All News

High quality offering at National Texel Sales

This year’s National Texel Sales, at Ballymena, Lanark, Welshpool and Worcester will once again feature a high quality offering from many of the breed’s leading flocks, including a high proportion of performance recorded rams, many in the top 10% of the breed for key commercial traits.

Speaking ahead of the sales Society chief executive John Yates said the National sales would once again offer something for both pedigree and commercial breeders looking to improve their stock.

“While undoubtedly the salse, which are the pinnacle of the breed’s busy autumn sales period, will see some high prices as breeders fight it out to secure the best possible genetics, they will also offer commercial breeders the chance to secure rams suited to producing premium priced lambs,” he explained.

“For a number of years we’ve seen commercial buyers taking large numbers of rams from the National sales to use in both early and later lambing flocks with the aim of breeding superior carcassed lambs which finish off low inputs.

“These buyers are the backbone of the sales and come back time and again because they know they can secure the type of sheep they need to farm profitably,” he added.

And demand for performance recorded rams from both pedigree and commercial buyers is growing year on year, with purchasers willing to pay significant premiums for rams with the right figures to leave lasting improvements in their lambs, said Mr Yates.

“At last year’s sales performance recorded ram lambs earned significant premiums over unrecorded ram lambs, demonstrating the demand for those sheep with top end performance.  

“There is a clear appetite for structurally correct, well fleshed lambs backed up by proven performance and buyers will pay a premium and put their faith in Texel rams to deliver the goods year after year.”

Mr Yates says demand for Texel rams is as strong as ever, with the main attraction for pedigree and commercial breeders alike the large volume of rams on offer from a wide variety of the UK membership.

“Throughout this spring and early summer when lamb prices have unfortunately been somewhat depressed it has been Texel sired lambs which have been in demand from buyers at live markets across the country.

“We have regularly seen Texel cross lambs earning premiums of more than 20p/kg across the UK and it is this ability to command the best prices which keeps commercial breeders coming back for Texels. Added to that Texels have the ability to lay down cover at every growth stage, meaning they can be finished at a variety of weights to suit market demands and grass availability,” said Mr Yates.

Catalogues for all the National sales as well as Club sales can be downloaded from the Sales page of this website

Share This Post:

British Texel genetics behind New Zealand progeny test success

A ram bred from British Texel genetics exported to Western Australia has delivered a stand out performance in New Zealand Beef and Lamb Genetics Central Progeny Test, ranking third overall of all the rams put through the testing.

The ram, Te Rakau 92724, is a son of an embryo transfer bred tup which was exported to Australia as an embryo in 2004. The ET bred tup is fully British bred, being a son of Kirtle Banker out of a Kirtle bred dam, HMK97095, herself a daughter of Netherkeir Blaze out of a dam by Milnbank Yesterday.

Te Rakau 92724 ranked third overall in the dual purpose index for meat and growth and performed consistently in almost every category, ranking seventh for growth, third for meat value, eighth for weaning weight, 19th for Worm FEC and 21st for Dag Score, explained his breeders Rob and Maria Wood of Te Rakau Grazing Company. 

“As a Dual Purpose ram his female progeny will be evaluated as dams.  The overall CPT result was similar to previous years with Texel and Texel cross rams in 12 of the top 20 places. 

“We were delighted when our ram was selected by the New Zealand Texel Breeders as their entry in the Dual Purpose section of the CPT.   The ram’s selection was based on his SIL-ACE (Sire Improvement Ltd – Advanced Central Evaluation) ranking of 40 after just two breeding seasons. SIL-ACE is New Zealand’s national across flock and across breed analysis with the CPT data providing critical genetic connections,” said Mr Wood.

“Without a doubt the British genetics have left an outstanding stamp on all the flocks using them, delivering great growth rates coupled with excellent confirmation and consistency in the progeny.”

Commenting on the success of the British genetics Texel Sheep Society chairman Henry Gamble said it was clear that British breeders were leading the world in performance. “What is really startling is that the genetics behind this success are now more than 10 years old and Texel breeders have made giant strides in improving performance since then, notably in growth rate and muscle depth.

“It will be interesting to see how this ram’s progeny continue to perform in the coming years and this performance puts British Texels in a strong position within the global sheep industry.

“We hope to see exports of genetics to the New Zealand and Australia opened up in the next few years and expect demand for top performing British Texels to be strong, just as it has been in Europe and South America in recent years.”

