Fleece loss

Why is it measured?

Areas of fleece loss can be the result of several causes. Some breeds of sheep (e.g. Easy-care) naturally shed their fleece as the weather warms and therefore at certain times of year these sheep may show fleece loss. In other breeds and at other times of year fleece loss can be caused by: a period of stress (serious illness, parasite burden, malnutrition etc.) which may cause wool slip, injury, external parasites, skin infections (e.g. lumpy wool), poor handling or be a result of environmental hazards such as gateways, feeders or housing. Whilst fleece loss could potentially have an effect on thermoregulation it is the cause that is likely to compromise sheep welfare. This measure is therefore an indicator for issues.

How to assess and score using the AssureWel measure

4. Fleece loss                                                                                                                                                      Flock Measure
Assess the whole flock and tally the number of sheep seen with fleece loss.

Visual assessment of one side and the hindquarters.

Fleece loss
One or more bald areas larger than hand size (10x15cm) in any dimension on the body

  1. Lameness
  2. Body Condition Score (Thin sheep)
  3. Dirtiness
  4. Fleece loss
  5. Sheep needing further care
  6. Castration, tail docking and ear notching
  7. Mortality


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