Livestock Research for Rural Development 20 (8) 2008 Guide for preparation of papers LRRD News

Citation of this paper

Wool characteristics of Libyan Barbary sheep in north-eastern Libya: I. fiber diameter and staple length

F Akraim, I S Milad, A A Abdulkarim and M Ganem*

Omar Al-Mukhtar university, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Animal Production, Al-Baida, Libya
raswanna@yahoo.com
* People's Committee for Agriculture, Animal and Marine resources, Toubrok, Libya

Abstract

In this study wool characteristics of Libyan Barbary sheep in north-eastern Libya were investigated in a coastal region extended from El-Marj (32 25 N and 20 30 E) to Emsaad at the north-eastern border of the country (31 33 N, 25 6 E). Twelve locations, one flock per location, ten adult ewes per flock were studied. Three sites have been sampled from each animal (shoulder, mid-side and breech).

 

Mean staple length and fiber diameter were 12.16 cm and 38.43 m respectively. In this study, staple length and fiber diameter didn’t significantly vary between locations studied. Sample site on the body of the animal significantly affect both staple length and fiber diameter, with breech position samples showed the shortest staple length and the thickest fiber diameter (P < 0.05). There was no difference between samples taken from mid-side or shoulder in all measured traits.

 

Results of this study showed that Barbary sheep raised in the eastern part of the country characterized by a long staple and  a large fiber diameter, and then confirmed the previous studies stated that this breed could be classed as a long carpet wool breed.  Samples taken from mid-side position could be representative of Barbary sheep fleece.

Keywords: Barbary sheep, breech, location, mid-side, shoulder, wool quality


Introduction

Small ruminants (sheep and goats) play an important role in the animal agriculture sector in Libya. Sheep production plays a major role both as income to farmers and as important source of meat which come first before cattle meat in this country. In 2005, there were about 4.500.000 heads of sheep (FAO 2006). About 95% of sheep in Libya belong to the fat-tailed, coarse-wooled Barbary breed, which characterized by multi-coloured, large framed with pendulous fat-tail (Magid et al 1992). Wool come second after meat production in the farmer’s priority and sold in local market. The fiber diameter and staple length are the most important characteristics affecting the value of wool for manufacturing (Guirgis et al 1978).  Staple length reflects the degree of wool growth while fiber diameter is one the most important characters which reflect the degree of finesse and hence the wool price.

    

These traits were previously described in the Libyan Barbary sheep (Magid et al 1992) and (Ahtash 2005). The previous studies were principally carried out at experimental stations in the western region of the country. The aim of this study was to investigate the two much important wool characteristics (fiber diameter and staple length) in farmer’s flocks in north-eastern Libya.

 

Materials and methods     

Farmers shear their flocks commonly once a year.  Shearing takes place from the end of April to the end of May. Animals were grazed throughout the year and supplied with commercial compound feeds during the shortage of pasture.

 

Location

    

This study was conducted during 1999 shearing season. The study covered a coastal region which extended from El-Marj (32 29` 35``N and 20 51` 28``E) to Emsaad at north-eastern border of the country (31 36` 29`` N and 25 02 30 E), a distance of about 600 km long. Twelve locations were studied in this region

                             

Sampling

   

Samples were collected while the animals were sheared. One flock and ten adult ewes per flock were randomly chosen in each location. Three sites have been sampled from each animal (shoulder, mid-side and breech). Shearing was taken closely to the skin using fine scissors. Samples were kept in a thick paper bags for further analysis.  Sub samples were taken to measure staple length (cm) and fiber diameter (m) by the aid of measuring devices at El-Marj wool factory.

 

Statistical analysis

    

Differences in fiber diameter and staple length between locations and between sites within the animal were determined by General Linear Model (GLM) procedure using SYSTAT (version 10, SPPS Inc., 2000) according to the following model :
 

Yij = m + Li + Sj + Eije ,

Where:  m  is  the general mean

             L  is the effect of location 

             S  is the effect of site within the animal

             E  is the effect of random error

 

Results and discussion     

The means of fiber diameter (m) and staple length (cm) of Libyan Barbary sheep are shown in table 1


Table 1.  Least mean squares of staple length and fiber diameter SE in different locations and different sites on the animal.

 

Staple length, cm

Fiber diameter, μm

No.

