Texel sheep were reported to have been on the North Sea coast of Europe for many centuries. The breed takes its name from the Isle of Texel in the Province of North Holland.
Texels were selected from Denmark and Finland to suit New Zealand and Australian conditions. In addition to their natural attributes of heavy muscling and leanness, they had to be mobile sheep capable of travelling distances, free lambing and easy care. A select Australian flock began quarantine in New Zealand in 1988 and an objective genetic selection program was implemented.
In February 1993, selectors appointed by the Australian Texel Stud Breeders Association Inc. chose a total of 790 Texel ewes and 50 Texel rams from a base flock of 2220 Texels available for import to Australia. The Australian Texel Corporation Pty. Ltd. (ATC) was formed by a group of investor-breeders who imported the sheep to Australia and undertook all the embryo transplants and semen collections and was responsible for the release of foetuses via recipient ewes to Australian studmasters.
The first Texels were born in Australia in September, 1993, and the first volume of the Annual Flock Register was produced in April 1994.
The Texel is a well developed, evenly proportioned, heavily muscled, lean sheep.
The wool is well defined, good staple, approximately 100 mm at 12 months, low 30's micron, good lock, showing little colour, reasonably good to bulky density.
Terminal Sire The purebreed Texel ram is mated to either first cross or other traditional ewes, to produce lambs destined for slaughter or the live lamb trade.
First Cross Ewe Sire. Texel cross ewes have a heavy cut of bulky wool, with high lambing percentages. When joined to Texel sires they produce a heavy muscled, leaner and higher yielding carcase.
Infusion Some British and Australian breeds of meat sheep have decided to infuse Texel genes to increase muscling and leanness.
For the pedigree breeder and commercial producer, Texels offer clear advantages in both quality and performance.
Texel rams and ewes consistently produce early maturing lambs with excellent conformation that result in top quality light and heavy carcases.
Sold as terminal sires or foundation stock,Texels will achieve premium prices as a result of the benefits offered by the breed for the commercial producer.
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