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Society seeks new team member for Stoneleigh office

The Society is currently recruiting for an administrator at its Stoneleigh office. The role is an exceptional opportunity for a self starter to influence the development of services for the largest Pedigree Sheep Society in UK.

This office-based position is a full time role extending to 36.5 hours a week, with the main responsibilities being general administrative duties, supporting members with the registration database, assisting with the maintenance of the Society's database and providing general telephone support to members.

The job would suit a self motivator with good communication and IT skills. Experiece and an interest in livestock are important to serve the needs of this progressive member-based charity with more than 2000 members across the UK.

The starting salary is £17,527.64 per annum and the closing date for applications is December 15th 2016.For further information contact the Society Office - 02476696629 

To apply send your CV by post or email in strict confidence to Gil Burton  

Texel Sheep Society, Unit 74, 4th Street, Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, CV8 2LG or 

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Largest ever Texel export heads to Switzerland

The largest single export of Texels to leave the UK has recently headed to Switzerland, with a total of 103 Texels from seven Scottish flocks exported at the end of September.

The consignment included both males and females, with both ram lambs and shearling rams among those purchased by the Swiss breeders. Gimmers made up the bulk of the females sent, with a selection of ewe lambs also bought, explained Robert Laird who coordinated the export. “They were once again looking for good, functional, commercial sheep with growth and carcass.”

Sheep in the consignment came from Mr Laird’s Cambwell flock, the Clark family’s Garngour, Teiglum and Clarks flocks, Angus McColm’s Crailloch flock, Jimmy Warnock’s Watchknowe flock, David McKerrow’s Nochnary flock and Allan Campbell’s Strawfank flock.

Swiss importer and breeder Heinz Pluss said the latest consignment of Texels to leave for the country had been sourced to meet growing demand and interest in the breed in Switzerland. “Interest in Texels is very high in Switzerland and some breeders are now undertaking performance recording too.”

Texel Sheep Society chief executive John Yates said the continued export demand for British Texels and particularly performance recorded stock was something the breed could be rightly proud of.

“Exports of this size are rare, but it shows the appetite for British Texels in Switzerland and indeed Europe as a whole. The high level of performance recording among the breed is another determining factor for many buyers with importers seeking as much information about the sheep they’re buying as possible.

“Performance recording is another layer of detail and information which helps with their decision making process and gives reassurance about the genetic potential of the stock they are buying.”

Mr Pluss, says the advances made by British Texel breeders using performance recording are immediately obvious when the sheep are compared with those from other countries. “In the past some breeders imported Texels from Germany and France because they were cheaper there than in the UK. However, sadly they discovered there was no real difference to our local breeds.

“When I first imported British Texels it was soon clear to me that they were superior to all other breeds and types. There are no other sheep in Switzerland with such a potential for growth and such genetic potential,” says Mr Pluss.

“There is a massive difference in the quality of lamb I am now producing since switching to solely British Texels. Many butchers say they’ve never seen carcasses like those of the British Texel lambs.

“I had been dissatisfied with our local breeds and felt I couldn’t do anything to improve the quality of my sheep. British Texels have turned that around for me and no I’m seeing a steady demand for ram lambs from commercial sheep farmers looking to improve their flocks.”

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Ernest Williams - Stelfox

The Society has been informed that Ernest Williams of the Stelfox Flock passed away with his family at his bedside in the early hours of this morning the 7th of November after a battle with prostrate cancer.

A service will be held at 12.15 on the 15th of November at Narberth Crematorium, Pembrokeshire SA67 8UD

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NADIS Parasite Forecast November 2016

NADIS Parasite Forecast and Video Case Study November 2016 - Liver fluke forecast, worms in store lambs and housing treatments for cattle.

NADIS publishes a monthly Parasite Forecast for farmers and livestock keepers, based on detailed Met Office data. The Parasite Forecast outlines the parasitic challenges facing cattle and sheep in the different UK regions.


NADIS Parasite Forecast

November Webinar

Video Case Study


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NSA wants views on ram longevity

Prompted by claims from members that rams do not work on commercial farms for as many seasons as wanted, the National Sheep Association (NSA) is urging farmers to participate in a new study to find out the truth of what is happening.

NSA is facilitating a group of experts to use funding from the Animal Welfare Foundation to investigate the flock life of breeding males and reasons for deaths and culling in the UK. Phil Stocker, NSA Chief Executive said it was important for NSA to listen and respond to what its members were saying. "However, with this particular situation the lack of information means we are unable to pinpoint practical on-farm solutions for them. That is why we thought it was so important to bring together a group of experts and get to the bottom of it – but we cannot do that without the help of farmers to find out exactly what is happening on farm.”
Independent sheep consultant Lesley Stubbings is also involved. Ms Stubbings said while there was plenty of opinion on how long rams should and do last in commercial flocks, there is no actual data available. "Estimates of cost range from £1/lamb sired to more than £7 but we want to find out what is going on on-farm with the long-term aim of increasing the number of lambs each ram sires in its lifetime and, therefore, reducing the cost. To help us find out more, we urge sheep farmers to complete a quick survey about how long your rams last, on-farm management and the main problems encountered.”
The survey is just one part of this ram longevity project and can be found at Sheep farmers with 200+ breeding ewes and four years’ of ram purchase information can also help by being part of one-off local focus groups to gather more detailed data. Email to volunteer.
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Bob Johnstone

It is with great sadness that the Society informs you that Bob Johnstone – Crawfordjohn and Boghouse Texels, passed away on Monday 17th October.

