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TEXEL The bulletin for all

Breeders A Texel Society Publication

MARCH 2016

Young Breeders

Get prepared for Show Season

Flock Feature

Standing the test of time Midlock Texels

Special Report

Q&A with Keith Jamieson Annan Flock

Expert advice on managing diseases

In Touch with Texel #addtexeladdvalue

The TEXEL Shop Body Warmer Padded £24

Result Extreme Fleece £25

Two Tone Fleece in black/grey £36

Polo Shirt Black £12

Polo Shirt Heather Grey £12

Polo Shirt Raspberry £12

Texel Beanie Grey or Red £5

Baseball Cap £5

Body Warmer Soft Shell £33.60

Texel Mug £6

Trailer Sticker A2 £5 or A3 £4

Society Back Pack Bag £1.20

To order your Texel merchandise please visit or call us on 024 7669 6629 Navy Texel Tie £15


Spring 2016

Society Umbrella £15

TEXEL Breeders Bulletin

Texel Bulletin is published by the Texel Sheep Society Ltd twice a year in March and November. Whilst 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. Membership Subscriptions are available by contacting the Society Office Advertising and content inclusion contact Gil Burton Society Governance Chief Executive John Yates Chairman David McKerrow Nochnary flock Vice Chairman Steve Richardson Stonebridge flock Treasurer Graeme Knox Haddo flock Photography C MacGregor Robert Smith Alfie Shaw British Texel Sheep Society, Unit 74 - 4th Street, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2LG

Tel: 024 7669 6629 Fax: 024 7669 6472 Email:

Midlock Ewes

Pedigree Texel …ADDING VALUE on an increasing trend


ur spring bulletin provides a selection of top tips and reports from the buoyant females sales, that seemed to offer an everlasting stream of high value females over the late autumn. As ever the climate provided extra challenges to livestock breeders on the back of a tough commercial trading year. Our thoughts are with those families caught up in the disruptive and devastating floods across some regions. Unpredictable and volatile commercial trading, matched with whatever the weather can throw at us, seems to drive more commercial producers towards our breed. Attracted to its versatility and valuable commercial traits, that adds value across the many production systems used in UK sheep farming. The Society is sensitive to the needs of the commercial producer and continues to invest in R&D of our breed on behalf of our membership. We continue to collaborate with leading scientists in the development of new breeding tools and hope you enjoy reading our supplement publication “Texel-Genomics of disease resistance”. We have also commissioned a new independent economic impact study “modelling the benefits of British Texel genetics on UK sheep industry” carried out by the world renowned New Zealand geneticists & farm business management company, AbacusBio. This report will support the Society in developing new initiatives, support research applications and provide valuable knowledge exchange about our breed.

Texel maternal and terminal Index trends approximately doubled between 1995-1999 and 2010-2014 in recorded flocks, and more than doubled in non recorded flocks. The absolute rate of genetic gain in recorded flocks remains higher than that of non recorded flocks. An increasing trend is apparent in the use of Texel rams from pedigree registered flocks, as opposed to Texel rams from commercial flocks. In 2015 an estimated 48% of Texel rams used, were from pedigree registered flocks, while in 1996 this figure was 29%. Historical financial benefits of genetic improvements from the use of the Texel breed have been significant. Amounting to £197 million, or £4.8 million annually between 1996 - 2005. Future financial benefits of genetic improvements from the use of the Texel breed are predicted to be significant. Amounting to £23.1 million annually between 2016 - 2035. The Society continues to have an eye to the future, developing affordable initiatives and will continue to develop affordable initiatives to drive added value, at both the members service provision and breed development level.

John John Yates Chief Executive

TEXEL Dedicated breeder received The bulletin for all

Breeders A Texel Society Publication

MARCH 2016

President Award

Young Breeders

In touch with Texel @BritishTexel #addtexeladdvalue

Get prepared for Show Season

Flock Feature

Standing the test of time Midlock Texels

Special Report

Q&A with Keith Jamieson Annan Flock

Expert advice on managing diseases

In Touch with Texel #addtexeladdvalue

Front cover shows Keith Jamieson - Annan Texels receiving the Presidents award 2013 - 2015 from Henry Gamble in recognition of his contribution to the Texel Breed

Spring 2016


March 2016 8

Society raises over £6000 for Youth Cancer Trust



“Hole in one” for successful AGM social weekend!

