Page 1

February 2013

For members of the Texel Sheep Society


• Society praised in member survey. • Lamb identification- vital to get it right in 2013! • Youth Development Programme gathers pace. • New Basco service goes live • “In Touch with Texel” campaigns prove popular • Avon Vale Texel – meeting commercial demand

In Touch with Texel British Texel Sheep Society, National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2LG Tel: 024 7669 6629, Fax: 024 7669 6472, Email:


Visit us @ Like the Texel Watch videos at Facebook Pages


basco Follow us @

Basco database

Our “In touch with Texel campaign” has helped to reach more Texel enthusiasts more often, helping to spread the word of the breed and the support offered by the society.




Dear Member I have been extremely encouraged by the commitment and level of investment from across the membership in our breed. As the Industry meets with the challenges of the “perfect storm” of high inputs and depressed prices, and at a time of extreme weather patterns, many are left considering what will be thrown at the industry during 2013. With the optimism of last Autumns Texel in lambs sales, providing excellent averages in volume across a wide variety of flocks, furthering the confidence in Texel. Our Pedigree registrations system clearly shows this with female registrations continuing to beat the national flock trend, as shown on page 7. Membership confidence is supported by commercial producers who know they are consistently rewarded when using Texel. Allowing them to also buy with confidence, and reap the premium, even in a depressed market, as the breed delivers to commercial demands. Society business is buoyant with a selection of successful campaigns initiated and delivered during 2012 and new ones to follow in 2013 as we develop our Youth Development Programme. The “tell texel commercial survey” has given us plenty to consider and we will use this valuable information to carve our marketing and breed development strategies over the coming years. It is pleasing to know that our breed has the valuable commercial traits in abundance, growth, length and depth of loin and excellent health characteristics. The recent surge in recording now synonymous with Texel also helps to provide further assurance to the commercial producer, that we have a breed on offer that adds value with confidence. Our “In touch with texel” campaign, combining our member survey has blown us off our feet, with our face book page now one of the most popular and leading sites in the livestock industry. Our website with its wealth of information continues to exceed our expectation as members crave for the latest information at a touch of a button. All areas that we will continue to invest in to ensure that our members and the wider industry stay “In touch with texel” in every aspect.

Pg 3 Welcome

Pg 4-9 Society Matters

Pg 10-11 Flock Health & Welfare

Pg 12-13 Texel Lifestyle

Pg 14-15 Youth Focus

Pg 16-17 Science into Practice

Pg 18-19 Winter Fairs

Pg 20 Society Fees

Go online, use our new Bacso web service, like us on facebook, visit our website, because one thing is guaranteed................ if you haven’t , you are missing out!

If you want to offer feedback on Society Promotions email

John Yates Chief Executive

While every effort is made to ensure accuracy of the information contained in this publication, no responsibility can be accepted by the Society for any errors or any reliance on the use of information by readers

The Texel social media has been massively successful in assisting members to stay in touch with the society. Our facebook page has received over a thousand likes which is a significant amount for our type of business. This puts the Society Facebook as one of the most liked facebook pages in the beef and sheep industry and close to the highest of any livestock society in the UK. If you have not liked us already make sure that you visit our page and “LikeUs” as you are definitely missing out on keeping in touch with Texel!

Our Twitter page continues to become more popular as members make better use of this type of social media. It is Twitters simplicity that offers the most value and now with over 450 followers in such a short time since we started making use of Twitter, we know its going to be ever more valuable in the future. If you haven’t followed us yet, stay in touch and listen to our tweets!

To see the short videos of the Texel breed either SCAN the QR Code above or visit TexelSheepSociety More videos will be added during 2013.

The above barcodes or more correctly named QR code or Quick Response code allows readers to use their smart phones to access further information on our services. Download a QR reader app to your smartphone or camera enabled tablet computer, then launch the app and hold the device over the barcode to access the extra content found on our website. Visit the iTunes App store or Android Market to download a QR reader app for free.

British Texel Sheep Society, National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2LG Tel: 024 7669 6629, Fax: 024 7669 6472, Email:




Member Services survey provides valuable feedback to help shape services for the future. With 250 surveys returned so far, providing useful information for us, we felt it important to give those of you that haven’t returned a form another opportunity. We have included the survey with the 2013 Birth Notification forms and hope those of you that are still to return the survey will do so with your Birth Notifications. Help us to make a difference! The results collected are encouraging and to give you a taster here are some statistics. A full report will be developed during 2013, as more feedback is collected. We are extremely pleased with the results, as we continue to meet member expectation but still have plenty of work to do if we are to maintain this level of satisfaction. Many thanks to all members that took the time to send us their valuable feedback.

How do you rate the support provided by the Society staff? - 1= poor - 5= excellent

1 2 3 4 5

Should the Society website be a replacement for the Society Bulletin/newsletter?

yes no

Birth Notifications start with‌


Ualtar Ulysses Urban Unique

Uzi Ungus Utopia Uno

Would you welcome more online services through BASCO?

yes no

Do we provide enough information on our Facebook and Twitter feeds?

yes no

5 Can you afford the risk of your stock failing a Society inspection at a Society sale? Tag your 2013 lambs accurately and supply the Society with the correct animal ID that appears on BOTH tags. Members may also want to ensure that their flock prefix is printed on the reverse of the management tag to identify pedigree flock of origin. Additional management information can be printed on the reverse of this tag for your own purposes, however the management ID is not the ID number that is needed for the Society flock book. Bye Law 9.7: The Society requires that all pedigree Texel sheep carry two ear tags, in accordance with current government regulations, each clearly identifying the breeder’s unique UK flock number and the Society flock book number allocated to that animal. One of the tags shall be an EID tag and the other a visual tag. Any animal with incorrect or indistinct identification or only carrying one tag will be rejected unless the Society has been notified in advance of the inspection and a dispensation certificate accompanies the animal to the point of inspection. Animals born prior to January 1st 2011 can be identified with a tag plus a tattoo for Society purposes. Hand written tags will not be acceptable for animals born after December 31st 2010.The decision of the inspector shall be final and failure to accept the inspector’s decision will result in the entire consignment being rejected.

Type of Tags There are many types of tags on the market. The Society does not stipulate any specific manufactures tags. However all breeding stock tags must contain UK FLOCK NUMBER & INDIVIDUAL ANIMAL I.D Additional management information can also be added

1 2

Members are required to use the individual animal id (the last 5 digits of the EID), as the pedigree identifier of Pedigree Texel notifications and registrations. And not the flocks own separate management number. Birth notifications have to be recorded with the Society in their year of birth otherwise there is a fee of £120 for Direct Debit or £132 for cheque, including VAT. Note the Society Sale dispensation certificate does not allow any allowance from the government laws in place for the movement of livestock.


