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March 2014

For members of the Texel Sheep Society • Major changes to the Society online service • Young Breeders take to the Texel • 40th Anniversary trips update • Importance of weighing Lambs • Texel females ever more popular!

SHEEP SOCIETY

www.texel.co.uk

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: office@texel.co.uk


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British Wool Marketing Board The strong demand for British wool is continuing in the 2013/2014 selling season with good clearances and improved prices. This will be a welcome development to producers and we are hopeful, this improved market will continue for the remainder of the selling season with a strong demand and limited global supply. As in previous years, the BWMB gave a guide price to producers for the 2013 clip which was based on the 2012 selling season. By February, with over half of this season’s wool sold, it’s encouraging to see the guide prices have all been met; with many breed types exceeding the guide price issued at the start of the season. We continue to be active in training the next generation of British shearers. Training new shearers is one of the most important things the Board does for the industry and this year we are proud to support a number of junior shearing competitions across the UK. Shearing is becoming one of the biggest attractions at our agricultural shows so please do support BISCA’s attempts to get shearing recognised as a sport in the UK. 1,700 members are required to register their support so this can be considered by the UK Sports Council – for further details please email gilliantart@britishwool.org.uk

www.texel.co.uk

Like so many other organisations within agriculture, the BWMB have been actively trying to engage and communicate with possible new entrants into the sheep sector. We believe supporting new blood into the industry is vital for the long term future of sheep farming in the UK. We encourage any genuine new entrants to make contact with us – tell us what would benefit and support you as a new entrant. You can contact us by email on newentrants@britishwool.org.uk The Campaign for Wool (CfW), now a major force in the promotion of wool across the world continues to go from strength to strength following its launch back in 2010. Central to the UK activities again last year was Wool Week - held in October this featured a number of high profile events continuing to raise the profile of woollen products amongst consumers. Wishing you a successful 2014.


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Our 40th Anniversary year really has started with a bang, with results on the continued success and popularity of the breed well reported in the national press. With exceptional performance at the late Autumn/Winter In lamb female sales, witnessing insatiable appetite for well fleshed females with breed character. Prices and clearances definitely helped to brighten those dark winter evenings. Well done to all the breeders involved. A recent breed survey commissioned by Eblex was carried out amongst commercial sheep farmers. Results estimated 64,000 rams on 8,331 holdings. Of which 29% were reported as using Texel rams. And whilst 5% were accounted as crossbred rams, many of these had Texel genetics. A similar survey was carried out in NZ where close on 1000 farmers listing 1300 flocks. The most numerous terminal breed was Texel, representing 30% of the terminal straight-bred flocks listed, indicating the success of the breed since first being introduced in the 1990’s. With NZ focusing on many composite flocks (40%), with most of the maternal type. However 42% of these composites had Texel genetics, significantly reducing the reliance on Finn and East Friesian genetics, and changing the composition of the NZ National flock significantly over the past 20 years. As in both the UK and the NZ National Industry, influence of Texel has resulted in the changes in structure and have no doubt contributed to the improvements in performance levels observed now compared to 40 years ago in the UK and 20-25 years ago in NZ. Whilst we will be celebrating the past 40 years in our anniversary year, It is with much confidence that we will be very much looking forward to the future as the Society develops new services, embraces new technology and supports an increasing membership. With Membership numbers increasing above the 2000 level for the first time in the last 3 years, and now at 2035.

Contents

We wish all our members every success.

Society Fees

Pg 2 British Wool members Board

Pg 3 Welcome

Pg 4-9 Society Matters

Pg 10-11 Texel Lifestyle

Pg 12-13 Anniversary Trips

Pg 14-15 Youth Development Programme

Pg 16-19 Science in Practice

Pg 20-21 Vet Outloock

Pg 22 Winter Fairs Roundup

Pg 23 If you want to offer feedback on Society Promotions email office@texel.co.uk 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

John Yates Chief Executive

The Texel social media has been massively successful in assisting members to stay in touch with the society. Our Facebook page has received over 2600 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 900 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! In touch with Texel

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To see the short videos of the Texel breed either SCAN the QR Code above or visit www.youtube.com/TexelSheepSociety More videos will be added during 2014.

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: office@texel.co.uk


society matters

4 Obituaries

The Society was sadly informed of the loss of some dear Members...

Mr David Orrells 1940 - 2013 - Llegodig flock David sadly passed away on Christmas Day after a short illness. In the last few years as the flock has become more well known David has sold at the English and Welsh National Sales with many of the rams being sold to pedigree breeders from all over the UK.

Mr Gordon Brooke - Mershott flock Renowned and respected cattle and sheep breeder - Gordon Brooke, sadly passed away on December 31st 2013. Gordon established the Linton Gilbertines herd of Aberdeen Angus cattle and later the Texel Mershott flock.

Mr Powell Jones - Llanthomas flock It is with great sadness that we were notified of the death of Powell Jones after a long and courageous fight. A lifelong member of the South Wales Texel Club, he was a regular supporter of the NSA Ram Sale and a breeder of top quality rams selling to both pedigree and commercial flocks.

Mr Tom Kellet – Pen Bryn flock Tom Kellet of the Pen Bryn Flock, sadly passed away on January 16 2014. Tom was past chairman of the North Wales Texel Club and a very supportive in all clubs activities and very loyal in all club meetings. Tom regularly sold at club and Welsh National sales. He will be greatly missed by us all. For the full obituaries please scan the QR code with your smart phone or visit ....

http://www.texel.co.uk/thesociety/obituaries.php

Dates for your Diary Royal Show dates 2014 Royal Ulster Show - 14-16 May Judge John McKerrow - Grougfoot Royal Highland Show - 19-22 June Judge Yves Lacroix Great Yorkshire Show - 8-10 July Judge John Mellin - Hullhouse Royal Welsh Show - 21-24 July Judge Charlie Boden - Sportsman’s/Mellor Vale Devon County Show - 22-24 May Judge John North - Loxley

National Sale dates 2014 N.I National - 11-12 August Judge C Warnock - Watchknowe Scottish National - 20-21 August Judge S Smith - Penparc Welsh National - 23 August Judge A Clark - Clarks/Garngour/Teiglum English National - 25-26 August Judge N Hamill - Ballynadrenta

All change at QMS.

NSA Events, Shows & Sales

The Society would like to pass on their best wishes to Kathy Peebles who has now moved on to pastures new following the restructuring of QMS technical team. Kathy has been extremely supportive of the Texel breed and has helped many breeders to gain a better understanding of Performance recording and new technologies. We all wish her the very best for the future.

NSA Scot Sheep Berwickshire Farm of Quixood - 4 June NSA South Sheep Lewes, East Sussex - 28 June NSA Sheep 2014 Malvern - 30 July NSA Early Ram Sale Builth Wells - Judge Deri Morgan Tynewydd - 4th August NSA Wales & Borders Ram Sale Builth Wells - Judge TBC 21st &22nd September

10% discount off our standard rate fees are available to Texel online users from January 1st. A copy of the fees are detailed on the reverse of this bulletin. Previously the 10% discount applied only to Direct Debit members. To qualify for the lowest fees from 2014 members must now make use of our online services. Telephone/paper notifications and registrations will be charged at our standard rate fees. If you need further advice or wish to speak to us regarding your BASCO account please do not hesitate to call the office and choose option 1 or email registration.dept@texel.co.uk.

www.texel.co.uk

V

2014 Birth Notifications start with…

10% discount*

Valiant Ventura Vibe Victorious V.I.P Virtue

Viscount Vitality


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BASCO - Notice of change of Online Service As you may be aware we have offered an online flock book service since 2005. Over the last 12 months we have invested a considerable amount of time and resource into modernising the online experience on your behalf. Many online members have now moved over to our latest service available through Basco. GTX Thin Client is no longer available. We encourage all members that are registered as “Direct Debit” with the Society, to register with the new service, if you have not already done so. Registering is easy, go to www.basco.org and click “login”. Click the link “you can register here!” Use your email address that you have notified to the Society. If you have not informed us of your email address then call us and we will set this up for you. If you have changed email

address then please also let us know so we can update your records to get you started. Once registered, you will be able to manage this simply by yourself, initially you will be sent an activation email. Just click on the relevant part of the email or cut and paste it into your internet browser. Please ensure that you are using the latest version of the browser on your PC or MAC to get the optimum service. Or use your tablet or Ipad for extra convenience. Then just click “activate” and select “login” again to enter your email address and your new password. Guidance notes can be found by going to the Texel website and logging into your members area and selecting the downloads page, ww.texel.co.uk/ downloads.php

SHEEP SOCIETY

40th

Anniversary legacy As part of our legacy programme, the Society website will be re-launched during March. Members will be able to view all of our Society Journals produced in our 40 years history, online through our Issuu account. We know you will enjoy flicking through the pages in this easy to use eBook.

