Genetic improvement is a key to future increases in productivity in the Australian Mohair industry. Accurate identification of superior sires is part of this process. A progeny test was established to evaluate some prominent sires in use within the Australian Mohair industry. Angora does (n = 511) were mated to 11 Angora sires using artificial insemination in April, 2002. A total of 270 progeny was evaluated at their first shearing at 6 months of age and 246 were evaluated at the second shearing at 12 months of age. The project site experienced a severe drought for the 2002 season resulting in lower than expected kidding performance, average clean fleece weights (0.70 and 0.95 kg) and fibre diameters (20.3 and 21.2 mm) at first and second shearings respectively. Progeny sex and birth type had effects on greasy fleece weight and clean fleece weight at both shearings, on mean fibre diameter at the first shearing, birth weight and live weight at 3, 5, 11 and 15 months of age. The effect of the age of dam was evident for greasy fleece weight, clean fleece weight and medullation at the first shearing; clean fleece weight and yield at the second shearing; birth weight and live weight at 3, 5, 11 and 15 months of age. Differences between sires were small but apparent for the majority of fibre quality traits as well as live weight at 15 months of age. The third shearing, and a genetic analysis utilising dam pedigree, will expand results further and is likely to reveal larger differences between sires.
"Experientia docet" - Experience is the best teacher