1 2 3

This ID should be used to notify to the Society and forms the basis for the Pedigree flockbook identifier. Additional management information for your own use can be printed on tags. i.e. Texel flock code, ABC, CRB, etc or year of birth, 2013, 2014 etc Report your UK flock code to the Society office. We will link this to your Pedigree flock number i.e.. ABC, BBC etc

Recording lamb identification on Texel Birth Notification forms and on Basco. Lamb identification on Texel birth notification forms and on the online Basco should be recorded accurately. We require the last 5 digits of the Ministry Tag/Electronic Identification. We do not want management numbers; any entries that are made using management numbers will be rejected. Here is an example: Ministry Tag Number: UK0321159 00909 Electronic ID: 826032115900909 Texel Flock Book Number: AAS13 00909

As you can see the last 5 digits should be the same for the Ministry Tag, EID, and the Texel Flock Book Number. Some Members are incorrectly recording management numbers starting from 00001 each year. Any forms returned with incorrect lamb identities will be returned to the Member and Members will be requested to amend any incorrectly entered numbers either online or returned to the Society if not registered for BASCO. The Society admin team will try their utmost to assist but please try and enter the accurate information first time.

British Texel Sheep Society, National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2LG Tel: 024 7669 6629, Fax: 024 7669 6472, Email:


6 Complete your Flock Return. Please ensure you have completed your flock return for 2012, this can simply be carried out online and provides useful information on our breed registration system. It is essential that you keep us informed on your flock status. Failure to complete and a return a flock return may result in your 2013 Notifications being blocked.

NEW Basco service. Page 8 outlines the new service and all are encouraged to make use of this exciting new development, saving us all the time in dealing with paper entries and with the ability to provide up to date reports that can be simply printed out at your home. As online cattle movement reporting soars BCMS figures reported almost 90% of births and 70% of deaths are reported electronically. We are sure that you will also want to make use of online entries to your own flock, and hope you take the time to register and use this exciting new service.

National Sales Entries 2013 Look out for your pre entry pack in late April as it will be mailed with your Journal. Due to the excessive amount of time it takes to deal with “Subs” prior to closing a national catalogue “Substitutes” will now only be possible

Youth Development Programme gathers pace. Page 14 offers further information on this important initiative. Started in 2009, it has rolled forward and now encompasses scholarships, educational awards and sponsoring of a selection of Young breeders in attending useful conferences, or for their support in promoting the Breed at industry events.

Farewell to a dedicated Secretary to the South West Club John Robinson Cotton Valley Texel flock stepped down from his role after 17 years of service. Graham Hill retiring Chairman wrote a short poem to mark the occasion. Visit the Texel website - South West Club for the humorous ode.

Society Rosettes The Society provide many local and regional shows with official Society Rosettes, with now over 50 shows supported across the UK. Additionally Society Rosettes are also on offer for members at the RHAS, RUAS, RWAS and Great Yorkshire. In 2013 we will be complementing the Show Societies own rosettes by appropriately awarding “Highly Commended” rosettes depending on the number in each class, this will ensure that duplication of awards is avoided. The Champion and Reserve Champion and Supreme Champion Rosettes will continue to be awarded.

up to 5 days of the national sale event. Rather than up to 3 days as in previous years. The full charge of £15 plus VAT will apply for all substitutes. Full information will be available in the Pre Entry forms.

CT Scanning Help us to continue our breeds fast genetic progress, Recorders should consider the latest information on CT scanning now available at

Middlemoor Texel flock wins top award for genetic progress The Texel winner of the EBLEX Improved Flock Awards for 2013 is the Middlemoor Flock, owned by Fiona Grundy who farms at Whaplode Drove, near Spalding in Lincolnshire. Organised through the Sheep EBLEX Returns Programme, this award is presented to the English performance recorded flock that has shown the most improvement in genetic merit over a 12-month period, within the breed. Read more …..

Cwmcerrig Texel Trophy approved for Royal welsh 2013. By kind donation to the Society, Mr Roland Watkins, Cwmcerrig Texels, has provided a Cup for the Best Opposite Sex to the Supreme Champion for this prestigious event. If you are interested in supporting the Society awards at various events throughout the UK, please write for the attention of the Chief Executive of the Society.

7 service to be launched in 2013. Those members that read page 11 of the November bulletin will be aware of the intentions of a new service and regulations that will be available in time for the 2013 breeding season. The board is only too aware of the importance of using affordable modern technology to protect and benefit all that have come to rely on the Pedigree Texel. The service focusing initially on “parentage assignment” will use a low density

SNP Chip panel specially developed for British Texel. Further tests relating to filtering known deleterious (bad) genes for health and meat quality will be layered into the panel in coming years. Additionally, targeted use of a high density SNP Chip will be used to assist in the Society R&D strategy. Members will be advised later this spring how to make use of the service and how to comply with Society byelaws.

Female Registrations buck Industry trends Various surveys are being carried out during 2013. One of which is by Signet on behalf of Eblex to assess the influence of breeds in the UK National flock. Signet will publish their report later this year at the Sheep Breeder Round table. FAnGR the Farm Animal genetic Resources Committee has also requested further information from a variety of species breed societies, to help them build a more accurate figure on the level of Genetic resources held in the UK.

We thought you would also like to know the trend for Texel Society female registrations. We have plotted this in a graph against the UK National commercial flock. I’m sure you will be as impressed as we are on how Texel Registrations have significantly increased during the last 3 years against a levelling of the National flock, following a progressive period of decline. Whilst we are not at the heights of the 2005/06 era, nor is the National flock, decoupling from CAP is just one reason for the decline.

GLOUCESTER & BORDER COUNTIES TEXEL BREEDERS CLUB Christmas Prime Lamb Carcass Competition November 2012 Many clubs offer a carcase competition for its members. The Glos Club are no different This year’s competition was again held by kind permission of P J King & Son at Court Farm, Whaddon, Gloucester, attracting 57 entries. The quality of the lambs entered was to the high standards of previous years and would not have been out of place in the National Prime Stock Christmas shows. The club thanks go to the staff at “Kings” for dressing the carcases to such a high standard. Read more at

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY Royal Shows Royal Ulster Show - 15-17 May NEW VENUE - Balmoral Park, Lurgan Judge:Victor Chestnutt - CLOUGHER

Royal Highland Show - 20 - 23 June Judge: Gordon Gray - ETTRICK Great Yorkshire Show - 9 - 11 July Judge: J McKerrow - GROUGFOOT

Royal Welsh Show - 22 - 25 July Judge: Steve Smith - PENPARC

Special Promotion Show Three Counties - 14 - 15 June Judge: Charlie Boden - SPORTSMAN’S MELLOR VALE

Texel Sheep Society National Sales N.I. National - 12 & 13 August Judge: H Wilkinson - ARKLE Scottish National - 21 & 22 August Judge: A Gault - FORKINS Welsh National - 23 & 24 August Judge: J E Davies - TEILO English National – 26 & 27 August Judge: R Laird - CAMBWELL

NSA Sales & Events 2013 NSA Welsh Sheep - 21 May Llansowel

NSA North Sheep - 5 June Harrogate

NSA Sheep Northern Ireland - 1 July Ballymena

NSA Builth early Ram sale - 5 August Judge: John Hardwick - ABERCRYCHAN NSA Builth Ram Show & Sale 22 & 23 September Judge: David Chave - PEACEHAY

SCOTTISH CLUB GOLF DAY, TAKES SOCIETY LOGO TO EPIC PROPORTIONS! As you can see the Wilkinson family (Arkle) went to great lengths to make fellow Texel breeders feel at home on their terrific golf course!