Top

rams

We have a great gallery of photos on our website. Including a recent upload of the Top priced ram lambs from the past 20 years. www.texel.phanfare.com

2014 National Sales -

removal of the “Unsold Deposit” rule.

The popularity of our National sales continues to be high, with all 4 events going from success to success. Members who have entered the National sales in the past will be aware that we have operated an “Unsold Deposit” system. The Board unanimously agreed to remove this system for 2014 and opted for a flat rate entry fee. Further information will be available in the Pre

Entry packs that will be distributed to all members with the Society Journal in May. However for 2014 the entry fee to any of the 4 National sales will be based on a flat rate of £20 + VAT per entry, irrespective of whether the animal is sold or not. This will reduce funds transfers between the members and the society and ease the administration of these popular Sales.

Deveronvale Perfection Sold for 220,000gns in 2009

Sale Statistics for 2013 Northern Ireland Premier Forward

Sold

AV. £

Gimmers

80

46

£686

Ram Lambs

252

176

Shearling Rams

123

105

English National Forward

Sold

AV. £

Gimmers

87

69

£622

£723

Ram Lambs

221

149

£863

£579

Shearling Rams

75

56

£732

Scottish National

Welsh National

Gimmers

82

61

£1,648

Gimmers

81

60

£440

Ram Lambs

491

369

£2,315

Ram Lambs

140

93

£651

Shearling Rams

11

4

£722

Shearling Rams

35

19

£856

Dr Javier Lara Treasurer of the Mexican National Sheep Association,Vet and Breeder (2nd from right) met with the Society in late 2013 to discuss potential for export of Texel genetics to Mexico and support with an inward mission to the NSA Sheep Event 2014. Dr Lara was accompanied by Henry Lewis and a colleague.

British Texel Sheep Society, National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2LG Tel: 024 7669 6629, Fax: 024 7669 6472, Email: office@texel.co.uk


society matters

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Can you afford the risk of your stock failing a Society inspection at a Society sale? Tag your 2014 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.

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

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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

congratulations

Mr R Hulme, Professor Mike Coffey and John Yates, Chief Executive at the informal reception following Professor Coffey’s Inaugural professional lecture “In the age of the genotype, the phenotype is King”.

The Society would like to further congratulate Professor Mike Coffey on achieving the prestigious award and title of “Professor of Informatics” at the Scottish Rural University College (SRUC) and for his support in assisting the Texel Society to develop its successful online database. Mr Hulme is the retired Chairman of BASCO Data Ltd, who helped drive the development of the multi breed system from 2005-2008.

www.texel.co.uk

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This ID should be used to notify to the Society and forms the basis for the Pedigree flockbook identifier.

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Classes at the Nationals Novice classes at our four National Sales will benefit from four new “YDP class trophies” along with sponsorship of a prize fund from the Farmers Guardian for 2014. (More information available in National Sale catalogues later in the year).


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Invitational & Collective Sales Collective female sales across the country over the autumn and winter saw modern Texel females in significant demand, with prices strong at every sale. The Select Seven sale at Lanark was once GGH1202072 - Ettrick - sold for 19,000gns. again the highlight of the sales season, with prices here peaking at 19,000gns.Taking this big money bid was Gordon Gray of the Ettrick flock when he sold his best to Procters Farm, Clitheroe Lancashire. Mr Gray’s sale leader, GGH1202072, is a daughter of the 2011 Scottish National Sale champion Foyle View Superstar and is out of a dam by the noted female breeder Knock Papoose. She sold in-lamb to Llyfni Usain Bolt. At the Christmas Crackers sale at Carlisle prices hit a high of 9000gns.Taking the day’s top call was Aberdeenshire-based breeder Graham Morrison of the Deveronvale flock, with the sale leader, MGV1200302, selling to Melanie Kellet, Northamptonshire.This gimmer, a Tophill Spartacus daughter is out of a dam by Glenside Lieutenant and in-lamb to the noted Strathbogie Terminator, the 2013 Texel sire of the year. The Twilight Sale saw a top price of 6200gns paid by Robin Orr, Dunfermline. Mr Orr’s choice was a gimmer from the Loosebeare flock of the Quick family, Devon.This gimmer, QEL 1201597, is a Hull House Special Brew daughter out of a dam by the noted Summerwood Grand Union, sire of 120,000gns Loosebeare Imp. She sold in-lamb to Mossknowe United. She stood second at Devon County Show this year.

In-Lamb Regional Club Sales 2013/14 Demand for in-lamb Texel females never faltered throughout the autumn and winter, with the series of Club in-lamb sales seeing a strong trade from start to finish up and down the country.The later sales in January arguably enjoyed the pick of the trade. The Scottish Club sale at Lanark featured a brace of flock dispersals to swell the numbers. It was one of these dispersals, the sale of Ian Farquhar’s Insch flock which was the pick of the prices, peaking at 5200gns for a 2011-born ET bred ewe, IIF1100237. From the Club sale there was a bid of 1100gns for a Craig Douglas gimmer from Steven Renwick, XSR1204831. She is by Walston Rambo and out of a dam by Allanfauld Pharoah and sold having run with homebred sire Craig Douglas Uther.This one found a new home with Gordon Gray. Trade at the North West Texel Club’s sale of in-lamb females at Chelford saw prices peak at 2450gns for an in-lamb gimmer. Taking the sale’s top price was an entry from the Sportsmans flock of Messrs Boden and Davies.This Hen Gapel Royal Gold daughter, BGS1200541, is out of a Baltier Panther daughter. She sold inlamb to 42,000gns sire Tullylagan Tonka. She sold to an undisclosed Derbyshire buyer. The Gloucester and Border Counties Club sale at Worcester saw a 96% clearance and a top call of 920gns. Leading the trade at 920gns was an in-lamb gimmer from the Chave family’s Peacehay flock, Somerset.This one, CFP1200127, is a Cennen Magnum daughter out of a dam by Lyonshall King of Clubs and sold in-lamb to Sheeoch Tardis. She was bought by D and S Lovatt, Chipping Norton.

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Christmas Stars invitational sale resulted in a best call of 7000gns paid for a gimmer from the Innes family’s Strathbogie flock.Taking the sale’s best price was IJS 1200089 a Procters Samurai daughter out of a dam by Mossknowe Pudsey and going back to Baltier Imp. This gimmer, in-lamb to 48,000gns sire Strathbogie Untouchable, was bought by E Pugh, Gwynedd. The Northern Stars sale in Northern Ireland topped at 5000gns, with this paid for a Tamnamoney gimmer from Roger Strawbridge. This one SRY12000654 is an ET bred daughter of Clynnog Joe Tex out of a Castlecairn Kennedy dam and in lamb to Oldfield United Star. She sold to Richard Henderson, Ballynahone. The Northern Lights Sale also held in the province drew a top price of 2000gns for a gimmer from Henry Gamble’s Springwell flock. Sale leader, GRS1200289, is a daughter of the noted sire Derryvore Ranger and is out of a dam by Easterseat Minstrel and goes back to Teiglum Iceman.This one, in-lamb to Oberstown Usainbolt, and sold to the Cornerstone flock of the Simpson family. She goes back to the 2013 Balmoral champion on her female side. The Christmas Surprise sale had a catalogued entry of 80 quality Texel in lamb ewes on offer at the annual sale held at Ruthin Livestock Centre.The top price gimmer went to I P Jones of the ‘Llangwm’ Texel flock realising 1,500gns for a daughter of Kelso Picasso, and selling to J Phillips of Corwen. January Gems was the final invitational sale of the season, again in Northern Ireland, with a top price of 2100gns achieved for a gimmer from the Ballyhivistock flock of Messrs Simpson and Calvin.The Sale topper was SCY1200466 sold for 2,100gns.A Hull House Schnapps daughter out of a dam by Redford Ollie and in-lamb to Fairmount Seven O Seven. She sold to the Glengalliagh flock of Moore, Londonderry.

