Fibre Characterization of the fat tailed zambian ovine breed
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To-date, no ethnological study of the Fat-tailed Zambian ovine breed has been published. In order to contribute to the knowledge of its wool, ten fleece samples were studied. Each sample was analysed for yield by isoalcohol scouring, fibre length for each kind of fibre, variation in fibre diameter,
and proportions of non-medullated and medulla ted fibres. Fleeces of the Fat-tailed Zambian sheep breed can be described as pen-brush, 'closed' and relatively long. The high yield by isoalcohol scouring and a large fibre diameter explain the greasy wool of low fineness as typical of this breed that can be described as a very low hairy type. The bimodal distribution of both medullated length and diameters indicated also two coats. Differences of the Fat-tailed sheep in Zambia with other fat-tailed sheep breeds may be due to environmental conditions but also to different origins. Although this study is based on a small sample so it must be seen as a preliminary analysis at the level of conventional wool analysis just for an ethnological purpose.