British Texel Sheep Society, National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2LG Tel: 024 7669 6629, Fax: 024 7669 6472, Email:



Society launches web based Member’s Interface to allow access to the Society flock book and members individual flocks data. All members of the Society that pay by direct debit have been able to record birth notifications online since 2005. From the 1st March a new web based version of the system, developed by Basco Data Ltd, will be available allowing you to access the sheep search and flock management facilities, all from one convenient place. All members that pay by direct debit can register for the new system just go to and select “login”. On the following webpage you will be able to click on an option to register. A page will be displayed allowing you to enter your personal details, email address etc.You must enter the email address you have previously notified to the Society. If your email address has changed you must inform the Society otherwise you will not be able to update your flock records. Once you have registered you will be sent an email. Just click on the link in the email to activate your account.You can then choose “login” from the Basco site and enter your email address and password to access the system. You can still continue to use the old GTX version of the system but once you have registered for the new web based version you will be prevented from using GTX.You can still download the GTX software from, . Although, the GTX service will be phased out for Texel breeders by early 2014. When you log into the system you will be able to view and update all your Texel flocks and any flocks or herds that you own, where those Breed Societies are completely supported by Basco, (Limousin, Suffolk). The new service facilities currently available, when you first log in will allow: • Enter your natural, AI and embryo birth notifications. • View sheep records to get a quick status of your flock. One click away for detailed information including back pedigree and EBV’s. • Download and print a report of all live animals in your flock whenever you need it. • View a summary of EBVs or download a spreadsheet of EBVs for your flock. • Get a confirmation email of your updates. The Phase 2 of the new log in services will provide the following facilities and be available by 1st April 2013 • Keep your Flock up to date from a census screen – mark sheep dead or sold and register sheep whenever you want. • Transfer sheep to other Texel members. • Enter 8 week weights and mature weights • Enter sheep into sales (cataloguing) The web search facility that offers public searches for all Texel pedigrees has also been upgraded and will now allow Performance Recorders to print individual pen cards, showing only the key trait information, rather than all EBVs of an animal. Further upgrades to the web search will be released during the year. Basco Data Ltd has invested heavily into future proofing its services and we look forward to the new releases during the year.

9 Texel Female Invitational Sales 2012

Top 21 Individual Gimmers at Six Major Female Invitational Sales 2012


Consignor Flock

Gimmer Sire

Price (Gns)


Milnbank (LYM)

Glenside Razzle Dazzle FPG1000055


John Forsyth - Glenside

The six invitational sales dealt with in this summary again attracted large audiences Ettrick (GGH) 2 of prospective buyers at their respective Forkins (GAF) venues. In total 53 flocks from throughout the Glenside (FPG) UK were represented and deserve an 4 Sportsmans (BGS) immense amount of credit for the general high standard offerings. In spite of the absence of prices in Ballynahone (HBR) excess of 20,000gns, there was a marginal Garngour (CJN) 6 increase in the overall price average. Knock (HAK) However 10% less gimmers found new homes. Consignors unanimously indicated Deveronvale (MGV) that demand for the top quality animals 9 in lamb to influential sires was as strong Ballynahone (HBR) as ever. However plainer gimmers, lacking size and tight fleeces often failed to reach Tima (GCT) modest reserves, set by their consigners. 11 Procters (PFD) As regards the background genetics of the top 30 gimmers, no fewer than 16 sires featured. However by far the most Sportsmans (BGS) 13 successful sire was the 40,000gn, 2011 “Sire of the year” - Glenside Razzle Strathbogie (IJS) 14 Dazzle - FPG1000055. In addition to his numerous high priced daughters at the Clinterty (BBY) 15 6 invitational sales, he also sired the top priced gimmers at two of the leading Cambwell (LTC) 16 Scottish collective sales held at Stirling & Thainstone. Milnbank (LYM) In spite of the current economic gloom Milnbank (LYM) prevailing within the UK commercial 17 Strathbogie (IJS) sheep industry, the majority of Texel Forkins (GAF) breeders are very Ettrick (GGH) 21 optimistic about their 2013 forthcoming Robbie Wilson sales Milnbank prospects. LYM1100374

Knock Reebok HAK1000041 Duncryne Ringmaster JRV1000001 Strathbogie Python IJS09289 Hen Gapel Royal Gold OJH1000008 Maineview Lionheart KMR05014 Clinterty Romeo BBY1000064 Cambwell Rob Roy LTC1000028 Glenside Razzle Dazzle FPG1000055 Duncryne Ringmaster JRV1000001 Knock Reebok HAK1000041 Haddo Ringleader KWJ1000063

11,000 11,000 10,000 10,000

8,500 8,500 8,500

Procters Farms Paul O’ Connor Drumgooland Alastair Gault - Forkins Alasdair Beaton Wester Crosshill Graham Morrison Deveronvale Hugh & Alan Blackwood Auldhouseburn Stuart Barclay - Harestone Messrs Ridley - Haltcliffe J Innes & Sons Strathbogie Stephen Cobbald Lavenham

8,000 8,000 7,000 7,000

Charlie Boden Sportsman’s /Mellorvale Stephen Cobbald Lavenham

Cowal Rob Roy CKC87014


James Ruggeri - Gyrhos William McCaffrey Scholars

Glenside Razzle Dazzle FPG1000055


Charlie Boden Sportsman’s/Mellorvale

Clinterty Par One BBY09643


J Innes & Sons Strathbogie

Allanfauld Rockafella XMM1000014


Procters Farms



Kenneth Pratt - Hilltop Helen Hunter - Foudland Graham Morrison Deveronvale Messrs Millar & McComb Millcomb


Solway Enterprises

Glenside Razzle Dazzle Glenside Razzle Dazzle Glenside Razzle Dazzle FPG1000055 Watchknowe Rustic Boy WJW1000196 Baltier Rascal FEB87021

5,000 5,000

Invitational Sales Report 2012

40th Anniversary programme

Promotional Support Needed

The 2014 celebratory programme is taking shape and we thank all those members and Clubs that have taken time to feedback their thoughts. A selection of events already being considered include: • Extra Special Social weekend in November 2014 • National Flock Competition

Would you like to assist the Society promote the breed at the Royal Welsh and Royal Highland. Do you have time available and want to get involved in supporting the Society promotions at these two events? Contact us if you want more information. We also from time to time require support for overseas groups across field tours and flock visits, we would like to know

• Young Breeders National Stock Competition, in conjunction with the RWAS Show • Potential for two Overseas Field Tours. New Zealand and / Or Northern France – Switzerland • National Technical Seminar/ Conference Along with various other events and awards. A full programme will be released later this Autumn.

of any breeder that has time available to act as an interpreter. Ideally French, German speakers are needed. It’s a great opportunity to support your Society and visit flocks that you would not otherwise have the opportunity of. If you think you can help please contact the Society Chief Executive.

