The Texel breed takes its name from the Isle of Texel in the Province North of Holland. Texel sheep were reported to have been on the North Sea coast of Holland for many centuries.
The sheep have thrived in the tough costal climate bordering the North Sea and have a very significant position in modern day Europe as high yielding, lean sheep.
In recent times the Texel Breed has become more dominant carcase breed in Australia and neighboring New Zealand lamb industry.
Texels were selected from Denmark and Finland to suit New Zealand and Australian conditions. In addition to their natural attributes of High Yielding sheep, 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, are now known as the Australian Texel. They have adapted to Australian conditions very well. Texel genetics with the Myostatin Gene have been sourced by British and Australian sheep breeds to increase their high meat yield and leaness for the Prime Lamb industry.
The first volume of the Annual Flock Register was produced in April 1994.