The Northern Area’s Skipton in-lamb gimmers sold to a top of 1600gns twice with both the top priced lots coming from Procters Farm. Leading the trade was the pre-sale champion, PFD1201888, a gimmer by the 50,000gns sire Haddo Ringleader and out of a Callerton Nomad daughter. She sold in-lamb to Scholars Twenty Twelve and joined young breeder William Watson, Hellifield.The other at this money was also from Procters, PFD1201997. Sired by the 12,000gns Sportsman’s Scania, out of a Clynnog Joe Tex daughter and in-lamb to this year’s Lanark champion Tophill Union Jack. She was also bought by William Watson. The Solway & Tyne club sale peaked at 1200gns when Frank Rushton bought a gimmer from the Sportsman’s pen of Charlie Boden, BGS1200592.This Milnbank Special One daughter out of a dam by Castlecairn Nile God and in-lamb to 16,000gns Milnbank Times Square. Shropshire and Borders Club sale at Welshpool enjoyed a solid trade, peaking at 1550gns for a gimmer from the Bennett family’s Plasucha flock.The sale leader, BFE12000056, is a Glenside Ring a Ding daughter out of a dam by Pen Parc Nobleman. She sold in-lamb to Garngour Upperclass. The South Wales Club at Llandovery was a little more reserved with a top call of 620gns paid three times.The Chave family peaked twice at 620gns for their Peacehay Flock with their 3rd prize shearling ewe by Scolton Panther scanned twins to Caebetran Trojan, the buyer was J Evans, Powys.At the same money was another Peacehay shearling by Cennen Magnum and scanned twins to Sheeoch Tardis, going to T C Davison of Ferryhill. And thirdly Paul Quicks’ Loosebeare Flock, 620gns for a Whitehart Spot On sired shearling ewe which sold to J Evans, Powys. Full report available at ... www.texel.co.uk/salesreports

British Texel Sheep Society, National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2LG Tel: 024 7669 6629, Fax: 024 7669 6472, Email: office@texel.co.uk


society matters

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You will all now be very familiar with the rules regarding DNA profiling of ET Donor ewes and 2013 born sires used in ET. Many members may want to ensure there ET lambs are entered into the 2014 national sales. All sheep entered into the sales must be Birth Notified. However, ET Birth Notifications can only be processed online or by the office IF the results of the DNA sampling have been received from the laboratory and published on our flockbook www.basco. org . From time of sampling to issue of results can be up to 6 weeks. To avoid your disappointment please ensure that you have sampled your sheep in good time.

Appeals process NO DNA samples taken – if you have failed to collect a DNA sample and wish to ET Birth Notify, then unfortunately ET birth notifications are not possible without the ET donor and 2013 sire having been DNA profiled.You will need to provide the DNA samples. (note it can take up to 6 weeks before result are published).

Dead animals – If you failed to collect a DNA sample and the animal is now dead, then write to the office stating your reasons. There is no guarantee that your appeal will be upheld.You may be requested to sample more progeny or close relations at your own cost as well as pay for any geneticist time in advising on your individual case.

Implant of Frozen embryos – If you implanted frozen embryos in 2013 and wish to ET birth notify the lambs in 2014. You will need to provide a copy of the ET

team implant certificate along with your written appeal to the office. If the donor ewes are alive you will still be required to collect a DNA sample and submit to the office in the usual manner. If the sire used was a 2013 born sire (and each year thereafter) you will also need to provide a DNA sample from him.

2014 Embryo Transfer rules For those of you that are considering ET in 2014, you are reminded that 2013 AND 2014 born sires along with the donor ewe must be DNA profiled to allow ET Birth Notifications in 2015. You can now check if the sheep have previously been DNA profiled by checking with the Society office or by viewing the Individual Animal Page on our flock book www.basco.org. The page will show if the results are pending (ie the animal has been sampled/awaiting results) or if there is no information published then you should proceed to order the sample kits and/or liaise with the owner of the sheep if you are purchasing embryos/semen. It is your responsibility to ensure that the DNA profile is carried out if you want to submit ET birth Notifications in 2015.

Ordering Kits. When ordering Kits over the phone from the society office you must now advise the animal ID, this will ensure that pre printed bar code labels and ID labels are provided on each nasal tube.You should check carefully that you use the correct ID Nasal tube for each of your animals. Kits can now also be ordered on line. You will now be charged for each kit ordered, irrespective if you return the completed kits to the office.

www.texel.co.uk


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Scrapie Monitored Status - Loss of Status Unfortunately in the last 12 months a number of SMS members have not had their SMS status renewed due to non-compliance issues. Common reasons for loss of SMS status are: • Purchase of Ram from non-SMS flock. If this ram was ARR/ARR prion protein type it would be acceptable to join SMS flock. Breeders should be encouraged to genotype rams for sale as there is a potential market to SMS members. It also reduces the risk of taking a gamble on a purchase which turns out not to be ARR/ ARR. If you have already used him in your flock it is too late.

• Purchase of in-lamb females at non-segregated sales. Sales that include In lamb females (held from September 1st to April 30th) must apply to S&GHS for segregation. As a consequence of non compliance any stock bought at these sales are classed as non-SMS, unless of ARR/ ARR status. Flocks purchasing stock at these sales will lose SMS status as will Flocks taking stock home. There are many sales of in-lamb animals in the late autumn period. Purchasing at these sales jeopardises your flock status, ensure they have been officially approved and segregated by checking with the Auctioneer.

• Purchase of Females from non-SMS flock. If the wish is to buy from non-SMS flocks make sure that purchases are of ARR/ARR genotype.

Northern English Texel breeders keen to assist Society in “DNA discovery” sheep research project. Earlier in 2013 the Society were pleased to be informed that BBSRC, with support from EBLEX, HCC and AgriSearch, approved Prof. Kevin Sinclair, School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham project application which will look at the genetics of traceelement deficiencies in sheep. Whilst the project focuses on commercial sheep production at a bioscience level, the Texel Society were keen to provide support in the application, to assist Prof Sinclair’s team in obtaining samples for genetic analyses. Initial field work started at the Autumn ram sales, with the collection of DNA from 20 unrelated Texel sheep for SNP discovery. Kevin’s team engaged with breeders at the Northern Club’s Skipton Ram sale and using a similar technique used within our own Society Gene-tex programme, used nasal swabs to collect from 20 unrelated Texel sheep (classified as unrelated as they mustn’t have a common grandsire).

With a great start the team are now considering the second objective which involves collecting liver samples from up to 300 Texels being slaughtered at commercial abattoirs around the country. Kevin commented “We had a great day with the breeders, I was greatly impressed with the response we received and appreciate the Societies help. We got all of the nasal samples that we required. We will extract DNA and shortly thereafter commence sequencing. This is Objective 1 which is well underway.” He added “it will take some time to establish results from this study as it is completely novel. Once we identify the SNPs then begin the lengthy process of establishing which have an effect -this is Objective 2. And will be looking forward to working with the Society, as we need to follow Texel lambs or cast ewes down various slaughter lines and harvest liver from each.”

