Studies were carried out to determine the correlation values between fleece weight and its main components. For these purpose flocks of Australian Merino, Early Merinos (French and German Merino), and Corriedale breeds raised on natural pastures in their respective area of adaptation were considered.
The characteristics herein considered were: greasy fleece weight, body weight, fiber diameter, staple length and crimp/inch.
The measurements made at shearing time were performed on 15 and 18 months old sheep.
The correlation obtained for fleece weight and the other components studied were in general significant, although the absolute coefficients values were low for both: Merinos and Corriedale. The higher correlation values were between fleece weight and staple length: 0.498 in French Merino; 0.478 in German Merino, 0.290 in Australian Merino and 0.493 in Corriedale. The correlation values found between the components were variable. Regular constant values were among staple length and crimp/inch in Merino and Corriedale, being the absolute values higher in the last breed (-0.335 and -0.507, respectively). Multiple correlation coefficient considering greasy fleece weight as dependent variable were 0.430 for Australian Merino, 0.589 in French Merino, 0.543 in German Merino and 0.1607 in Corriedale. Finally the posibilities of using, these findings regardingselection criteria within the breeds studied, are herein reported.

1 Ingeniero Agrónomo, Servicio Ovinos y Lanas, Departamento de Ganadería, Ministerio de Agricultura. Profesor de la Cátedra de Producción Ovina de las Universidades de Chile, Católica de Chile y de Concepción.
2 Ingeniero Agrónomo, Proyecto Producción Ovina, Estación Experimental La Platina, Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias. Profesor de la Cátedra de Genética y Mejoramiento Animal, Facultad de Agronomía, Universidad Católica de Chile.