A funeral will take place on Friday 21st October at 11.30am at the Upper Clyde Church in Abington (ML12 6RY), followed by a service at Crawfordjohn Cemetery (ML12 6SS).

Donations can be made to Lanarkshire Beatson.

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NADIS Parasite Forecast October 2016

NADIS Parasite Forecast and Video Case Study October 2016 Liver Fluke treatments and forecast for cattle and sheep and housing treatments for cattle

NADIS publishes a monthly Parasite Forecast for farmers and livestock keepers, based on detailed Met Office data. The Parasite Forecast outlines the parasitic challenges facing cattle and sheep in the different UK regions.

Nadis Parasite Forecast

Webinar October

Video Case Study

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Sales see Texels in demand as records tumble

This year’s round of National Texel Sales in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England have seen a number of new records set for the breed with the sales continuing to deliver sustained growth for Society members.

At the Scottish National Sale, Lanark, the breed delivered a new all-time gross sale record, with the two day fixture resulting in a total of £1,081,668 being spent on the best genetics the breed has to offer.

Both pedigree and commercial buyers were equally active at Lanark, with plenty of ram lambs sold in the 400gns-1000gns to commercial buyers looking for well grown, naturally fleshed rams, explained Society chairman David McKerrow.

“Additionally, this sale also saw a record ram lamb average, with 351 sold to level at £2812.24. The breed continues to deliver what the commercial market place wants and that in turn is giving pedigree breeders the confidence to invest in the future of their flocks by seeking out the latest genetics available,” he explained.

Meanwhile, the English National Sale, Worcester, saw a new centre gimmer record set at 16,000gns, with a record average for gimmers too at £993.45. “This exceptional average came on the back of a sale which delivered an 86% clearance rate for the gimmers offered, with a number of new breeders establishing flocks from the gimmers available,” said Mr McKerrow.

It is clear the Texel breed continues to attract interest from new breeders attracted by he clear and increasing commercial demand for Texel rams capable of producing premium lambs, he added.

Ram lamb averages rose at all National sales, with just shy of 800 ram lambs finding buyers across the four sales in the space of 14 days, explained Society chief executive John Yates.

“This insatiable demand for Texel genetics is driven by commercial producers seeking out the breed for both its terminal and maternal qualities.

“The ongoing breed development including extensive use of performance recording and development of genomic technologies places the breed at the forefront of genetic improvement in the UK sheep industry helping deliver added value to commercial producers,” he said.

“Feedback from across the UK is that Texels continue to be the number one choice sire for commercial flocks no matter what the dam breed or the system.”

The breed also enjoyed another exceptional year at last week’s Kelso Ram Sale, with 870 shearlings selling to average £878.44, a rise of more than £110 on the year, while 101 ram lambs averaged £643.76.

“Texels continue to extend their influence across the UK industry and deliver what modern commercial sheep producers require,” added Mr Yates.

With a number of local Club sales as well as next week’s NSA main ram sale at Builth still to come Mr Yates said commercial buyers had plenty of opportunity to buy Texel sires to suit their needs.

“Builth alone has an entry of more than 1200 registered Texel rams, giving buyers plenty of quality to pick from to find rams to add value to next year’s lamb crop.”


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New ewe lamb competition at East of England Smithfield Festival

This year's East of England Smithfield Festival, Peterborough, on 15th and 16th November will see a new breeding ewe lamb competition added to the schedule, including classes for purebred and crossbred, native and continental breeds. The champions from this new class will be offered for sale at the event.

The College Challenge will also make a return this year and will see teams from agricultural colleges around the UK compete for this prestigious title. This will also be judged by Martin Irvine, together with NFU livestock board chairman, Charles Sercombe.  The College Challenge is predominately a stock judging competition, but also includes feed raw material identification and silage sample analysis.  This class proved incredibly popular in 2015.

As promised, the Smithfield Festival continues to listen to the industry and change the format for new demands, says William Haire, festival show director. “The new classes reflect the changing face of the industry."

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NADIS Parasite Forecast September 2016

NADIS Parasite Forecast and Video Case Study September 2016 - Liver Fluke, Quarantine Purchased Sheep, Worms in Lambs and Gut and Lungworm in Cattle.

NADIS publishes a monthly Parasite Forecast for farmers and livestock keepers, based on detailed Met Office data. The Parasite Forecast outlines the parasitic challenges facing cattle and sheep in the different UK regions.


Click on the links below to view:

NADIS Parasite Forecast

Webinar September Parasite Forecast

Video Case Study

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