British Texel Sheep Society, National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2LG Tel: 024 7669 6629, Fax: 024 7669 6472, Email:


Flock Health & Welfare

Understanding your customers and ensuring that you provide all the important information is essential if you are to secure existing and attract new customers to your flock or sale pen. Consider a few of the following options: Scrapie Monitoring Scheme Have you considered the benefit to your flock by joining the PS&GHS SMS scheme. This will help monitor your flocks scrapie status and also offers a good export promotional opportunity. Its a fairly lengthy process to join the scheme but the sooner you start then the sooner you will start receiving some benefits. Further information from SRUC PS&GHS tel: +44 (0) 131 535 4000

Scrapie Genotyping stock Many members need to source ARR/ARR type 1 Scrapie Genotype stock to ensure their flock meets the requirements of various export or scheme rules. Consider Scrapie genotyping your stock and promoting the Type 1 rams at Society sales.You may be surprised how this helps to improve interest in your pen. There are various companies offering this commercial service.

your own use as embryo recipients or to sell as MV accredited recipients. The EAE status of recipients should also be considered. EAE accredited ewes should be used to reduce the risk of abortions due to EAE.Vaccination against EAE can also be considered. Scrapie monitored flocks can only use recipients that are Scrapie monitored. Don’t risk the health status of your flock by using nonaccredited ewes as embryo recipients. It is not just your flock that is being put at risk. Further information from Catriona Ritchie, MV Veterinary Manager, PSGHS.

Private vet charges for sampling for MV Charges obviously vary across the country from private vet practices due mainly to large animal flock density in your region and services available from your vet practice. The Society was asked to provide further information from its membership in a recent survey. Vet charges for sampling showed a wide variation of charges as expected. PS&GHS members have known that the cost of the membership has been maintained for the last few years. However SRUC (SAC) PS&GHS have no control over private Vet practices charges for sampling on farm. It is in the members own interest to liaise with their own private vet, and come to an agreement on the costs for sampling. As a guide the survey showed : Visit Charge average was around £26 with a range from £12- £58

Plan ahead if you’re using recipients in ET programmes Embryos derived from MV accredited ewes can only retain their MV accredited status is if they are implanted into MV accredited females. All embryos derived from MV accredited ewes immediately lose their MV accredited status if implanted into non-MV accredited recipients. In order for these offspring to regain MV accredited status they would need to pass two qualifying tests at a minimum of 12 and 18 months of age. If non-accredited sheep are to be used as embryo recipients they must have two clear qualifying tests a minimum of six months apart before the embryos are implanted, if the embryos are to retain their MV accredited status. A recent large survey showed that 3 in 100 flocks are infected with MV so it is a high risk to implant valuable, MV accredited embryos into non-accredited ewes without having tested them first. MV infection has been identified in groups of sheep that were intended for use as recipients and also in a couple of groups of sheep where embryos had already been implanted. Just because ewes look healthy it does not mean that they are uninfected.You may wish to consider gaining MV accredited status for your commercial flock, or a group from it, for either

Cost per sheep sampled was an average of £3 - £3.50 with a range from £1-£8 With small numbers the charge will be more expensive.

New research show MV is on the increase in commercial flocks. In the last few years there has been evidence to suggest that Maedi Visna (MV) is on the increase in Britain. SRUC are hearing more reports of flocks suffering from the effects of infection. MV has a long incubation period and it can spread unnoticed within, and between, flocks for many years before the non specific signs are seen, By this time it is likely that at least half of the flock is infected, Culling levels are high with the associated requirement for increased replacement numbers. A full report on the 2012 study can be found at


Mastitis in Ewes The Society reported on a recent study it supported through a £5000 Spark award, with research carried out by the Animal research team at Warwick University. The Society has also recently provided an additional £2500 to expand this research dataset. This will assist the researchers to gain more robust conclusions from this and other projects being carried out on mastitis in ewes. The team at Warwick through support from Eblex, have additional projects that are helping in gaining a better understanding of the transmission and controls of mastitis in meat sheep. A project due to complete by December 2014 focuses on “furthering our understanding of intramammary infections (mastitis) in meat ewes – the role of chronic infection and udder confirmation. The Society will report the finding to the membership in due course. Mastitis in ewes is one of the greatest causes of concern among pedigree and commercial sheep farmers. It is estimated that approximately 5% of ewes get acute mastitis with up to 50% of these ewes dying and 90% losing the affected quarter. A further 20-30% of ewes get sub-clinical mastitis during lactation. A previous study titled “Mastitis in ewes” is now completed, This project demonstrated that subclinical mastitis is very common in suckling ewes and that the majority of udder infections are manifest as subclinical mastitis (SCC) rather than clinical disease. Subclinical mastitis does have an impact on production thus breeders should be aware of the importance of maintaining udder health in order to maximise production. The research demonstrated that older ewes, those in poor body condition and those with poor udder conformation were at greater risk of high SCC. Meanwhile subclinical mastitis was associated with suboptimal weight gain

in lambs over the first 8 weeks of life. Teat lesions (which may be an indicator of sub optimal nutrition), poor udder conformation and old ewes were also associated with lower than expected lamb weights over the first 8 weeks of age. And this may not be a surprise to many members, but does outline the importance of caring for the udder pre and post lambing. Optimisation of udder health is best achieved through appropriate management decisions, which include appropriate feeding of ewes through gestation and early lactation, vigilance in observation for udder problems (for example by tipping the ewe to observe for teat lesion in early to mid lactation) and not retaining ewes with poor udder conformation or very old ewes for tupping or use in ET programmes. Farms with high levels of clinical mastitis may benefit from the adoption of use of dry off treatment as part of their disease risk mitigation strategy although the financial costs involved would need to be considered, which is perhaps less of an issue when protecting your valuable pedigrees. Further information on the research work funded by Eblex can be found on their website.

