scales. This study indicated a wide variation in the wool characteristics of Omani native sheep fleece, which suggested that selection may be employed to improve wool production and quality in these sheep. 

Keywords

Oman sheep wool fleece assessment.

Article Details

How to Cite
Mahgoub, O., Kadim, I. T., Al-Dhahab, A., Bello, R. B., Al-Amri, I. S., Ambu Ali, A. A., & Khalaf, S. (2010). An Assessment of Omani Native Sheep Fiber Production and Quality Characteristics. Journal of Agricultural and Marine Sciences [JAMS], 15, 9–14. https://doi.org/10.24200/10.24200/jams.vol26iss1pp1-12