Development and characterization of lambs’ coats of East Prussian Skudden and Rough-coated Pomeranian Landrace sheep
Abstract. East-Prussian Skudden (Skudden) and Rough-coated Pomeranian Landrace (RPL) sheep are old endangered mixed-wool breeds. The fleece structure is unique for each breed compared with other characteristics in related breeds. Therefore, an essential factor in breed conservation is preservation of the typical fleece. As some RPL sheep show a tendency towards uniform fleeces, emphasis is placed on fleece evaluation in selection of flockbook ewes and especially in licensing rams. Currently, rams can only be presented at a minimum age of 1 ½ years when regrowth has sufficiently taken place. As these rare breeds are primarily kept in small flocks and not by shepherds, an earlier, preliminary selection for typical fleeces would aid in flock management.
Fleece samples were taken from five body regions at intervals of 30–35 days beginning at an age of one month to 8 months, prior to shearing and after regrowth. Adult samples were graded and those of RPL evaluated for type and colour. Fibre types were sorted and counted according to presumed adult type as well as lamb fibre type. An attempt was made to find a point in development suitable for concluding the final fibre type composition, taking into account the final grade, type and fleece colour.
In Skudden a preliminary selection is preferable at an age of 10–12 months. As RPL showed considerable changes in all fleece parameters between shearing and the adult sample, preliminary selection is not advisable.