With the aim to obtain a good spread of SNPs in genes that regulate metabolic pathways associated with trace elements. Kevin advised “This first objective is all about discovering which SNPs are present – it doesn’t matter which Texels are sampled, the project isn’t about identifying superior Texel genetics. With the 20 unrelated sires coming from 10+ breeders – again just to help ensure genetic diversity.”

Xbred Lambs

British Texel Sheep Society, National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2LG Tel: 024 7669 6629, Fax: 024 7669 6472, Email: office@texel.co.uk


texel lifestyle

10

Cameron Gauld - Texel Cairnam flock Auchterarder - Perth & Kinross Then in 2011 Cammie got a big break when he was offered the chance to work with Robbie Wilson’s Milnbank flock for the summer. “It was a great opportunity and again I learned a lot. But most of all Robbie offered me the chance to take my payment in genetics, paying me with a brace of older ewes and some semen. “It was one of these Milnbank ewes which bred Cairnam Talisman, my Lanark Sale champion in 2012 which sold for 20,000gns. I’ve been back to work for Robbie for the last two summers, being paid the same way both times.” And while he may have been breeding Texels since 2007 Cammie says he was in no rush to take sheep to a major sale. “I decided early on that I would only take lambs to a major sale when I thought I had something worth taking that would get noticed. “Instead I was happy to sell good commercial tup lambs for sensible money and reinvest in the flock to be able to come out with a good lamb or two when the time was right.”

After a brief flirtation with Blackface breeding young sheep breeder Cammie Gauld chose to focus on Texels with the aim of breeding a sheep which was easily saleable. “With a Texel you’ve always got customers and that makes a big difference to any business,” explains Cammie. “I’ve always liked the breed and while I was a Blackie fan as a young lad I soon realised that it would be hard to make significant headway in the breed with a small flock. The same limitations aren’t there in the Texels. So long as you start with decent sheep you can move on quite quickly. “I started out with 10 non-pedigree Texel ewes just to get a feel for how to manage the breed and learnt a lot from that experience. Once I felt I’d got a good grip on the breed I started investing in a few pedigree ewes, initially buying from the Haddo, Garngour, Duncryne and Knap flocks. “Those ewes were a great foundation and produced some good females which have been retained, with a Claybury ewe added from their reduction sale.”

www.texel.co.uk

Cammie says that like many young breeders he’s received tremendous encouragement and support from a number of other breeders, singling out Robert Cockburn, Kerr Jarvie and Robbie Wilson as three who have helped him develop the flock. “But the most important person who’s helped and encouraged me along the way is my father, Kirk, he’s been the one who has kept me on the right track a lot of the time.”


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#addtexeladdvalue 11

John Trimble - Texel Curley flock Newry - Co Down A focus on good carcasses, tight skins and crucially good legs is where John is focussing the Curley flock’s breeding programme. “I like a stock tup to have a bit of flash to them too as we need them to leave females with a bit of sparkle and style. Most important though is consistency in the breeding flock and that’s been achieved by keeping numbers quite tight and only breeding from the best.” Investment in AI and ET work has paid off for John in recent years, with grandsons of the Hillhead ewe by AI sire Strathbogie Smokey Blue selling for more than 2000gns this year, including a pair at 2100gns at the Northern Irish National Sale, Ballymena.

Young Northern Irish Texel breeder John Trimble says it was the enjoyment he got from helping his uncle and aunt, Murray and Ann Annett, with their Milestonehill flock which drew him to the breed. “I used to help them a lot when I was a young lad and really enjoyed working with the Texels, so in 2000 I started my own small flock.

“The most pleasing thing is seeing Curley breeding performing well for other flocks too,” he explains. “I sold a ewe lamb in 2009 privately to Co Meath, Eire-based breeders Pat and Barry Farrell. This year she bred a ram lamb, Oberstown Usainbolt, at £7500 which was champion at the Irish Premier sale, Blessington, and another, Oberstown Uploader, which sold for £3600.”

“It was the purchase of a Hillhead ewe, WHM03012, at an inlamb sale in 2004 which really set the flock on the right path though.” John says the Hillhead ewe has been an exceptional breeder for the flock, breeding tup lambs to 12,000gns and 7500gns, and leaving females with style, power and carcasses. “She’s just one of those ewes which consistently produces the goods every year and clicks with a wide range of sires. Without a doubt it was that ewe which helped lift the flock to the level it is today,” he explains. Continued improvement in the flock has seen demand for both males and females from the Curley flock grow year after year. “Commercial demand for both shearling rams and ram lambs is good and shearling rams are sold regularly at the club sales each year, with repeat customers coming back for several years. “While the ultimate ambition of most Texel breeders and my own personal goal is to breed a Lanark champion, it is the commercial buyer who is the backbone of the flock’s income and we need to ensure the sheep suit them.”

British Texel Sheep Society, National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2LG Tel: 024 7669 6629, Fax: 024 7669 6472, Email: office@texel.co.uk


anniversary trips

12

amazing adventures New Zealand

10th - 26th November 2014

The British Texel Sheep Society is pleased to invite their members to join them for a trip to New Zealand as part of their 40th Anniversary celebrations. New Zealand has been called the “Paradise of the Pacific” since the early 1800s. This tour, visiting both the North and South Islands will show off the best of New Zealand’s agriculture and diverse scenery in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Take the opportunity to chat with New Zealand farmers, view their farms and enjoy genuine “Kiwi” country hospitality.

Tour Includes:

In addition to meeting Texel breeders, visits will include a range of farming enterprises, beef, dairy, salmon, sheep and cropping. Tour highlights will be a day and a half at their biggest annual agricultural show, an evening BBQ where you will be joined by other Southland breeders and of course the beautiful countryside now used as the setting for many blockbuster movies.

• Technical & touristic visits as mentioned

• Return economy flights from London with Singapore Airlines • 13 night’s hotel accommodation with breakfast • Meals as indicated in full inventory • Private luxury coach transportation and driver (coach size dependent upon final number) • Drivers meals, accommodation and parking fees • NZ Tour guide for duration

Deposit: £350.00 Closing Date: 4th July

Tour Cost: £3245.00 per person Single Supplement £760.00, Airport Taxes £497.75 (s.t.c)

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Switzerland

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#addtexeladdvalue 13

7th - 10th June 2014

The British Texel Sheep Society is pleased to invite their members to join them for a trip to Switzerland as part of their 40th Anniversary celebrations. The tour will be based in the historic town of Interlaken located between two Alpine lakes, Lake Thun and Lake Brieniz. Interlaken has a population of approx 5,700 and the history can be traced back to 1133AD. Today more than 400,000 sheep are grazed on the pastures in Switzerland, grazing on meadows, pastures, highlying alpine pastures and even steep slopes where cattle can no longer graze. The tour will include technical visits to sheep and cattle farms as well as a water buffalo enterprise and the tourist elements will include a chocolate factory, guided tours of Lucerne, mountain trips and of course lots of stunning scenery along the way.

Tour Includes: • Return economy airfare with Helvetic Airways 3 nights hotel accommodation in Interlaken on bed and breakfast basis in 3* hotel. • Meals as indicated in full inventory • Private luxury coach transportation and driver • Driver’s meals, accommodation and parking fees (where relevant) • English speaking guide in Switzerland (Kathrin Buhler) • Guide’s meals and expenses Technical and tourist visits, as mentioned Guided walking tour of Lucerne Tour to Mount Niederhorn including cable car. Deposit: £250.00 Closing Date: 31st March

Tour Cost: £1040.00 per person Single Supplement £120.00, Airport Taxes £116.41 (s.t.c)

Eurotier

11th - 14th November 2014

With 2500 exhibitors and over 150,000 visitors EuroTier continues to attract in abundance. International exhibitors attend from over 50 countries and visitors from more than 100 countries. Without doubt one of the finest indoor livestock events held in Europe, with highly qualified experts in animal husbandry ready to advise and promote their products and services. Hosted at the modern German city of Hanover, evenings away from the event can be spent in the popular tourist sector or shopping at the cosmopolitan malls that are walking distance from the Hotel.