Legacy of liver fluke is evident in thin ewes. Understanding of the lack of persistency of flukicides is a concern for many breeders, with some producers not appreciating that flukicides only kill fluke in the animal at the time it is treated and do not protect it from picking any more up as soon as it returns to graze flukeinfected pasture. If you have concerns we urge you to talk to your vet with any specific questions about your flock. The legacy of the unprecedented fluke challenge is evident in fields and lambing sheds all around the country, with ewes approaching lambing time in less than ideal body condition. Further Information can be found on the SCOPS website

Schmallenberg Virus Early lambing flocks know only too well that the virus was circulating in the early summer of 2012. The results have been only too evident and widespread across England. Whilst the Society has heard of few reports of Texel flocks, that tend to lamb later than many pedigree breeds, we welcome any development in the production of a vaccine to assist breeders to manage this disease threat. NSA led the charge to provide the industry with a way to collect further information and we encourage members to complete the NSA lambing survey. A joint initiative with, AHVLA, Eblex, HCC, NBA, NFU and QMS. The survey will be open until the end of May and NSA intend to issue monthly reports on any trends that emerge. The situation and the lack of reliable information is incredibly frustrating for all involved in the industry, NSA see this survey as a way to address concerns about that and other challenges facing the industry, many as a result of the poor weather. You can find more about the survey on their website:

British Texel Sheep Society, National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2LG Tel: 024 7669 6629, Fax: 024 7669 6472, Email:



Christine Mitchell

John Mitchell

Peter Mitchell

Mitchell Family’s - Avon Vale Texel Flock

Simple, commercial principles have underpinned the development of the Mitchell family’s Avon Vale flock of Texels, with milky, maternal ewes forming the core of the flock which is focussed on producing top end commercial rams for the local market. The flock of Avon Vale Texels, run by Peter Mitchell in partnership with his father, John, and mother, Christine, was developed as a spin off from the farm’s commercial flock as part of a desire to build a closed flock following historic disease issues with bought in stock. With a long-term aim to lamb 500 Texel ewes Peter says that since the flock’s foundation in 2005 he has sought to breed sheep which manage themselves and require less intervention than many pedigree flocks. “From the start I’ve used performance recording as a management tool to identify those bloodlines producing the sort of sheep we want to work with. Ewes must be milky, something we’ve struggled with in other breeds, and must be easily managed. I work full time and both my parents are past retirement age, so anything which makes hard work is eliminated if at all possible.” Founded in 2005 the Avon Vale flock was developed from ewes bought to breed a high prolificacy strain of Texels. “Initially I wanted to develop a purely commercial flock of Texel type ewes, so bought 20 pedigree ewes to use high prolificacy semen on. As it turned out the semen we used to AI the pedigree ewes wasn’t up to standard, so we ended up tupping the ewes with a Kingsland tup we had bought to run with the commercial ewes at the time.”

In that first year Peter felt he had the beginnings of something useful in the flock and began performance recording from the outset. “The lambs were good, strong and shapey, so I thought we might as well go down the recording route and make the of most we could of the flock. We’ve never aimed to breed solely on index and have always aimed to breed a sheep with plenty of shape as that’s what we would have worked with historically. “But I do use the indices heavily in our selection process when looking at which ewes to mate with which rams. I generally select ewes which are in the top 10% for eight week weight, maternal index, scan weight and muscle depth. On top of that I look for a positive fat index.The flock’s average index has improved from 108 in 2006 to 265 now and as a competitive person with a background in professional rugby that’s not something I want to see slip.” For many flocks aiming to improve overall index values a positive fat index may be seen as detrimental, but Peter believes it is essential to produce tups which suit the commercial market. “Just chasing growth could very easily leave us selling big, rangey tups which produce lambs which don’t finish at weights required by the mainstream market. “That would be no good to our commercial customers and that’s who we focus on. Our customers want high growth

as the land locally can burn up in a dry year, but they want to be able to sell lambs without the need for feeding, this means lambs which lay down finish earlier rather than later.” Development of the flock was bolstered in 2007 with the addition of ewes from the late Chris Lewis’ Edingthorpe flock.

“These ewes have proved to be a great investment and have left a lasting legacy of great females in the flock. They are milky, maternal and have helped develop the flock immensely.” And while the Mitchells run a small number of purebred Dutch-type Texels within the flock Peter is convinced that growth and length are the key to the future of the UK sheep industry. “At the moment the EUROP grading system favours a bigger gigot, but in time I believe that will change.The premium cuts aren’t in the leg, they’re in the loin and in time I believe a change in grading system will come and length of loin will become increasingly important.” At the moment Peter says “Length is hard to measure, but he feels the move to a full spiral CT scan will help with this and aid the breed’s development to suit a changing market.” Management of the flock is currently focussed on producing sound commercial tups, with those ewes not fitting the criteria required for pedigree breeding being used to breed hybrid tups for Innovis. “We have no formal agreement with Innovis, but we tup a proportion of our ewes with tups selected by them to produce ram lambs which they run through to make shearlings of. It’s a system which suits everyone involved and often means we’re buying tups for them to use, but getting a chance to use them too.” Texel ewes bred pure are synchronised to lamb across two weekends in February, with timing done to allow Peter to take time off from his job with the National Grid. “We then lamb the ewes put to other breeds towards the end of April once the daylight starts to improve.These run out by day and in to a yard at night during lambing to reduce the labour requirement. We could run them out all the

time, but we have to record them too, so it’s easier to have them in a yard in the evening to catch the lambs up.” Once lambed the early flock are out to grass as soon as the weather allows, but the Mitchells prefer to keep ewes and lambs inside if needs be. “We like lambs to be strong when we turn them out as we have plenty of vermin about which could take young lambs.” “Lambs are creep fed initially while grazing gets up to speed, but once our chicory crops are going well then the creep feed is removed and lambs receive no supplementary feeding.” Chicory is proving to be a real boon for the Mitchells, having first tried it in the mid 1980s. “Back then it lacked persistency and quickly died out. But the newer varieties are much more persistent and were a saviour in 2011 when everything else burnt up. Lambs and shearling rams really thrive on it and it’s proved to be a great crop second time around.” With the aim of improving overall index at the same time as breeding tups suitable for commercial use the Mitchells are broad minded when it comes to ram selection and frequently turn rams round after just a couple of seasons. “If we see a ram we think will do a job for us we buy it, it’s as simple as that.” “In both 2011 and 2012 we went to the English National Sale at Worcester with the intention of not buying a tup. Both times we came home with tups because we thought they could add something to the flock.” Current stock sires include Alwent Tacomo, bought at Worcester in 2012 for his exceptional fleshing. “I walked past the pen several times and he caught my eye. I thought I’d just lay a hand on him to see what he was like and was immediately impressed by his

