Micron Test Results & Updates

Good news, no more broiler losses on the raccoon front. In fact no sign of Mr. (or Mrs.?) Raccoon in the past three nights. I set up the live trap and the barn cam, but no action so far...

Cora's doing well, back with the flock and on the mend hopefully. Her bag is still warm and pink and engorged. I hope she doesn't lose it. I'm not sure what happens after a case of mastitis like this. Does it just not function the following year? The only other case we had was blue bag and the entire side was lost.

I got my test results back from Texas A & M while I was gone last week. I sent in 16 samples from our Feb. 28th shearing day. There aren't any really low micron counts as in past years' tests, but there aren't any over 30 either, which is an improvement, so that's good news.

Flock average: 27.0 microns, SD: 5.7, CV: 21.2

Here's the breakdown by breed and Individual sheep:

Purebred Shetlands:
Lucy (yearling ewe) Mic: 24.8, SD: 4.5, CV: 18.3
Abby (yearling ewe) Mic: 25.7, SD: 7.6, CV: 29.5
Hattie (2 yrs, ewe) Mic: 29.7, SD: 7.9, CV: 26.7
Hannah (2 yrs, ewe) Mic: 26.4, SD: 5.8, CV: 22.1
Cora (2 yrs, ewe) Mic: 24.5, SD: 5.8, CV: 23.7
Eliza (3 yrs, ewe) Mic: 25.3, SD: 5.8, CV: 23.0
Mabeline (3 yrs, ewe) Mic: 27.5, SD: 5.0, CV: 18.3
Jemma (6 yrs, ewe) Mic: 28.6 SD: 7.7, CV: 26.7
Cordelia (9 yrs, ewe) Mic: 25.9, SD: 5.7, CV: 21.9

Purebred BFLs:
Dougal (2 yrs, ram) Mic: 27.0, SD: 5.4, CV: 20.0
Lanora (2 yrs, ewe) Mic: 29.4, SD: 5.2, CV: 17.7
Rhyn (yearling ewe) Mic: 29.0, SD: 5.3, CV: 18.3
Granite (yearling ram) Mic: 25.6, SD: 4.2, CV: 16.3

Shetland Mules (BFL Sire/Shetland Dam):
Derra (yearling ewe) Mic: 30.3, SD: 5.6, CV: 18.4
Delia (yearling ewe) Mic: 26.5, SD: 5.3, CV: 19.9
Dot (yearling ewe) Mic: 25.1, SD: 4.8, CV: 18.9

I'm always surprised at the high micron count on the BFL samples. They FEEL so soft, the numbers don't seem to do them justice. But if you also look at the SD and CV numbers on the BFLs and the crosses, you'll see they are really good.

I plan to shear the BFLs and a few of the primitive Shetlands this fall along with all the rams that will be shipped. It will be nice to have more fiber!


  1. does this mean you will be keeping Eliza? :)

    congrats on the wonderful microns.

    The BFLs tend to have lower SD and CV than the shetlands.

    I do notice that when the SD and CV are lower, that the AFD is typically higher, although it still feels as soft (handle)

    just my 2 cents!

  2. There really is something special about the BFL fleeces that cannot be defined soley by micron numbers. I think it has to do with the scale size and luster of the fibers.

  3. Thanks you guys.
    I agree Carol, I don't think the testing can measure the luster. I'm not sure if BFL has smaller scales, I all know is that it felts beautifully and creates a soft somewhat pebbly textured felt.
    Garrett, I still have Eliza been on my sales list. ;-) Actually, I've been toying with the idea of listing ALL my Shetlands for sale...I go back and forth on that. I have too many mouths to feed here and too little cash being unemployed for 6 months now.


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