Tour Includes: • Return flights to Hanover from (package prices are subject to variation of flight costs), Manchester Birmingham London Stansted London Heathrow Southampton • 2 nights in a 3* city hotel based on sharing a twin/double room on bed and breakfast basis and entry to the Show.

Deposit: £150.00 Closing Date: 1st September

Tour Cost: from £350.00 per person British Texel Sheep Society, National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2LG Tel: 024 7669 6629, Fax: 024 7669 6472, Email: office@texel.co.uk


youth development

14

Introducing your YDP committee…

Kerr Jarvie Scotland (A)

Anna Minnice-Hughes Wales (D)

Duncan Mellin North England (B)

Adrian Ligget Northern Ireland (E)

A

E B

D C

David Bradley-Farmer South England (C) http://www.texel.co.uk/youngtexels/index.php

Beth Lawrence - Rhiew Flock It was with great pleasure that I attended the biennial Sheep Breeders Round Table Conference with sponsorship from the Texel Society as a young breeder. The conference theme was ‘Turning data into profit’ centring on the use and potential advancement of Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) and genetic evaluation within the sheep industry. Friday started with a Signet update outlining that the Texel breed still makes up the large proportion of lambs scanned at 10,024 last year but other breeds are increasingly utilising the service to enhance their breed. From the premier sales, Signet stated that having a ram within the top 10% of breed EBVs added £360-1,800 per ram over and above an average EBV ram. We discussed the pros and cons of across breed EBV analysis, which is in development but also discussed the different strengths of each breed, some of which wouldn’t be represented by the current EBV measures. We had an interesting talk from Neil Perkins, Farmers Weekly Sheep Farmer of the Year 2012, who discussed the main elements of his sheep enterprise, stating that each ewe should produce her own weight in lamb at weaning and also explained his grassland management strategies for efficiency of production.

John McEwan visiting from New Zealand then went on to discuss genomics, and how they are progressing from EBVs to genomics in selection with the technology now becoming relatively cheap, identifying and utilising genes such as MyoMax. We then debated genomic selection and how its quick identification can allow for rapid genetic gain within the industry and most importantly with confidence. It also allows genetic evaluation of traits that are difficult to quantify such as wool qualities and meat yield. Overall, it was a fantastic weekend where I came away with many ideas and learnt a great deal, which I will be able to utilise myself and pass on to fellow sheep farmers in my job. The key outcomes I learnt is that you must have the right sheep for the right system and that data can only help in your selections, so even minimal data recording such as birth weight, weaning weight or body condition scoring ewes can hugely help the output of a flock. The weekend was also very social and I met many inspirational people and was pleased to meet so many young sheep farmers, most of whom were farming in modern and original ways leading me to believe that young people can succeed with the right initiative. Finally, it was reassuring to see the Texel come out on top in many trials, securing the breeds’ future. SBRT – Full reports available at ...

www.texel.co.uk/youngtexels

Or scan the QR code with your smart phone.

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Robert Pierce - Oldford Flock I was fortunate enough to be nominated by the Shropshire and Borders Texel Club for a scholarship funded by the Texel Society to attend the 2013 Sheep Breeders Round Table held last November. The organisation had its first meeting some 30 years ago with a handful of sheep breeders and scientists sitting down and sharing information and ideas. This year there were over 160 people from all over the world present with 32 speakers across the 3 days, creating an action packed itinerary. The title of the biennial conference was ‘transforming data into profit’. I have been performance recording for two years now and felt I had got very little out of the recording process so far so I was interested to see what I could learn at the conference. The first seminar gave me plenty of information to digest as we heard about terminal sire evaluations and the potential for across breed analysis in the future. The amount of data, facts, figures and general insight into the future developments within the industry was staggering. Discussions moved from signet recording of rams to the use of genomic selection within the sheep industry and the potential benefits this could bring. This included assessing potential future shifts in trait emphasis as the industry as whole moves from maternal ewes grazing upland pastures to producing high value meat with less inputs including labour and concentrate feeds. Genomics could be a revolutionary breeding tool for both the sheep and industry and the Texel breed if used correctly. I felt

Sam Palmer - Ninevh Flock I was going into the weekend with a negative attitude regarding figures and performance recording of sheep, however after talking to some big commercial sheep breeders and company representatives from Eblex and Signet, it is something I can move towards with my pedigree flock. As a dairy farmer myself, I know all about running your business as efficiently as possible and with the sheep industry being around 30 years behind the dairy industry at the moment, I really do admire the hard work that companies like Eblex and Signet are doing to push the sheep sector forward, it just has to take more of us sheep breeders to jump onto the scheme. I also have learned, and found very interesting, that the global market is rapidly growing. Countries like Hong Kong, China, Brazil, Russia and our trade neighbours India, are increasing their imports of lamb. However I learned that this mainly comprises of New Zealand and Australian lamb. But it does offer a massive potential to the UK sheep sector. I feel after this conference that we really do need to take a leaf from our kiwi friends and establish ourselves a lot more on the world market; we really do need to promote and market our lamb a lot more commercially. It is good to know that as a young farmer myself, there is light at the end of the tunnel and there does hold a future in the sheep sector.

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#addtexeladdvalue 15

though there is a risk the industry is trying to ‘run before it can walk’. Currently only 11% of the rams in the national flock are performance recorded; with 6% of commercial lamb producers claiming to only buy a performance recorded ram and 70% claiming to never buy one, should the industry not be focussing on getting more commercial producers to use performance recorded ram before thinking of progressing onto genomics? The sheep industry is approximately 60 years behind the pig and poultry industry, and 30 years behind the dairy industry in terms of sire analysis. Whilst it is important that the sheep industry moves at a rapid pace lessons should be learnt from some of the catastrophic mistakes these industries have made in terms of sire analysis and selecting the wrong characteristics to breed for. Greater and faster progress can be made from learning from others mistakes. Attending the conference has given me confidence in developing the Oldford flock further in the future whilst giving me an insight and understanding into potential future developments within the sheep industry as a whole. The conference has been a very worthwhile learning experience that I am sure will be useful for years to come. I would like to firstly thank the Shropshire and Borders Texel Club for nominating me for this award and secondly the Texel Society and their YDP in providing the scholarship and investing in the future of the society and its breeders.

There was a debate about genomics and how we should push towards this approach more in the UK, I listened in detail to the positives and the impacts it has had in New Zealand. However I’m not convinced, I felt that we can go too far and as a pedigree breeder we would not benefit in the long run, it would follow the pig and poultry sectors and instead of talking about breeds and breed selections we would be talking about strains of sheep, it would involve the whole of the UK using 1 to 3 strains of sheep and personally I thought this would not benefit me. I have learned that we need to be more self efficient and more cost effective, and not too be scared of running different systems to maximise our production. I have met many interesting people from throughout the UK and the world; I have spoken to scientists from universities, abattoir owners and farmers and have learned a great deal. I would like to thank the Texel society for this opportunity.

Rob Pierce,Beth Lawrence & Sam Palmer

British Texel Sheep Society, National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2LG Tel: 024 7669 6629, Fax: 024 7669 6472, Email: office@texel.co.uk


science in practice

16

Changes to the presentation of fat depth on Texel breeding charts One of the most useful features of the BASCO web search is the ability for breeders and ram buyers to print off breeding charts for animals of interest. Breeding charts show the relative superiority or inferiority of Texel rams for genetic traits of economic merit. The presentation of information in this manner is well received by industry. One area of constant debate is the orientation of the Fat Depth EBV on these charts. Leaner animals have traditionally been reported as above average or “superior”. Farmers recognise that in practice they require livestock with an optimum level of fatness. This optimum will vary with ewe breed and farming system. For this reason they are encouraged to refine ram selection decisions using the Fat Depth EBV to ensure lambs have the optimum amount of carcase fat at the point of slaughter. In the Texel breed, breeders and buyers of high genetic merit stock are seeking slightly more positive Fat Depth EBVs. This helps to avoid the problems sometimes associated with excessively lean breeding lines used in low input systems, which can produce lambs that are harder to finish at the right carcase weights. At a breed level this issue has already been addressed within the Texel breeding index.