Commercial focus for the Wight family’s Midlock enterprise

NEWS 6. Upgrades to Builth sales 6. Changes to Birth Notification deadlines 7. Show receptions 2016

LIFESTYLE 12. Karen & Allan Wight discuss their successes with the Texel breed

SALES 16. Invitational sales report 16. Regional Club In-Lamb sales

14. Q & A with master breeder Keith Jamieson - Annan Flock

17. Updates for the forthcoming National Sales

7. Keeping accurate flock records 8. Supporting Youth Cancer Trust 23. Society fees


Spring 2016

14 -15

Q & A with Keith Jamieson



Top Tips from our Young breeders

YOUTH FOCUS 18. Young Handlers at Royal Shows


National Sales updates

Texel winning poster

TECHNICAL CORNER 11. Special publication on “Genomics of disease resistance”

18. Top Tips for showing

VET OUTLOOK 20. Kath Dun, Galedin Vets offers Veterinary advice on sheep health topics

11. Embryo transfer in young donors 19. Young Breeders attend the Sheep Breeders Round Table

22. Ram Compare

Spring 2016


News Society Matters

NSA Main Ram Sale - Builth Wells Once again Texels were in demand at the Main NSA Ram Sale, September 2015, with shearling rams achieving an impressive 89% clearance, 78% of ram lambs forward being sold and a top price of 6800gns. In response to feedback received from Members, The Society is working with Clee, Tompkinson & Francis (C,T&F) and the NSA Ram sale committee on a number of improvements being introduced to enhance the experience for both vendors and purchasers, these include... • •

Unique bidding numbers with Clee, Tompkinson & Francis More C,T&F staff settling accounts at the end of the sale

Further plans are being discussed and will be in place at the event. We look forward to seeing you at the Early and Main Shows and Sales on the 1st August and 18th - 19th September.

Society Matters

Compulsory DNA profiling 2016 ET birth notifications are prohibited unless the donor ewe (any age) and sire (born 2013 onwards) used in the ET programme is DNA profiled. Please contact the office for your DNA kit. DNA profiles are charged at £27 including VAT. Results can take up to 6 weeks.

Society Matters

Lambing Books and Ram docket books are available on request, just give us a call at 02476 696629 or email Society Matters

Online survey winner Texel Member John Douglas of the Airies Flock was the lucky winner pulled from the hat of returned online surveys. John has won £100 worth of Texel Birth Notifications/ Registrations. The Society would like to thank John and all Members that took part in the survey for their support. The Survey was open to all members using our online service and will form part of a wider survey later this year that will assist in developing future breeding strategies and Texel knowledge exchange programmes.

Society Matters

Show receptions 2016 Members and Friends are cordially invited to join the Society at the following Show Receptions Balmoral - Wednesday 11th - following Judging (approx midday) - Texel marquee Royal Highland - Friday June 24th - Time and location to be confirmed Great Yorkshire - Tuesday July 12th - 5.30pm - Buffet ticket required - Texel marquee

Obituary The Society was sadly informed of the loss of some dear Members and Friends Mr John McKerrow - Grougfoot Texels - 18th November 2015 Mr J McCall - Broom & Noresk Texels - January 2016

Royal Welsh - The Society is pleased to be supporting the RWAS by sponsoring a section of the new Show Ring. This is as a legacy that commemorates our 40th Anniversary. Come and visit us at the 2016 Show. Following the success of the 2015 Members and Friends buffet reception we will be hosting it again this year at 5.30pm at the Texel Marquee adjacent to the judging rings. Texel Judging takes place in the afternoon this year and will be followed by the YDP Young Handlers class. Please encourage Young Breeders to participate.

Fees deadlines for 2016 To assist Members and office staff we are reintroducing the ‘early bird’ notification deadline of 1st January to 15th April, from £1.80 for online notifications and setting the standard BN deadline to 31st May with fees starting at £2.00 when using the online system. (All fees + VAT).



Spring 2016

Society Matters

2016 Birth Notifications start with…


Society Matters

It’s never been easier to keep your flock records up to date. The census facility in Basco allows you to view and update your flock records whenever you like and as often as you like. Now there really is no excuse for keeping out of date records! Whether you update your records using Basco online or by completing the paper version, it is important to ensure that sheep no longer in the flock are marked dead or sold as soon as possible. Not doing so causes problems for the Society in terms of increased administration costs and inaccurate reporting of data. It also helps you when you come to birth notify lambs at this time of year as it will be easier to identify the ewes that have lambed. The “census” option can be seen as shown when you view your flock.

