Quantity and quality of wool yolk in Caucasian Merino rams

D. Pamukova1*, G. Staykova2, N. Stancheva2

1Department of Animal Husbandry- Ruminant Animals and Dairy Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Trakia University, 6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria 2Agricultural Institute, 9700 Shumen, Bulgaria

(Manuscript received 2 September 2018; accepted for publication 5 November 2018)

Abstract. The aim of this study was to determine the quality and quantity of the wool yolk of the rams from Caucasian merino breed in order to improve their technological features. The analyses included seven rams at 2.5 years of age and eleven male lambs at the age of 18 months. Thirty-six individual wool samples from two parts of the body (side and thigh) were studied. The following wool parameters were investigated: percentage of the dirty areas of the wool (on the side and the thigh), fat amount, sweat amount, pH of sweat, laboratory wool yield, and color of greasy wool on the side. Percentage of the dirty areas of the wool by categories and topographic ranges varied from 30.79% to 41.52%, indicating that the wool yolk of Caucasian rams was of sufficient quantity and good quality. The percentage of the fats in wool yolk to the greasy wool was relatively high (23.25% in the male lambs at the age of 18 months and 25% in the rams) and had a negative impact on the wool yield. The ratio of fat/sweat was 1.91:1 in rams at 2.5 years of age and 1.44:1 in male lambs at the age of 18 months). The higher relative part of the fat compared to the sweat was an indicator of good protective properties of the wool yolk. That allowed to protect the technological properties of the wool.