Old Presentation Above Average

EBV

Acc

Litter Size

-0.07

44

Mat’ Ability

1.48

38

3.14

67

Maternal Ind.

5.95

68

Carcase Ind.

Scan Wt.

This year Signet will change the orientation of the Fat Depth EBVs (and the CT Fat Weight EBVs) published on breeding charts. Producers see this change as logical – with “more fat” being presented on the same side of the chart as “more growth”, “more muscle” and “more milk”. The breed benchmark will also change, but breeding indexes are unaffected by this change.

The opportunity for the Texel breed Despite these changes the problems associated with the production of over fat lambs must remain at the forefront of producer’s minds; 23% of GB lambs are currently outside industry requirements for carcase fat classification. However, the use of high EBV Texel rams with the right genes for growth, muscling and fatness can have a massive impact on the ability of commercial producers to hit market specifications and optimise their returns.

New Presentation

Below Average

8 Week Wt.

It is worth reminding Texel breeders that extra care must also be taken when developing maternal breeding lines (or protecting those in a purebred Texel flock), as some research in cattle and sheep has indicated that genetically leaner breeding lines may express lower levels of reproductive performance under certain conditions.

Below Average

EBV

Acc

Muscle Dpt.

1.40

71

Fat Dpt.

1.46

73

249

46

8 Week Wt.

217

66

Scan Wt.

+

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Above Average

EBV

Acc

EBV

Acc

Litter Size

-0.07

44

Mat’ Ability

1.48

38

Muscle Dpt.

1.40

71

Fat Dpt.

1.46

73

3.14

67

Maternal Ind.

249

46

5.95

68

Carcase Ind.

217

66

+


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#addtexeladdvalue 17

The importance of weighing Texel lambs at 8 weeks of age One of the most useful measurements that can be recorded for a lamb is their 8 week weight. This adjusted weight is usually calculated from a weight taken between 6 and 12 weeks of age. The 8 week weight tells us about many things, including the:• genetic potential of the lamb (and its parents) for growth to 8 weeks of age • genetic potential of the ewe that reared it for milk production and maternal care • environment in which it was reared (how well it was fed and managed) The genes influencing growth to 8 weeks of age also have positive associations with scan weight (growth to 21 weeks of age), muscle depth and mature size – so one measurement can explain a great deal about the genetic potential of the lamb (and its relatives).

Getting the best out of 8 week weights Breeding evaluations are relatively risk averse, depending on good quality data to identify animals that are truly genetically superior. There are a number of things a breeder can do to obtain the “best” or most accurate EBVs when collecting 8 week weights for their flock. 1. Try to treat all of the lambs the same Avoid the accidental introduction of non-genetic bias into the analysis. Maintaining a tight lambing period will help. Lambs should be given the same opportunities with regard to creep feeding and time spent at pasture. 2. Check your weighscales Place a 25kg bag of feed onto the scales to calibrate them. 3. Weigh in range (6 to 12 weeks of age) Every year hundreds of Texel lambs are weighed at the wrong time and the weights are not used in the analysis. This is major missed opportunity to add value to our whole breed evaluations!

If lambs are weighed too late – data is lost on some of the oldest and often most important lambs. If the youngest lambs are weighed too early – all is not lost and these can be weighed again, but often this data doesn’t get collected. Lambs must be weighed after they are 6 weeks of age - but before they are 12 weeks of age. The latest weigh date for the oldest lambs in the flock is shown here. Birth Date

Weigh Before

01/02/2014

26/04/2014

15/02/2014

10/05/2014

01/03/2014

24/05/2014

15/03/2014

07/06/2014

01/04/2014

24/06/2014

If the flock is lambed in two groups or has a long protracted lambing then weigh the flock more than once. A second weight can be held on our database for lambs that are re-weighed. 4. Weigh them all – with the odd exception The more records that are available the more accurate the predictions that can be made; this is particularly true for siblings. However – if a lamb has had a severe check in performance due to a non-genetic influence (perhaps a broken leg) then it makes sense to avoid creating bias in the analysis. The exclusion of this record would be appropriate. 5. Large contemporary groups help The analysis is risk averse and is less likely to attribute high EBVs to a very heavy lamb in a group of four relative to one in a group of forty. Try and weigh big groups of lambs – even if many are destined for slaughter. Whether you record through Signet or not; get into the habit of weighing your lamb crop. These weights (and the EBVs produced from them) are a really informative aid to the selection and marketing of breeding stock.

British Texel Sheep Society, National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2LG Tel: 024 7669 6629, Fax: 024 7669 6472, Email: office@texel.co.uk


18

science in practice

Mastitis in Ewes At the University of Warwick we have been studying factors linked to clinical mastitis, teat lesions and bacterial infection in the udder. Mastitis is typically caused by bacterial infection. Most ewes udders are infected but only a proportion develop clinical mastitis. A recent survey suggests that commercial sheep farmers observe 0 – 5% cases of mastitis in their ewes each year, with some farmers reporting over 20% of ewes affected. When ewes with chronic mastitis (swellings in the udder) are added to those with clinical mastitis approximately 10% of the national flock are culled or die from mastitis each year; this is a huge cost to the industry. In addition, ewes carrying bacterial infection in their udder with no signs of disease have lower milk yields and lambs grow more slowly. We have a long way to go but here are some suggestions that might help you to minimize spread of bacteria and prevent clinical cases of mastitis. If you do not have a problem with mastitis, don’t change anything!

Ewe nutrition To minimize damage to the udder from lambs ensure that ewes produce good quality milk of sufficient volume to prevent lambs butting the udder. Many ewes have abscesses in the udder and we think that lambs can disturb these when they repeatedly butt the udder. • Keep body condition good (3 – 3.5) and maintain nutrition throughout pregnancy and the first 6 weeks of lactation. • This is a challenge because of lambing ease and there is no easy answer, each flock will have to consider how to balance lambing ease and ewe nutrition, consider creep feeding lambs • Peak milk demand is 3 – 4 weeks after lambing, ensure ewes have a good diet from lambing until after this stage and if necessary creep feed lambs

Hygiene The bacteria that cause mastitis come from the skin of ewes and the environment. They can spread from ewe to ewe by lambs cross suckling, by humans handling the udder and by milk contaminating the environment. To reduce this risk • Separate ewes together with their lambs (creep feed if necessary) as soon as you detect that they have mastitis • Use gloves or wash hands after each lambing • Wash hands before checking the udder of each ewe (including immediately after lambing) and catch all milk that you check, do not let it go onto bedding • Wear clean overalls and clean boots and wash each day • Keep the bedding dry – add more bedding daily • Consider lime / disinfectant powder on bedding to reduce bacterial contamination • Clean and disinfect / lime lambing pens between ewes First time lambing ewes For many farmers these ewes are most at risk of mastitis. The ewes are still growing and the udder is still developing during lactation. As a consequence they produce less milk and let it down more slowly than ewes that

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have lambed before, so the risk of teat lesions and butting of the udder is high • keep first time lambing ewes in a separate group • to ensure they can be fed extra food and are not competing with older ewes • to prevent infection from older ewes spreading to first time lambers which will occur of lambs cross suckle • consider letting these ewes rear only one lamb to reduce demand on the udder

Mature ewes • rear two lambs maximum, again to reduce demand on the udder • check Maedi Visna status of the flock Selection of replacement ewes Mastitis and udder shape are heritable. Repeatedly breeding from ewes with mastitis will increase the susceptibility of daughters to mastitis. Good udder and teat shape will maximise milk production, maximise accessibility for the lambs and so decrease physical damage caused by lambs • Select ewes from mothers with good udder and teat conformation, no history mastitis • Buy in rams and ewes with no familial history of mastitis • Consider culling ewes after 5th / 6th lactation (if not, their lambs will need creep feed) • Milk production decreased • Growth of lambs decreased • Infection in udder high

Texel Society linked research at Warwick We have several Texel breeders working with us at Warwick, we are investigating the heritability of mastitis and udder conformation in 1000 ewes and will provide the society with information on how heritable mastitis and udder conformation are in your breed and whether it would be of value to select against these traits and, if so, how this might be done. We would like to work with Texel farmers in future with a joint funded PhD student to investigate the specific management risks for mastitis in Texel flocks so that we can provide breed specific advice. If you are interested in participating in such a project (likely start date autumn 2015) please let us know. You can contact Laura Green laura.green@warwick.ac.uk telephone 024 765 23797.