Mean

12.16

38.43

360

Location*

 

 

 

El-Marj

13.50 0.674

40.98 2.350

30

Al-Awailia

11.75 0.674

40.67 2.350

30

Omar Al-Muhktar

11.90 0.674

40.10 2.350

30

Al-Awsaita

11.34 0.674

36.92 2.350

30

Al-Temimi

10.62 0.674

33.02 2.350

30

Ain-Gazala

11.87 0.674

42.13 2.350

30

Al-Morasass

12.91 0.674

32.64 2.350

30

Toubrok

11.90 0.674

40.66 2.350

30

Al-Ga`ara

12.60 0.674

36.60 2.350

30

Camboot

11.91 0.674

40.58 2.350

30

Marsalock

13.30 0.674

36.79 2.350

30

Kaser AL-Jadi

12.48 0.674

40.62 2.350

30

Sample site

 

 

 

Shoulder

12.88 0.335a

36.39 1.175b

120

Mid-side

12.30 0.335ab

35.32 1.175b

120

Breech

11.29 0.335b

43.57 1.175a

120

a.b Means within columns with different superscript letters were different at P < 0.05

* From west to east


It can be observed that the mean staple length was 12.16 which is slightly lower than that reported by (Magid and Zaied 1992) (12.16 vs 14.8), even though Ahtash (2005) reported relatively lower estimates of staple length (8.31). In the other hand the findings of the present study were in agreement with results of ( Benamer and Kharoofa 1995) who found that the mean staple length of Libyan Barbary sheep was 11.85.

 

Fiber diameter in this study was higher than that reported by Ahtash (2005) and ( Benamer and Kharoofa 1995)  ( 38.43 vs 30.1 and 32.3).  However, fiber diameter in this study was closed to that previously reported for Karadi and awassi sheep (Guirgis et al 1978), Awassi sheep (Tabbaa et al 2001) and Karayaka sheep (Cimen 2006). Those authors reported 40.69 μm and 35.74 μm for Karadi and Awassi, 36 μm for Awassi and from 39.06 to 40.23 μm for Karakaya. These differences may be due to shearing and other environmental conditions which affect these traits (Guirgis 1973; Ahtash 2005).

    

Staple length and fiber diameter didn’t significantly varied between locations studied (Table 1).  In the current study, there is a trend for the samples of the location of Ain-Gazala to have the thickest fiber diameter (p>0.07).  Ahtash (2005) found effect of location on those traits.  However, considered the movement of sheep between herds and the closeness and geographical resemblance of Ain-gazala and (Temimi, Al-Morasass), the previous trend of difference is questionable, and it may be attributed to herd management.

     

Sample site on the body of the animals significantly affect both staple length and fiber diameter in this study, with breech position samples showed the shortest staple length and the thickest fiber diameter ( P < 0.05 ). There was no difference between samples taken from mid-side or shoulder in all measured traits.  After studied wool samples taken from five positions (withers, back, hip, mid-side and breech), Guirgis (1973) had recommended to take three sampling positions (withers, mid-side and hip) to represent the Barki fleece.  The finest fibers were found on the shoulder and mid-side in comparison with hip position (Tabbaa et al 2001). Mid-side samples are common when fleece traits were considered (Guirgis et al 1978; Ahtash 2005; Cimen 2006).

 

Conclusions 

 

Acknowledgements    

Special thanks are expressed to the staff at El-Marj wool factory for providing facilities of measuring fiber diameter.  Very special thanks are also extended to the farmers who facilitated sample collection from their herds.    

 

References 

Ahtash A E 2005 Wool characteristics of the Libyan Barbary sheep and factors affecting them. Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences 15: 158-180

.

Benamer A R and  Kharoofa A D S 1995 Characteristics of the  Libyan Barbary sheep wool as influenced by some factors. Mukhtar Journal of Sciences 2: 38 – 46

 

Cimen M 2006 The Effect of Birth Type and Sex of Lambs on Fiber Diameter. Research journal of agricultural and biological science 2: 509-511

 

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations 2006  FAOSTAT. http://faostat.fao.org/site/573/DesktopDefault.aspx?PageID=573 consulted 19-04-2008

 

Guirgis R A 1973 The study of variability in some wool traits in a coarse wool breed of sheep. Journal of agricultural science (Cambridge) 8: 233-238

 

Guirgis R A, Kazzal N T, Haddadine M S and Abdallah R K 1978 A study of some wool traits in two coarse wool breeds and their reciprocal crosses. Journal of agricultural science (Cambridge) 90: 495-501

 

Magid A F and Zaied A A  1992 The Libyan Barbary sheep II. Growth and wool traits. Libyan Journal of Agriculture 13 : 18-21

 

Magid A F, Zaied A A and Sharieha A M 1992 The Libyan Barbary sheep I. Reproductive traits. Libyan Journal of Agriculture 13: 5-12

 

Tabbaa M, Al-Azzawi W and Campbell D 2001 Variation in fleece characteristics of Awassi sheep at different ages. Small Ruminant Research 41: 95-100



Received 21 April 2008; Accepted 11 May 2008; Published 5 August 2008

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