Mr Gamble added that it was clear from recent exports that British Texels can perform in a diverse range of environments at home in the UK and the continued success of British Texel genetics across the globe, including in Brazil, Australia and New Zealand, as well as in mainland Europe, was a great reflection on the skills of British Texel breeders.

"The Texel is a highly adaptable breed, so many sheep industries are now benefitting from the vision of our founder members added with the continued effort by breeders today to meet the requirements of modern processers and consumer tastes,” he explained.

Share This Post:

Texel Young Breeder or enthusiastic starter opportunity

A rare opportunity for a self starter to get a step on the farming ladder.
Share This Post:

Texel Society director runs for charity

Texel Sheep Society director Graham Hill of the Rolle flock, Clinton Devon Estates, Sidmouth, Devon, is undertaking four punishing runs this autumn to raise money for the Youth Cancer Trust and tie in with the Society’s own four national shows & sales.

Mr Hill will run the Dambusters hald marathon in Northern Ireland on 22 August, followed by the 8.7 mile Ben Nevis Fell Run on 5 September and then takes on the 17 mile Exmoor Stagger on 18 October before tacking the Snowdonia Marathon on 24 October.

Running a total of 65 miles across the four events Mr Hill will face 45 miles of mountain running within that total and for the Ben Nevis Fell Run faces a two hour deadline to reach the 4419ft summit of Scotland’s highest peak before coming down the mountain again.

Mr Hill’s challenge is in support of the Texel Sheep Society’s year-long fundraising efforts for the Youth Cancer Trust with various competitions taking place at this summer’s NSA Sheep Events in Wales, the North of England, the South West of England and Northern Ireland.

Explaining his motivation to take on the challenge Mr Hill said having been a runner in his younger days and having previously organised 10k runs and run a marathon he wanted to get back in to running again. “As directors of the Society we were challenged to come up with ways to raise money for the Youth Cancer Trust and an important part of our own Youth Development Programme’s fund raising. I felt running was the best way for me to do something a little different and raise money.

“With all four of these runs it is not about completing them in the best time possible, but about the challenge of completing them. They all cover challenging terrain and I’m training when time allows to try and ensure I’m in the best shape possible when it comes to the runs later this year.”

Mr Hill says training among the Devon countryside may not appear to be the same as running up Ben Nevis or Snowdonia, but having previously completed the Four Trig run which includes a total climb of up to 3500ft he has an understanding of the challenge ahead.

Texel Sheep Society chairman Henry Gamble urged all Society members and the wider farming community to support Mr Hill in his fundraising efforts in whatever way they could. “I can’t praise Graham enough for taking on this challenge, these are long distance runs in tough conditions and certainly not something many of us would want to consider!

“Cancer is a disease which touches the lives of us all in some way, both young and old, but is particularly hard to see young people with their lives in front of them struck down with this horrible disease. Donating even just a small amount in support of Graham will help make a difference to the lives of young people battling against cancer and that is something everyone can appreciate in some way,” he said.

Donations can be made by visting the Texel Society’s Just Giving page at

Share This Post:

NADIS - Parasite Forecast and Disease Alert

Blowfly strike and dermatophilosis in sheep, ostertagia, lungworm and environmental mastitis in cattle - the NADIS August Webinar topics.

August webinars are out now - click here to view.

Share This Post:

Northern Irish sheep event a great day for Texels

Northern Irish Texel breeders had a busy day at NSA Sheep Northern Ireland at Ballymena Mart on Monday, with the Society stand proving a big draw for event visitors.

With large numbers of commercial Texel users and potential customers visiting the stand the Northern Irish Club members and Northern Irish Young Breeders members spoke with a wide variety of farmers from across the province and beyond.

Adding an extra dimension to the Society’s stand was a guess the weight competition which saw event visitors have to guess the weight of Forkins Viagra, a shearling ram kindly loaned by Alastair Gault.

The winning entry came from Ian Goudy, with Viagra tipping the scales at 137kg and in the process helping raise money for the Society’s 2015 charity of the year, the Youth Cancer Trust.

Overall the event was well attended and while current lamb prices were the topic of the day the interest shown in the Texel breed was testament to the ability of the breed to leave premium lambs on any ewe breed.

Share This Post:

NADIS - Parasite Forecast and Disease Alert

Worm control and tapeworms in lambs, blowfly strike, lungworm and heat stress in cattle and anthrax - the NADIS July Webinar topics.

July webinars are out now - click here to view

Share This Post:

Young Texel breeders enjoy Five Nations Event

The recent Texel Five Nations Youth event hosted by the Irish Texel Society saw more than 40 British Texel Society young members enjoy an action packed weekend in Southern Ireland.

