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Hmmm - should I do it? I've done Codon testing, disease testing - and I also have a high end market for the fiber....

Will the spinners know, or should I have it 'analyzed' - Up to 7 now, so I'm assuming each one would be slightly different.

How do you guys do it, and if it's worth it?

Andrea
 

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Micron testing is a good, universal tool for helping evaluate your fleeces. I do it, as a lot of my customers want to know micron count on a particular sheep before they buy. I've had people ask for micron counts on both parents, even.
If you use Texas A&M, you don't have to spend a lot of money. It is only $1.25 a sample.
It's best to always test from the same area of the sheep. I take a sample off the last rib, halfway down, for a good representative of the whole sheep. If you are into wool sheep, I think it's a good idea.
Everyone says "My sheep have great handspinning fleece", but what makes a great fleece is such a matter of opinion. A micron count is very helpful in getting the right fleece to the right buyer, for the right project.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Awesome, you guys are always great help!

Do you happen to have an online link to the lab or a department name to direct me to for A&M??

Thanks!

Andrea
 

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my response must have gotten lost over the weekend.

As a spinner, I appreciate when I get a micron count and don't have to ask for samples of a fleece I might buy.

It really gives you more credibility in this spinner's eye that you are wanting to produce quality spinning fleece.
 

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Okay, here it is, inexpensive micron testing. Make sure you ask specifically for the $1.25 testing, as they do offer a more pricey test, also:

Texas A&M University.

Christopher J. Lupton, Professor

Wool and Mohair Research laboratory

Texas A&M University Agricultural Research and Extension Center

7887 US Highway 87 North

San Angelo, Tx 76901-9714



Don't sent any $ as they send an invoice along with the histogram
report.
Send them all the same info you'd sent to YM (breed, sex, dob…) They
prefer a side sample…but I guess if you sent multiple samples from
the same animal it wouldn't be any different than sending to YM…
 

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thatcompchick said:
Hmmm - should I do it? I've done Codon testing, disease testing - and I also have a high end market for the fiber....

Will the spinners know, or should I have it 'analyzed' - Up to 7 now, so I'm assuming each one would be slightly different.

How do you guys do it, and if it's worth it?

Andrea
I think it only really matters on Merino and other very fine wool breeds (Cormo maybe???) Anybody who buys Shetland, or Icelandic, or BL never really worries about micron count, I don't think. I never see it listed on websites or eBay auctions for that kind of wool, so I am thinking it is not a huge factor except for the superfine wool breeds.

I have some Merino that is fine and some that is superfine micron and frankly, I cannot tell any difference between them, texture wise. I think this whole micron count thing is just a trendy thing and really and truly doesn't mean that much - but people DO EXPECT it. So maybe if it doesn't cost a fortune, you should do it.

donsgal
 

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I never see it listed on websites or eBay auctions for that kind of wool,
I suspect that could be because they don't know how to go about it or think it's going to cost too much. I think I'm going to give it a go and see where my sheepies fall; if it turns out they've got a fine fleece it's just one more thing that I can market :rolleyes:
 

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I have to agree with Tracey.

I have a supplier (http://www.winterspastfarm.com/) tunis fleece that lets me know the micron count of the fleece I'm buying. She also has coopworth.

She truly is raising a flock for spinners and is well sold out in advanced (her 2008 fleece were already reserved before she sheared the 2007 fleeces)

When I first started spinning, I would take any fleece thrown my way, but after preparing a fleece that was continuoulsy covered & well skirted before being weighed, I'm more selective with the fleeces I buy.

I suspect if you already have a high end market for the fleece, you'll be asked about the micron count.

The counts have been around for a long, long, long time - I see it being referred to in books that are decades old.
 

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donsgal said:
I think it only really matters on Merino and other very fine wool breeds (Cormo maybe???) Anybody who buys Shetland, or Icelandic, or BL never really worries about micron count, I don't think. I never see it listed on websites or eBay auctions for that kind of wool, so I am thinking it is not a huge factor except for the superfine wool breeds.

I think this whole micron count thing is just a trendy thing and really and truly doesn't mean that muchdonsgal

Donsgal, I think Merino is pretty consistent, having been bred for a particular fleece type for many years. I see them averaging high teens, low twenties.

All the serious shetland breeders seem to micron count since there is such a variation in fleece types (which is not discouraged). There are shetlands out there with mature fleeces microning at 19, to all the way up near the 40's. Some have Merino type crimp and fineness, but the fleece should not be blocky at the tips. There should be tips on each staple.
And there are shetlands with fleeces like Icelandics, very double coated and lenghty in staple. I've had staple lengths from 2" to 13" in my flock alone.
And everything in between is also out there.
So I respectfully don't think it is a matter of being trendy if someone is trying to have a certain micron count as a flock goal.
I'm presonally trying to get mine consistently below 29. I'd be happy with that.

Now scrapie resistance testing, that is what I call "trendy". :rolleyes:
 

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ShortSheep said:
Now scrapie resistance testing, that is what I call "trendy". :rolleyes:
My now dead ram has his scrapies codon recorded -- for free-- but then, he is part of a sTudy being conducted-- looking for sheep with the 'K" allele at Codon 171-- 58%, so far, of our group of sheep, possess the "K" allele. There are still about 50 in our group to be tested, but they are pretty much all from the same flock, and descendents of some that are already tested.

I do believe that the Alpaca folks walk around bragging about their micron counts, but on the Alpaca, it seems the micron gets larger as the animal ages. Would be interesting to know if the undercoat of the llama is the same way. Now my breed of sheep-- no micron count needed-- Hair sheep are pretty worthless to spinners---( but they sure taste good!)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So I respectfully don't think it is a matter of being trendy if someone is trying to have a certain micron count as a flock goal.
I'm presonally trying to get mine consistently below 29. I'd be happy with that.


The Black Welsh do vary - based on lines, so I guess I should micron count to get a consistent breeding thing going with length and micron (I have a few that give a very long staple for a BWM) There was a lot lost with the American bred ones in the beginning - the fleece definitely has a different type to it, but the staple length in the major lines became pretty short.



Now scrapie resistance testing, that is what I call "trendy". :rolleyes:

Wow - I thought that was the norm - Of course, with BWM, it's apparently hard to get an RR that is conformationally correct. A lot of breeders are asking for min QR...


Thx!

Andrea
www.arare-breed.net
www.faintinggoat.net

Andrea
 

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thatcompchick said:
Now scrapie resistance testing, that is what I call "trendy". :rolleyes:

Wow - I thought that was the norm - Of course, with BWM, it's apparently hard to get an RR that is conformationally correct. A lot of breeders are asking for min QR...
Some breeders are resistance testing as a marketing tool, a selling point, which is fine. Hey, whatever works for them.
What I have a problem with is the prejudice against, and culling of, perfectly good QQ's who will never be exposed to scrapie. A very rare polled Shetland ram, a double F2 from imported semen, was butchered a few years ago only because he tested QQ.
Finns have no R allele at all. I don't raise Finns, but I am concerned what will happen to them if the Q paranoia escalates? Will an already minor breed become extinct?
 

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I do believe that the Alpaca folks walk around bragging about their micron counts,
Alpaca with a high micron count will be labeled llama, and llama with a low count will be labeled Alpaca. Of course, I have no recollection of where I read that, but know I'd seen a couple of sources back when I had a couple of llamas. So having that low count is very important to an alpaca person!

The risk of scrapie is so minimal...it would be nice if testing were trendy, but I think it's with us (thanks to the USDA!)
 
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