Society Matters Texel Sheep Society supports the National Lleyn Sheep Competition (NLSC) at the Livestock Event on Wednesday 6th & Thursday

7th July 2016.

The event looks to target a commercial client base hence the competition is run with this in mind. Classes are held for pens of sheep including Lleyn Ewe with Texel sired twin lambs. The Texel Sheep Society is generously sponsoring this class for a second year. This display of sheep is a great advert showing how well the Lleyn and Texel work together to produce lambs suitable for today’s prime lamb market. Predominantly the entries are received from members of the Lleyn Sheep Society through their associated breeders club having gone through qualification competitions/ selection.

Event Dates


Royal Shows & Southern Feature Show Royal Ulster Show - Wednesday 11th - Friday 13th May Judge: John Mellin - Hull House Royal Bath & West Show Wednesday 1st - Saturday 4th June Judge: Henry Gamble - Springwell Royal Highland Show - Thursday 23rd - Sunday 26th June Judge: Robert Laird - Cambwell Great Yorkshire Show - Tuesday 12th - Thursday 14th July Judge: Nigel Hamill - Ballynadrenta Royal Welsh Show - Monday 18th Thursday 21st July Judge: Gordon Gray - Ettrick

NSA Events NSA Scot Sheep - 1st June Blythbank, West Linton, Peeblesshire NSA South Sheep - 7 June Pythouse Farm, Salisbury, Wiltshire NSA Sheep Event - 27 July Three Counties Showground Malvern NSA Early Ram Sale - 1 August Builth Wells - Judge: Bridget Booker Towy Texels NSA Wales & Borders Main Ram Sale - 18 - 19 September - Builth Wells - Judge: John Foster Springhill

National Show & Sales Northern Ireland - Ballymena Tuesday & Wednesday 16 - 17 August - Judge: Tomas Evans - Welsh

We would like to offer members of the Texel Sheep Society the chance to participate. If you are interested please contact.

Scotland - Lanark Wednesday & Thursday 24 - 25 August - Judge: Bruce Renwick Castlecairn

Heather Stoney-Grayshon to register at Subject to qualification you too could help to promote the promote the commercial Texel lambs.

Wales - Welshpool Saturday 27 August Judge: Roland Watkins - Cwmcerrig

See entry regulations at:

England - Worcester Monday & Tuesday 29 - 30 August Judge: John North - Loxley


Spring 2016


Society Matters

The Youth Cancer Trust The Texel Sheep Society’s dedicated Charity 2015

Jack Girling

Graham’s 4 Nations Challenge. Tackling four challenging runs in four nations seemed a great idea back in April last year as a format to raise funds for the YCT the chosen charity of the Texel Sheep Society. Now writing this in the New Year I am pleased to be able to confirm that to date £5790.72 has been raised and still growing, thanks to fantastic financial support from Texel breeders across the 4 Nations, local farmers, family and friends. The success of raising such a large sum of money would not have been so fruitful or enjoyable without the support of the Texel office staff and again family and friends. So the rolled ankle back in May, lack of training, lack of sleep, the cold and wet and stiff legs have all been worth it not only for the huge pleasure I had in presenting a cheque on behalf of the Texel Sheep Socieity to Kirsty a young representative of the YCT, but also the positives I have gained personally. Thank You! If anyone reading this is unsure what I did over the autumn months visit Graham Hill

Graham Hill - Silent Valley Marathon

Since receiving a thank you letter from Georgie the Northern Ireland Texel Club donated a further £300 it’s Members had raised at their Annual Dinner Dance raffle bringing the total to over £6,000!! News


Spring 2016

Society Matters

2015 AGM & Social Weekend - St Andrews Storm Abigail joined us all at St Andrews as an uninvited guest, but failed to put a dampener on the 2015 AGM & Social weekend held at the luxurious Fairmont St Andrews Hotel on the beautiful Fife coast line.

received. Keith was genuinely surprised and delighted. The Texel Members were unanimous in their approval giving this highly respected and loved breeder a well deserved standing ovation and round of applause.

Society presentations were made and we all thanked Henry Gamble for his time as Chairman and wife Alice for her support over the last two years.

The race-night that followed proved to be one of the most popular nights of entertainment ever experienced at our social weekend.