Arriving on Friday the first stop for those attending was a visit to Pat and Barry Farrell’s Oberstown flock to view the flock and meet up with Irish young members.

Texel Sheep Society Youth Development Programme chairman Duncan Mellin said the group were impressed with the quality and uniformity of the flock.

“We were expecting to see some top quality Texels and we weren’t disappointed. The Farrell’s bred the 2014 BTSS first season sire of the year, Oberstown Usain Bolt, the first southern Irish bred ram to win the award and the standard of their flock made it easy to see why.”

After a social evening the group then headed to Liam Dillon’s Kilclammon flock on Saturday for the highlight of the weekend the team competitions.

“This was a diverse competition, which saw teams have to complete a range of stockjudging tasks, including judging four commercial cows, four commercial ewes and four pairs of butchers lambs.

“Teams also had to name the sires of pedigree Texel lambs based on photographs of the sires as well as guess the weight of a cow and calf and a horse,” he explains.

Alongside these stock based tasks the teams also took part in field games, including hurling and bale rolling and also had to complete a ‘quiz with a difference’.

“The difference was the answers were written on stones placed at the bottom of a pool. This meant one member from each team had to go in to the pool to get the answers.

“All of these activities then contributed to the overall team score, with the English team of James Robinson, Nicholas Woodmass, Scott Armstrong, Oliver Taylor and Shauna Lake, winning the competition.”

On Sunday the group then visited the All Ireland Texel Show held at Dundalk which had a high quality entry forward. “All those attending were greatly impressed with the quality of the sheep on display and they were a credit to the breeders.

“We are extremely grateful to the Irish Texel Sheep Society for organising and hosting the Five Nations event and all the hard work which went in to making a highly successful weekend.”

British Texel Sheep Society chairman Henry Gamble, added that the societies on both sides of the water have strength in depth with many young breeders having a  keen eye for stock and a clear focus of what the breed can deliver to commercial producers.

“Both the Irish and the British societies have a reputation for providing successful learning and social events for their membership and this event has more than delivered on that front. We have been pleased to be able to provide support for our young breeders.


Share This Post:

Texel breeders win industry award

Perthshire-based Texel breeders Neil and Debbie McGowan are this year’s winners of the Johnston Carmichael Trophy for their work in raising the awareness of the importance of performance recording in Scotland.

The McGowans, who farm at Incheoch near Alyth, are willing to embrace innovation and have developed their own system of recording maternal traits to support EBVs. They were among the first in Scotland to opt to sell their pedigree rams from the farm, with the focus very much on communicating the animals’ estimated breeding values (EBVs).

The couple developed their own maternal recording system to rigorously select the right genetics for homebred replacements which supports the conventional EBVs. They now performance record 1100 of their ewes which are mainly Lleyns with a few Texels.

Johnny Mackey, QMS’ head of industry development said The McGowans were extremely worthy winners of the trophy and had championed the use of performance recording for a very long time. “Their family-run sheep enterprise is an excellent example of how EBVs can enhance a business and also how to market genetics to both the pedigree and commercial sheep farmer.”

Neil McGowan said: "We are really delighted to have received this award. The trophy has a lot of names on it of people who have inspired and helped us along the way. “It’s great to see that since those early days, recording sheep has become more mainstream and is now much more accepted and understood than for those early pioneers."


Share This Post:

Successful day at Highland Sheep

The Texel Society once again enjoyed another successful NSA event, with NSA Highland Sheep at Fearn Farm, Tain, proving to be a great day for the breed.

Hosted by pedigree Texel and commercial sheep farmers the Scott family, the event drew a large crowd from not just the Highlands and Islands, but also across Scotland and further afield.

The Society’s stand again proved a big draw for visitors with some top quality crossbred ewes with Texel sired lambs at foot impressing all who stopped at the stand.

Once again the quality of the stock on the stand proved the breed’s ability to thrive in a range of farming systems and climates and demonstrated the supreme adaptability of Texels to the challenges of farming in some of the more remote parts of the UK.

Supplied by Kenneth and Stephen Sutherland, Sibminster, Thurso, the March-born lambs were the focus of a guess the weight competition, with their total combined weight being 152kg.

With no-one guessing the exact weight a draw was held between two entries just either side of the right answer, with the eventual winner being Euan MacArthur, Cawdor.


Share This Post:


Subscribe to RSS - All News