hard fleshing and deep muscle. I thought he would be a great tup for us, so we bought him.” Others currently being used are Heyworth Lodge Solar Spirit and Llangwm Sea Pigeon, both bought from Worcester in 2011, alongside homebred sires such as Avon Vale Sequoia, Avon Vale Rogan Josh and Avon Vale Razzmataz. With a good number of tups sold from home the family has historically sold at the early NSA Ram Sale at Builth Wells and also takes a couple of ram lambs to the English National Sale at Worcester every year. “With it being a local sale to us it helps to keep our name in people’s minds when it comes to shearling sales and also lets us see how our tups shape up against other breeders.There is also a new high indexed sale scheduled for Worcester in September this year and we’ll take some tups there and may stop going to Builth.” High local demand for tups has meant the Mitchells have struggled to keep enough shearlings through for a couple of years as demand has meant they’ve had to sell more ram lambs than they’d planned on. “But we’ve 45 shearlings for this year, so hopefully that will be nearer the number we need.” Looking to the future Peter says the long-term aim is to increase numbers without sacrificing quality or the breeding aims. “With the number of ewe lambs coming back in this time round, I should be able to increase the selection criteria to within the top 5% of the breed on the traits we select for without compromising on the quality of the flock. This should help us improve our overall index over time and that’s essential as more and more commercial producer want recorded rams.”

Mitchell Fam ily


British Texel Sheep Society, National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2LG Tel: 024 7669 6629, Fax: 024 7669 6472, Email:


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tephanie McCollam of the Carmavy flock and Northern-Irish Young Texel breeder recently took part in the Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster (YFCU) Exchange Programme to the USA, visiting Kansas and Montana.

After a 14 hour journey from Belfast the first stop on my trip was Kansas where I spent three days and met with the 24 other delegates from countries all over the world including England, Australia and China. After taking a tour of some farms within the ‘wheat state of the USA’ I gave a short presentation on the United Kingdom and our common farming methods. These were then compared with Kansas where it was still common to see horse-drawn ploughs and horses also powering the crop threshers. Temperatures in Kansas are upwards on 40C on a daily basis meaning that forest fires were common and irrigation is essential to maximise crop yields. This was also the case in Montana where I spent most of my trip. Montana, which is known as ‘Big Sky Country’ and ‘The Last Best Place’, is the fourth largest state measuring 381,200 square kilometres which is 143,000 square kilometers bigger than the entire United Kingdom. The population of Montana is almost 1m in comparison to the UK which is more than 62m. My first host family lived in Elliston and with them I visited a number of local farms and ranches which ranged from having three Holstein bull calves to having a 1000 strong herd of Angus cattle. Another local farmer also owned six Shetland ewes and four lambs which is deemed the average size of a sheep farm for this particular area of Montana. Many of the local farmers were beginning to turn their focus to their hay for the coming July and August due to the unlikelihood of rain. With temperatures averaging 32C their main concern was the rapid drying which would have consequent loss of carotene and vitamins for their crop. Summers in Montana tend to be hot and dry and ranchers are always concerned for their land, particularly as they are regularly in the danger zone for forest fires. While I was in Montana we witnessed nine forest fires with 377, 201 acres being burnt. Last year in particular saw the forest fires spreading more rapidly than usual as towards the end of 2011 the Mountain Pine Beetle Epidemic struck Montana causing a large number of trees to be destroyed. These trees remain upright, but dry out causing them to catch fire in an instant. My second host family lived in Helmville and I discovered that in 1867 they had settled here after emigrating from Southern Ireland. Since then they have expanded their ranch to about

5000 acres with 600 head of Simmental and Angus cattle, excluding calves. They also annually rear 200 Brahma bucking bulls for the Montana rodeos. With three generations trying to make a living from this ranch, a member of each family has been forced into employment outside the family farm. Two are currently teaching at the Helmville school, which only has 14 pupils this year, and two are employed at another teaching facility 30 miles away. This employment is full time, but all members of the family are expected to help on the ranch during their free time due to the heavy workloads involved. Temperatures in Helmville were about 35C during the summer months with only one inch of rainfall a month. These dry, humid conditions meant that irrigation was vital for ranchers as they needed to produce hay from their land. The cost of irrigation pivots begin at $40,000 for a system capable of irrigating 60 acres, so for this family to irrigate their entire ranch this would cost them about $3.5 million. Much of their hay is on dryland, however, they do irrigate 20% of their land which is mostly alfalfa. Haymaking usually begins in June and continues every day until September, so the entire time I spent with this family we were haymaking. Due to the hot, dry weather haymaking began early each morning until approximately midday. It was then postponed until the temperatures decreased in the evening at approximately 8pm when haymaking began again. Ranchers in Montana all have their own machinery so contractors are nonexistent. Therefore, it was understandable why all family members were required to help, particularly as this family needed to make 6000t of hay last summer. Due to the drought, hay was costing about $225 a ton which many of the ranchers simply could not afford, so again it was vital for them to produce as much as possible. Although this family baled their hay, many neighbouring ranches still used the 1910 beaverslide invention in order to save resources. To use the beaverslide hay is placed in a basket and a team of horses or men pull a cable through a pulley which draws the hay into a stack. These stacks remain outdoors and are fenced off, meaning that ranchers do not require balers. Weather is a huge obstacle for ranchers during haymaking because of frequent lightning storms in the dry climate, these previously mentioned fires were a common sight. Drought in

15 Montana is a huge issue and it not only affected crops, but also reduced the weight of the beef heifers and steers. Last year heifers averaged 537lbs (244kg) whereas in 2011 they averaged 587lbs (266kg) and steers averaged 669lbs (304kg) as opposed to 709lbs (322kg) in 2011. These were all shipped to mid-west Montana to be fed out during the winter period, as winters in Helmville often see 30inches of snowfall within a two day period. Although Helmville winters are bad, unfortunately, this family only had enough facilities to house newborn calves for a few hours. Hedges are nonexistent in Montana so shelter can rarely be found, leading to the loss of some of the herd. Alongside weather, local wildlife also proved problematic. Gophers, flocks of cranes as well as elk and deer herds were very common and they ate, dug and trampled much of last year’s crop. Although it is legal to shoot these animals, they tended to appear in flocks or herds of more than 100. Coyotes are also a major problem killing about 700 sheep in Montana each year. This is the key reason why this particular family refused to keep them as in recent years they put 200 ewes and lambs out to pasture and lost 70% of the flock. Sheep farmers in Helmville now tend to take their flocks out to pasture each morning and stay with them until they house them again each evening.

During my stay I was also given many opportunities to try steer roping, go horse riding, go on fishing trips, go canoeing and go rafting which were incredible experiences. I also learnt how to drive the family’s two Halflinger driving horses and while attending rodeos I witnessed Bull Riding, Steer Wrestling, Calf Roping, Bareback Riding and Mutton Bustin’. Although some of the stock threatened the competitors, thankfully no one was seriously injured or killed. The trip was an experience I shall never forget and one I thoroughly enjoyed. The opportunity to travel, meet new people and learn about agriculture in other countries, was remarkable and I would like to sincerely thank the British Texel Sheep Society for their sponsorship towards my trip. Without the help and support of this organisation my trip would not have been possible. Other sponsors included: McCollam Heating & Plumbing, Imagis, Greenville Electrical, Greenmount Country Stores, Kilcross Feeds, Clare Vet Group, Martin Supplies and the YFA.