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#addtexeladdvalue 19

Exciting new CT Scanning project kicks off at SRUC with support from Texel breeders. Simultaneous selection for reduced waste and increased lean meat yield in Texelsired slaughter lambs. A one-generation selection  trial using Texel sires at SRUC aims  to prove the value of a simple CT (computed tomography) based selection trait (muscle weight / live weight), which will act like an index aimed at increasing lean meat yield and reducing waste at the same time. This trait is very similar to lean meat yield percentage ( LMY%) that the pig industry pays on, but is also expected to reduce  carcass waste in the abattoir. • From over 200 CT-scanned rams in 2013, 7 high and 7 low rams were selected, based on their own values for this trait, and were each mated in November 2013 to 15 Mule ewes. • About 95% of the 210 Mule ewes are in lamb. The  resulting lambs will be followed through rearing, CTscanned, and 30 days later slaughtered in an abattoir with electronic traceability to allow individual carcass feedback. This new selection trait has moderate heritability (h2 = 0.38)  and offspring of the high sires are expected to have approximately 0.6 kg more meat (deboned).  This equates to  a value of about £8 more per lamb, assuming £13.3/kg as an average national retail price.

CT Scanning

It is of note that the “low rams” are not low value rams, they had been selected to be CT scanned by their owners, indicating that they have potential as breeding stock. This trial will demonstrate the effects of genetics, the usefulness of CT and will also be another good example of a fruitful collaboration between Texel breeders and SRUC.

British Texel Sheep Society, National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2LG Tel: 024 7669 6629, Fax: 024 7669 6472, Email: office@texel.co.uk


20

veterinary outlook

Lambs and worms: focus on Nematodirus susceptibility of grazing lambs at that time. Early born lambs which are housed for a couple of months may miss the worst of the problem as it is thought that lambs become ageimmune from around 3 months old. However, in a very cold spring, hatching is delayed and when turned out, early lambs may be grazing just as the bulk of hatching is occurring. Later born February and March lambs are potentially at greater risk. Nematodirus risks for different areas, relating to weather conditions and disease surveillance can be accessed via the NADIS website www.nadis.org.uk and are well published in the farmer’s press each year during the spring period. Diagnosis of nematodirus is based on clinical signs of scour, weight loss and death in lambs approx. 5-12 weeks of age which are grazing pasture used by lambs in the previous year, and also by taking into account the time of year and the local disease risk forecast. The diagnosis is supported by looking at faecal samples and identifying the presence of Nematodirus eggs. Counts as little as 150epg may be significant for clinical disease and the absence of eggs does not rule out a diagnosis of nematodirosis because disease can occur prior to the adult worm developing the lamb.

Kath Dun - BVM&S, Cert SHP, MRCVS Currently working in mixed practice with the Merlin Vet Group, Kelso, in the Scottish Borders. Nematodirosis is that very important production limiting disease which traditionally affects lambs aged 1-3 months old at pasture, especially during the late spring/early summer. Clinical signs are characterised by sudden onset of profuse and watery diarrhoea, lethargy, abdominal pain, rapid weight loss, dehydration and sudden deaths. Lambs may show typical “tucked-up belly” appearance and if the infection is left untreated, losses can be high. Where weather and pasture conditions lead to overcrowding and unsanitary conditions, nematodirus must be differentiated from acute coccidiosis, although the two conditions may be present concurrently. The life cycle of the parasite Nematodirus battus is unusual and unique. Within the parasite egg, infective larvae develop which are able to survive freezing conditions on pasture over the winter months. Hatching and release of these larvae usually happens only after a period of cold followed by average daily temperatures of greater than 10°C over a period of days. In the UK these conditions usually occur in May/ June, depending on the type of spring, and the infective larvae will appear on the pasture in huge numbers at this time. The life cycle of nematodirus does not involve adult sheep, only lambs, (and dairy calves) so accumulation of pasture contamination can take place over several years especially where lambs are grazed on the same fields year after year. The level of infection sustained by lambs very much depends on the simultaneous hatching of larvae and the

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Control of nematodirus can be reasonably effective if the practice of grazing lambs on the same pasture in consecutive years can be avoided. This is despite the fact that eggs can survive on the ground for up to two years, and that young dairy calves can harbour nematodirus in high numbers and contribute to pasture contamination. However on the majority of sheep farms this strategy is not feasible, so there must be some reliance on appropriate worm treatment used at the most effective time in the spring. Nematodirus is susceptible to most of the modern anthelmintics with the exception of injectable moxidectin. Oral moxidectin has no persistance against Nematodirus, so during high risk years two or three anthelmintic treatments may be required at 3-4 week intervals during May and June. During recent years, a different pattern of nematodirosis has emerged, with outbreaks in older lambs occurring well into the summer and even autumn: much later than previously seen. This may be because the temperature dependant hatching pattern of the worm may be changing or it may be that a sub species of the same worm has developed. Another possibility is that the eggs which are being deposited by lambs earlier in the spring are causing infectivity to later born lambs. Take home message: the timing of anthelmintic treatments is crucial in minimising the impact of this potentially devastating disease so speak your vet for guidance on your current local situation.


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OPA- where are we now? Ovine Pulmonary Adenomatosis (also known as sheep pulmonary adenomatosis (SPA), Jaagsiekte, Driving Sickness) is a chronic and untreatable viral condition in sheep which involves the development of tumorous tissue in the lungs. Clinical signs of the disease include inability to keep up with the flock, increased respiratory effort and loss of body condition. Copious fluid can come down the nostrils in the later stages of the disease. Incubation in naturally infected sheep is long, with clinical disease usually seen in 3-4 year old animals. Invariably fatal, the problem we have with this disease is the difficulty in being able to accurately diagnose the condition in the live sheep – currently there are no satisfactory screening tests which would allow us to pick up infected ewes in the early stages and eliminate them from the flock, thus reducing transmission rates. Diagnosis of OPA is confirmed at post mortem findings. A synergistic effect involving Maedi-visna vrus and OPA has been noted, but not proven, so control measures should involve excluding entry of both virus conditions from the flock. De-stocking is the only practical solution when both infections exist in the flock. The true extent of this disease in the UK flock is not known, however research is ongoing at the Moredun Institute. In conjunction with the SRUC a project has been set up to monitor the incidence of SPA in cull ewes at an abattoir near Birmingham which handles up to 10,000 cull ewes annually from across the UK. This may give a better idea of the current prevalence of the condition and keep funding available to push for better diagnostics for this disease.

