Mineral supplementation is very important in high producing farm animals. The estimation of exact mineral intake is very difficult in forage eating animals, like sheep. Accessing of long term mineral status seems to be possible using wool mineral analysis. However several factors can affect the results. Therefore, the aim of this study was to test the effect of breed and sampling location on the mineral content of sheep wool. 20 Dorper and 20 Tsigai sheep were chosen from the same farm. Samples were obtained from 3 locations (withers, side and quarter) and tested for 8 elements: Ca, Mg, Na, Co, Cu, P, S, Se , Zn. The samples were cleaned with ethyl alcohol from organic contamination, then after adding nitric acid were mineral analized using ultrasonic cleaning unit. The samples were analysed with ICP-OES (Perkin-Elmer, Optima 3300 DV). Statistical analyses were carried out by GLM procedure of SAS statistical analyses software. Differences between means were checked with Tukey-test. Significant breed differences were detected in the case of Mg, Na, S, Se in spite of the same feeding regime. The wool mineral content were within the reference range. The sampling location had no effect on the mineral content of wool.
The wool of sheep is suitable to test the mineral supply; however, a number of factors could affect the results. The growth rate and length of staple can be very different according to season, physiological state and individual variation. These factors are likely to affect the quantity of minerals accumulated into the wool. Therefore, the purpose of this research was to examine whether there is a difference between the mineral content of wool nearly reached the full staple length and the freshly grown wool using the same feeding regime.
10 Tsigai pregnant sheep have been selected randomly from the same farm. Wool samples were obtained from the withers, side and quarter with bended scissors. Samples were mineralized using nitric acid and hydrogen peroxide using ultrasonic cleaning unit. P, Ca, Mg, Na, S, Cu,Se and Zn content were determined by ICP-OES. Statistical analyses were carried out by SAS (SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC) GLM procedure.Differences between means were tested by Tukey test. Significantly lower Ca, Na, P, Zn values were found in case of intensively grown wool. Sampling location did not affect the mineral content. Herd mineral supply was adequate. Our results suggest that intensively grown wool samples have to be used for mineral analyses.