Educational awards

The Society continues to evolve its Youth Development Programme. Information on the 2013 scholarships will be available from the Society website from April 1st. With simple application forms and information on how to apply for a £1000 scholarship. Three scholarships are up for grabs so make sure you check out the website and gain this valuable support.

As a complement to the Youth Development Programme and to meet with the Societies charitable purpose, four educational awards have been announced, each offering a £500 prize award to 4 lucky students across the UK. Further information on this initiative will follow later in 2013.



Although most of my time in Montana was spent working on the ranches, I also took time to visit some of the popular tourist destinations including an old style ranch, the county jail, the Lewis and Clark Caverns and Yellowstone National Park.

While in Yellowstone I travelled through the three states of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho in three days. The Park spans an area of 8983.11 square kilometres which is 70% of the size of Northern Ireland. As well as admiring the scenery from an elevation of about 9000 feet we also visited famous landmarks such as the Old Faithful Geyser and observed a lot of wildlife including grizzly bears, black bears, bald eagles and herds of bison, deer and elk.


Sheep Breeders Round Table The dates and venue have been announced for this popular biannual event in the sheep calendar. Whilst it is disappointing that the dates clash with the Societies own AGM and Social weekend. The dates for the Round Table are Friday 1st, Saturday 2nd to Sunday 3rd November The Society once again will be sponsoring two lucky young breeders to attend, which includes full conference fees for the two day event, along with subsistence and accommodation costs. To apply you must be a member of the Society aged between 18 – 35 years of age, and write for the attention of the Chief Executive, stating the reasons why you feel you should be given the chance to be supported at the event. “The conference covers the whole gamut of sheep breeding, from practical farming advice to the use of cutting edge genetic technology, all aimed at helping create a more sustainable sheep sector.The opportunity to attend should be of tremendous value to the lucky individuals and to act as an ambassador for the society”

British Texel Sheep Society, National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2LG Tel: 024 7669 6629, Fax: 024 7669 6472, Email:



The genetics of gestation length and the importance of recording AI dates In livestock production the survival of the neonate (or new born animal) is of critical importance for both financial and welfare reasons. The ease with which an animal is born has a huge influence on its survival and replicating the work undertaken in the beef industry - the Texel breed now has EBVs for Birth Weight and Lambing Ease. Texel sires can now be identified whose progeny are genetically better at being born without assistance. In the beef industry breeders are also able to exploit genetic differences in gestation length. Breeding lines that have longer gestation lengths tend to produce larger calves, which require more assistance at birth. The selection of bulls to produce shorter gestation lengths is a proven way to reduce calving problems - particularly when mating heifers. The heritability of gestation length in British Limousin cattle is 0.29 – meaning that an animal’s genes will account for over a quarter of the variation in gestation length observed within the breed. Within the British sheep industry we simply don’t know to what degree an animal’s genes influence variation in gestation length or to what extent this trait influences ease of birth or lamb survival. The good news is that this data is relatively easy to collect. Breeders have to notify the Texel Sheep Society if lambs are conceived by artificial insemination (AI) and at this point an AI date is requested. Knowledge of this AI date enables a gestation length to be calculated.

Last year 15,226 of the 65,000+ Texel lambs notified to the Texel Sheep Society were recorded as having been produced by AI, however only 3,437 of these records were attributed an AI date. The average gestation length was 146 days (standard deviation of 2.7 days). In 2013 Texel breeders are encouraged to actively record AI dates when notifying their lambs to enhance our knowledge of this trait. Whilst it is recognised that some breeders will also know the gestation lengths of some of the natural matings in their flock; data collection will initially focus on data relating to AI matings - as this is likely to be more accurate and easier to record. Summary • Knowledge of the genes influencing gestation length may provide a useful tool to enhance lambing ease • Research in this area will require a relatively large dataset of accurate information, but the high heritability of the trait expressed in beef breeding programmes is encouraging. • Any Texel breeder notifying lambs conceived by artificial insemination to the Texel Sheep Society can contribute to this work – they just need record their AI date.

Samuel Boon

Signet Breeding Services

Distribution of Gestation Length in the Texel Breed Chart based on lambs born in 2012. Information produced by Signet Breeding Services

900 800 Number of lambs

700 600 500 400 300 200 100 0 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 13 13 13 13 13 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 Gestation Length


Lambing Ease Dataset Doubled as Texel Breeders Deliver Lamb survival is of paramount importance in commercial sheep production. The ease with which a lamb is born will greatly influence its chances of survival. The Texel breed has two breeding values designed to enhance lamb survival

• Lambing Ease – enabling breeders to influence the ease with which a lamb is born

• Birth weight – enabling breeders to influence the size of the lamb produced In the case of Birth Weight it is recognised that lamb survival is compromised at either end of the spectrum – with both very large and very small lambs having poorer survival. The EBV for Birth Weight enables

much larger dataset is the relationship with birth weight – a clear indication that when it comes to lambing ease, birth weight has an important impact. This data suggests that genetically controlling birth weight might assist in reducing the number of assisted lambing events.

breeders to avoid extremes – and may be of particular use where flocks are breeding from ewe lambs. An article providing more information about the recording of these traits was produced in the February 2012 Texel Bulletin. In this article it was reported that 6809 lambing ease scores were submitted in 2011.

Due to the relationship between the two traits, lambing ease scores are only used within Signet’s National Texel Evaluation if they are accompanied by a measurement of birth weight. In 2012 3626 of the lambs that were scored for lambing ease were not weighed and the information couldn’t be used in the analysis.

In 2012 this number increased to nearly 17,000 records/annum – nearly 2 and a half times as much information. This is a fantastic achievement, which will greatly assist in the assessment of this important trait. The distribution of scores was broadly similar in both years, with 54% of lambs reported as having unassisted births in 2012 compared to 49% in 2011. The other interesting observation in this

So if you would like to contribute information to the evaluation please remember to weigh your lambs at birth.

Table 1. Lambing Ease Scores submitted in 2012 Number of lambs that also had a birth weight

Average birth weight (kg)








Severe assistance






Non-surgical veterinary assistance






Vet assistance, surgery required






Elective caesarean







Number of lambs with lambing Percentage ease score

Lambing Ease Score



No Assistance



Slight assistance by hand


Grand Total


British Texel Sheep Society, National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2LG Tel: 024 7669 6629, Fax: 024 7669 6472, Email:




PRIME STOCK 2012 Texel sired lambs were once again at the top end of the line at a number of the major winter fairs last year, with the highlight of the season being a pair of Texel lambs taking the supreme championship at the Royal Highland Winter Fair, Ingliston, Edinburgh.