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#addtexeladdvalue 21

Feeding pedigree lambs…a fine balance? Generous concentrate feeding of January born lambs may get the growths and weights as required, but there are other issues which have to be considered. Cases of urolithiasis (gravel) are often unresolvable when they occur, leading to euthanasia of individual lambs on welfare grounds. Blockage of the urethra with a sludge of calcium, magnesium, ammonium and phosphate solutes which precipitates from urine usually happens on imbalanced high concentrate diets. Irreversible damage to the kidneys can result, even when blockages are resolved. A balanced concentrate diet should be introduced gradually and not overfed - adequate good roughage and plenty fresh water should always be offered. Acidification of the urine reduces the likliehood of sludge formation so addition of ammonium chloride to the diet can be useful in some flocks. Pushing ram lambs hard in the early days can lead to over fat animals, bilateral testicular degeneration, and a reduction in sperm numbers – it is not unusual for some of these animals to leave few progeny when they are first used for breeding. Often these animals recover for the following mating season and go on to breed successfully, however some may not recover back to full potential for testicular size and good sperm production….. Take home message: try to strike the balance with concentrate feeding of lambs, especially ram lambs. Read the Eblex “Fit for Purpose Rams” document which highlights lots of good advice – also discuss with your vet.

The Society would like to thank Kath Dun for her veterinary features

British Texel Sheep Society, National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2LG Tel: 024 7669 6629, Fax: 024 7669 6472, Email: office@texel.co.uk


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winter fair roundup

Primestock Shows 2013 Lambs by Texel sires enjoyed an array of show success at the major winter primestock shows at the latter end of 2013, including picking up several live and carcass championships. Quite possibly the highlight came when Herefordshire-based Dutch Texel breeder Robin Slade completed a memorable double at the East of England Smithfield Festival, Peterborough, scooping the lamb carcass championship and reserve championship. His champion, a homebred Dutch Texel, killed out at 22kg achieving an E3L classification. Sired by a homebred tup from Robin’s Dutch Texel Weekfield flock, this lamb weighed 38kg alive. A very similar pure-bred Dutch Texel gained his reserve card which again graded at E3L and weighed 22.5kg. Texel lambs also won the event’s Continental purebred championship, with this award won by a pair of Texels from David and Linda Wadland, with a pair of Dutch Texels from Robin Slade standing reserve. And Mr Slade also enjoyed success at the English Winter Fair, Stafford, with a pair of purebred Texels picking up the reserve supreme championship under judge Paul Slater, Macclesfield. Mr Slater said the lambs, both by homebred sires, were exactly what the modern retail and export trade was looking for, being 41kg apiece and evenly fleshed throughout. Mr Slade was also on form in the event’s live/dead competition, picking up his 14th live/dead championship at the show. Reserve in the live/dead went to fellow Texel exhibitors, the Windsor family, Carmarthenshire. And not to be outdone were the Derbyshire-based Ritter family who collected the supreme championship in the carcass competition with a Texel cross lamb which graded E3 and weighed 24.3kg on the hook. David and Linda Wadland, also flew the flag for the breed, picking up the

purebred championship with a pair of Texel lambs sired by a Slapton tup bred by Barbara Smith, Northants. North of the border at the Scottish National Winter Fair, Ingliston, the Whiteford family made a successful return to the showring, taking the supreme sheep championship with their Texel sired pair.

second went to Robin Slade’s pair at 93.5kg. Messrs Windsor’s 79.5kg pair stood third.

The Whitefords’ winners were a pair of lambs which tipped the scales at 46.5kg apiece and came through as winners of the butchers weight section before being tapped out as overall champions by judge John Campbell, Alnwick.

Taking top honours in the lightweight class for lambs under 40kg were a pair of 38.5kg lambs from Herefordshirebased Robin Slade and by a homebred sire. Second in this class were a pair from local exhibitors John Hall and family weighing 35.5kg and in third was Antony Thompson, Lancashire, with his pair tipping the scales at 36.75kg apiece.

This pair are sired by the 5000gns tup Procters Rambo bought from the Solway and Tyne sale in 2011. This was the Whiteford family’s first trip to the event since their last win there in 2005. Taking the lightweight Texel class in the butchers weight lambs were a pair from John Hall and family, with the Halls also taking second in the heavyweight class behind the overall champions. And across Offah’s Dyke at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair Texel lambs took the reserve overall championship in the form of a pair of Dutch Texel sired lambs from John Hall and family, Cumbria. The Hall family, took the reserve overall live lamb championship with a 95.5kg pair of lambs which came through as winners of the purebred Continental section before being tapped out as reserve overall winners. Prominent primestock showman Robin Slade also enjoyed success in the live lamb classes, taking the reserve spot in the Butchers’ weight second with a 78kg pair of pure Dutch Texels from his flock of 400 ewes. And Mr Slade backed this success up by taking the overall championship in the pairs carcass competition. Again purebred Dutch Texels, these carcasses both graded E3L. They weighed 20kg and 22kg dead and 37kg each live. In the Texel class in the purebred Continental section John Hall’s reserve overall champions won the class, while

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At Agri-Expo, Carlisle, honours were evenly split between Robin Slade and David and Linda Wadland, with Robin winning the lightweight class and the Wadlands the heavy weight class.

Then in the heavier lamb class for those over 40.1kg the winners were a pair weighing 45.6kg each from the David and Linda Wadland, Northamptonshire, with this pair sneaking ahead of another pair from Robin Slade which weighed 43.25kg each. Third in this class went to J and W Kennedy, with their pair weighing 53.75kg each. Texel genetics were also to the fore in the championship for crossbred lambs bred from hill ewes. Winning this championship were a pair of 50kg Texel x South Country Cheviot lambs from Langholm-based Neil and Elliot Cavers, with another pair of 47.25kg Texel crosses reserve for Messrs Owen Brothers, Glan Conwy.


society fees 2014

23

This Notice supersedes all previous notices of costs and overrides any printed material which you may have in your possession. All fees take effect from January 1st 2014

10% disco online unt

2014 Male and Female Birth Notifications 1st Jan 15th April in Year of Birth

16th April 15th June in Year of Birth

NEW FEES

16th June 31st Dec in year of Birth

1st January following year of Birth Onwards

Method

Online

Paper

Online

Paper

Online

Paper

Online

Paper

Cheque/DD

£1.60

£1.76

£1.80

£1.98

£10.00

£11.00

£100

£110

(£1.92 Inc VAT)

(£2.11 Inc VAT)

(£2.16 Inc VAT)

(£2.38 Inc VAT)

(£12.00 Inc VAT)

(£13.20 Inc VAT)

(£120 Inc VAT)

(£132 Inc VAT)

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

16th June YOB - 31st October in year following YOB

Method

Online

Tel/Paper

Online

Tel/Paper

Cheque/DD

£5.25

£5.78

£5.70

£6.27

(£6.30 Inc VAT)

(£6.94 Inc VAT)

(£6.84 Inc VAT)

(£7.52 Inc VAT)

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

Online

Tel/Paper

Cheque/DD

£26.25

£28.88

(£31.50 Inc VAT)

(£34.66 Inc VAT)

Terms of Membership (Please note new members Adult fees will now only be accepted by Direct Debit payment) Adult Joining Fee - £60.00 (Inc VAT) Payable now Annual Subscription fee - £54.21 (Inc VAT) Payable now Junior (up to age 21) Joining Fee - Free Annual Subscription fee - £27.11 (inc VAT) Payable now

1st November year following YOB onwards

Online

Tel/Paper

£8.50

£9.35

(£10.20 Inc VAT)

(£11.22 Inc VAT)

Transfers (only fully registered sheep can be transferred) Method

Online**

Tel/Paper

Cheque/DD

£10.00

£11.00

(£12.00 Inc VAT)

(£13.20 Inc VAT)

Submit your flock data online and save 10% (applies only to notifications/registrations) when compared to Tel/Paper fees. (Not including Membership & Subscription fees) The VAT Inclusive prices include VAT at 20% and may be adjusted at any time. * For purchased rams that require male registration, the Society requires “proof of purchase” in the form of a “ram docket” or a copy of the” invoice of sale”. ** Available late 2014.

British Texel Sheep Society, National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2LG Tel: 024 7669 6629, Fax: 024 7669 6472, Email: office@texel.co.uk


In touch with Texel

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Texel Sheep Society 2014 March Bulletin  
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