Wool quality traits of purebred and crossbred Merino lambs orally drenched with Spirulina (Arthrospira platensis)

Benjamin Holman, Arash Kashani, Aduli Malau-Aduli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of Spirulina supplementation, sire breed and sex on the wool characteristics of purebred and crossbred Merino weaned lambs under a single pasture-based management system. Lambs sired by Merino, White Suffolk, Dorset, Black Suffolk breeds were randomly allocated into 3 treatments – the control group grazing without Spirulina (0 mL), low (100 mL) and high (200 mL) Spirulina groups. All lambs were kept as a single mob in paddocks, grazed for 9 weeks and wool samples analysed. Differences in wool quality between the control and supplemented groups were not significant (P>0.05). However, sire breed significantly (P<0.001) influenced fibre diameter, spinning fineness, comfort factor and fibre curvature with purebred Merinos having superior wool quality than crossbreds. Wethers grew higher quality wool than ewes. Spirulina has a potential as an alternative supplementary bioresource in dual-purpose sheep feeding because it does not compromise wool quality in supplemented weaner lambs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-391
JournalItalian Journal of Animal Science
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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