2016-08-10   facebooktwitterrss

Texel National Sales a Chance to Add Value to Flocks

This year’s round of National Texel Sales in England, Scotland and Wales offer an unprecedented chance for both pedigree and commercial buyers to source rams with top genetics capable of adding significant value to next year’s lamb crop.

Large numbers of performance recorded rams from some of the breed’s leading flocks will be on offer at all three of the mainland GB national sales, with many also carrying breed leading genetics for key traits such as growth rate and muscle depth.

David McKerrow

David McKerrow

Texel Sheep Society chairman David McKerrow said commercial demand for the breed underpinned these major sales with the top end pedigree demand the icing on the cake for the breed.

“As breeders our members have long recognised the need to produce commercially relevant, fit for purpose sheep suited to the commercial sector. Indeed over the last 42 years since the breed was imported to the UK it has been the breed’s commercial attributes which have seen it rise to be the number one sire in the country.

“Easy fleshing, quick growing lambs with consistent quality carcasses are what draws buyers back year after year and the feedback from commercial producers is that no other breed can match the Texel for these key attributes,” he added.

Mr McKerrow said that buyers attending the National Sales at Lanark, Welshpool and Worcester, could be assured of finding rams to suit them from across the UK. “The great thing about the Texel breed is the adaptability of it to a wide range of farming systems and climatic conditions.

“Wherever you go in the UK you’ll find Texel sired lambs thriving and often producing the leading prices in local markets. The strong maternal characteristics of the breed have also made it popular among commercial farmers, with more than 12.5% of the national flock now being Texel sired ewes.”

Importantly, he added, recent research has shown that using pedigree Texel rams can significantly increase margins compared to using non-pedigree Texels.

The research, undertaken by Tim Byrne, Peter Amer and Tom Kirk of AbacusBio found that using a pedigree Texel ram as opposed to a commercially produced one is worth more than £100 a ram over a four year working life.

“On top of this using a performance recorded Texel ram as opposed to a non-recorded ram adds more than £250 a ram to a commercial producer’s bottom line over a four year working life, significantly increasing the income a flock can generate.”

“Using better rams of known performance and breeding is clearly one way of lifting income in these uncertain times. A performance recorded, pedigree Texel ram could add more than £350 to the value of his progeny over a four year working life.”

The continued genetic improvement in the pedigree and performance recorded Texel populations is unmatched in non-pedigree breeding and commercial buyers can come to the National Texel sales assured of buying rams of known performance and pedigree, said Mr McKerrow.

Once again this year’s Scottish National Texel Sale at Lanark will be streamed live via the Texel Society’s website for those unable to make the sale, said Texel Society chief executive John Yates.

“This popular service is now in its fifth year with viewers from across the globe tuning in last year to catch up on the sale as it progressed. We have a large Texel community across the UK and further afield many of whom are unable to attend the sale due to other commitments, by streaming the sale live they are able to keep up with all the action as it happens.

“The Society has previously streamed the sale of shearling rams and ram lambs, with the gimmer sale on Wednesday evening added this year for the first time,” he added.

The Scottish National Sale takes place at Lanark on 24 and 25 August, the Welsh National Sale takes place at Welshpool on 27 August and the English National Sale takes place at Worcester on 29 and 30 August.

Texel sheep society

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