It is simple, but very important, to send representative fiber samples for testing. The integrity of sampling, the careful and proper selection of a sample, is the most critical factor involved in measurement of fiber diameter in individual animals. The samples must be taken at the middle of the side in the blanket location. The figure of the sheep (center below) shows where breeders testing for uniformity in the fleece would select both side and britch samples (each sample is one test).

Sheep Llama

     The sample should be uniformly cut at the skin level, which is the base of the staple, and should be no smaller than a two-inch square in size. The sample should be kept in the staple configuration, which is its natural growth state. It should not be brushed out, cleaned up, or folded. Flat bladed shears or clippers are recommended as the safest tools to use in the taking of samples.

Length of Fiber Sample

     Maintaining the staple formation of the sample submitted to the laboratory is important for a practical reason: The two-millimeter sample used for measurement in the Laserscan is cut close to the base of the staple to measure fiber that has grown side by side under the same environmental conditions. These conditions include level of nutrition, pregnancy, lactation, and stress caused by sickness or trauma. Recently shorn animals with shorter staple lengths generally have not been exposed to highly variable environmental conditions, so the variability of their fiber diameter may be limited. Working with staple lengths shorter than one and a half inches is problematic because the staple configuration breaks down and we are unable to take an even cut across the base during sample preparation.

    Once the two-inch square sample is taken, it should be placed in a plastic sandwich-sized bag, and clearly labeled with the following identification:

  • I.D. (Name and Registration or Eartag Number)
  • Age (Date of Birth)
  • Sex (Male, Female, Gelding/Ram, Ewe, Wether/Buck, Doe)
  • Breed or Phenotype
  • Date of Sampling (Identifies age of animal's fiber sample)

    Please BE SURE to include the above information for individual animal fiber diameter testing.

Or click here for a sample form you can print and send with your fiber sample. You can download the page, get off the Net and print out as many forms as you'd like. Or you can download the page onto your computer and have it available at all times. Be sure to click once on the background of the sampling form to get your printer to recognise the page prior to printing it out.

Pricing for Individual Animal Fiber Diameter Tests

Pricing information can be found in the applicable sample form.

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