And Texel genetics were once again to the fore at the English Winter Fair, Stafford, with Herefordshire-based Robin Slade enjoying unprecedented success in the event’s Live/ Dead competition, collecting the championship for a record 13th time.

Flying the flag for the breed in another strong show of lambs at the event were a pair from leading winter primestock enthusiasts, the Hall family, Inglewood Edge, Carlisle.

Winning this year for Mr Slade were a trio of homebred lambs. Mr Slade said the success was down to new Texel genetics imported from Holland last year which had helped add extra gigot shape to this year’s crop of lambs.

This 102kg pair, turned out by Jonathan Aiken, are sired by a Turbo tup bred by Jan Rodenburg and made it the fourth championship at the event for the Hall family. The Hall family reigned supreme in both the Texel classes of the day, taking the lightweight class with a pair weighing 88kg and the heavyweight class with a overall champion pair which weighed in at 102kg. Second place in both classes fell to Douganhill Farms, with their second prize lightweight pair weighing 86kg and their second prize heavyweight pair coming in at 91kg. Meanwhile, at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair, Builth Wells, a Texel sired carcass from Carmarthenshire-based regular prize winner Adrian Windsor took the reserve overall championship in the Royal Welsh Winter Fair’s single carcass competition. Mr Windsor’s carcass, from a homebred lamb, graded E3L at 20kg. In the live lamb classes the winners of the purebred Texel class were a pair of 95kg lambs from Steve and Sara Gibbons, Hay-On-Wye, with second spot going to John Hall and family, Carlisle, with a pair which weighed in at 102kg. And Texel sired lambs enjoyed success in the Butchers’ Lamb section too picking up three class wins for three different exhibitors. Regular show winner Robin Slade was the first of the day to win with his pair of Texel sired lambs weighing 67kg. Then Philip and Caroline Houldey won the class for pairs from 91-100kg with their 92kg brace and finally Stuart and Jenny Clatworthy won the untrimmed class with an 83.5kg pair of Texel sired lambs.

Dutch-type Texels were also behind Somerset-based Stuart and Jen Clatworthy’s reserve championship winning carcass. Their winner was a 21.3kg, E3 graded Dutch Texel carcass. Top spot in the purebred Texel pairs class was taken by David and Linda Wadland, Northamptonshire, with Steve and Sara Gibbons second and Robin Slade third. And Robin Slade enjoyed further success, picking up three red tickets in the butchers’ lamb section with Dutch-type Texels. Texel entries at Agri-Expo, Carlisle, were as strong as ever, with two classes for Texel sired lambs drawing bumper entries from both local and more well travelled exhibitors. And there was championship success for the winner of the day’s second class, that for Texel sired lambs weighing 40.1kg or more, with the winners from this class, a pair of Dutch Texel sired lambs from John and Peter Hall and family, Inglewood Edge, Dalston, taking the reserve overall championship in the show. This pair tipped the scales at 43kg each and are by a homebred Dutch Texel ram. Second spot in this class went to Robin Slade, Herefordshire, with third taken by David and Linda Wadland. And the Wadland team were on fine form in the earlier class for lambs up to 40kg, with their pair taking the red ticket here ahead of the Hall family. Third in this class went to Robin Slade. Robin Slade also flew the flag for the breed at the East of England Smithfield Festival, taking the RABI lamb championship with a purebred Texel lamb.

19 Winning the trimmed Texel class at the event was Andrew Morton with his Texel cross lambs which weighed 83kg with Steve and Sarah Gibbons’ purebred pair standing second. These weighed 93kg. In the untrimmed class the winners were a 97kg pair from David and Linda Wadland which were out of Texel cross ewes, while second place here went to Robin Slade with his 85kg purebred pair.

And across the water at Ballymena a pair of Texel sired lambs from the McAllister Family, Kells, secured the reserve supreme championship at the Christmas Show held at Ballymena Mart, Antrim, the leading primestock show in Northern Ireland for butchers’ lambs. This duo bred and exhibited by the McAllisters weighed in at 49kg apiece and sold at £130. They were bought by Sam Carmichael on behalf of McKee’s, Maghera, who are regular buyers at this show and sale.

2012 Champions

First prize and Overall reserve champion Pair of Texel lambs over 40.1kg R Hall and Son - INGLEWOOD Agri - Expo

First prize pair of Texel Lambs up to 40kg Mr & Mrs S H Wadland Agri - Expo

Reserve Champions Pair of lambs Mcallister - ARTNAGULLION Ballymena NI Winter Fair

Supreme Champion R Hall and Son - INGLEWOOD Royal Highland Winter Fair

Dead-Alive Champion R Slade - WEEKFIELD English Winter Fair

Reserve Champion Single Carcass Adrian Windsor - FERN Royal Welsh Winter Fair

British Texel Sheep Society, National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2LG Tel: 024 7669 6629, Fax: 024 7669 6472, Email:


This Notice supersedes all previous notices of costs and overrides any printed material which you may have in your possession. Birth Notification Fees take effect for all 2013 born lambs and all other fees take effect from January 1st 2013

2013 Male and Female Birth Notifications 1st Jan - 15th

16th April -

16th June -

1st January following


15th June

31st Dec

Year of Birth Onwards

in Year of Birth

in Year of Birth

in Year of Birth


Method Online/Tel/Paper
























inc VAT)

inc VAT)

inc VAT)

inc VAT)

inc VAT)

inc VAT)

inc VAT)

inc VAT

Female Registrations and Import Registrations (having previously been birth notified) By 15th June in

16th June YOB

1st November year

Year of Birth

- 31st October

following YOB onwards


in year following YOB


Method Online/Tel/Paper









£ 9.35

(£6.94 inc

(£6.84 inc

(£7.52 inc

(£10.20 inc

(£11.22 inc










(£6.30 inc

Male Registrations and Import Registrations (having previously been birth notified) Method



Transfers (only fully registered sheep can be transferred) Method











inc VAT)

inc VAT)

inc VAT)

inc VAT)


Terms of Membership (Please note Adult fees will now only be accepted by Direct Debit payment)

Apply to pay by Direct Debit and save 10% when compared to the Cheque fees. (not including Membership & Subscription fees).

Adult Joining Fee - £60.00 (Inc VAT) Payable now Annual Subscription fee - £54.21 (Inc VAT) Payable now Junior Joining Fee - Free Annual Subscription fee - £27.11 (inc VAT) Payable now

The VAT Inclusive prices include VAT at 20% and may be adjusted at any time.

Texel Bulletin - February 2013  

Texel Sheep Society February Bulletin

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