One of Henry’s last acts as Chairman was to announce the recipient of his Presidents award and his choice of Keith Jamieson couldn’t have been better

Saturday brought a bright windy day for the Highland games and Stock Judging competition, judged by Keith Jamieson. The Texel Highland games involved ginger

wigs and Tartan hats, caber tossing, wellie wanging, haggis chucking, weight lifting and a wheelbarrow race that was beyond competitive! Lunch was enjoyed by all before the AGM and then on to the Dinner Dance where guests were entertained by after dinner speaker Hamish Dykes and we danced the night away to the music of the ‘Big Squeeze’, a proper ceilidh enjoyed by all and a fitting end to a fantastic Texel weekend. Full report & photo album available at

Winter Fair Round-up Dutch Texel lambs swept the board at the Welsh Winter Fair, taking both the supreme championship and the reserve supreme championship in the live section and also the reserve championship in the single carcass competition and the supreme championship in the pairs carcass competition. Taking the show’s supreme live championship were Steve and Sara Gibbons, Hay-on-Wye, with a pair of Dutch Texel ewe lambs which tipped the scales at a combined weight of 92kg and went on to sell for £1500 apiece to one of the show’s judges, Alun Richards, Pumpsaint, Carmarthenshire.

Royal Welsh Winter Fair - Supreme Champions Steve and Sara Gibbons - Blackmount - with a pair of Dutch Texel ewe lambs

which took the awards for the breed, with a single Dutch Texel lamb from Mr Slade taking the reserve single carcass title and a pair of similarly bred lambs from the same home taking the pairs championship.

Meanwhile, taking the reserve supreme title under championship judge Rob Rattray were another pair of Dutch Texel ewe lambs, this time from Olwen Jones and her daughter Myfanwy Roberts, St Clears.

This wrapped up a successful couple of weeks for Mr Slade who had also picked up the reserve overall championship along with the untrimmed lamb championship and the reserve carcass championship at the English Winter Fair, Stafford, a fortnight earlier.

In the carcass section it was lambs from Herefordshire-based Robin Slade

Mr Slade’s reserve overall champions at Stafford weighed in at 42kg apiece

NI Christmas Fatstock Show winner 2015 William McAllister - Artnagullion

and were by a homebred sire from the Weekfield flock. His untrimmed champions and reserve overall carcass champion were similarly bred. Meanwhile, across the water at Ballymena Mart’s annual primestock show and sale it was a pair of Texels from the McAllister family, Kells, that took the show’s championship award. This pair weighed in at 45kg apiece and were placed top of their class and then overall champions by Nigel Logan of Hillstown Farm Shop, with Mr Logan later buying them at £200 each.


Spring 2016


Society Matters

Society Matters

Genomics of disease resistance Our project ‘Genomics of mastitis in meat sheep’ is an exciting Society led research project. Read the full update sent with the bulletin or visit www.issuu. com/texelsheepsocietyltd


A Texel Sheep Society Publication

Genomics of disease resistance

National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2LG Tel: 02476 696 629 Fax: 02476 696 472 Email:


John Eirian Davies

Texel Member invited to judge Salon Internaional l’agriculture A British Texel breeder was invited to judge the Texel classes at the world famous Salon Internaional l’agriculture (SIA) in February. Carmarthen, Wales-based breeder John Eirian Davies of the Teilo flock followed in the footsteps of Tom Redman, Alan Draper and Steve Williams who have all judged the show in the past, (Not the first British Texel Judge as reported previously). Mr Davies, who combines running the Teilo flock with his role as a director of BJP (Marts) Ltd, said it was an honour and a privilege to be asked to judge at SIA. “To be invited to place the Texels at SIA was a unique achievement for me and one I am extremely proud of”. Society Chief Executive John Yates said that last year’s SIA saw a number of Texels sired by British rams among the top prizes. “French breeders have made judicious use of British Texel genetics to help increase the genetic diversity, with particular focus on increasing growth and lean meat yield, in their flocks and the success of these sheep at SIA is great to see.”

2016 BULLETINS - A4 Copy deadline: Winter bulletin - October 14th 2016 Published in November and March and posted direct to the full Membership and made available at Society attended events.


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Society Matters

Annual Member Social Weekend moves to a biannual format The 2016 AGM will not be held in conjunction with a social weekend. Our annual social events in conjunction with our AGM have been very popular and very well attended. So to maintain the quality and continue to provide a varied programme of events the social weekend will now move to a biannual event starting in November 2017. The ideal is to host the social weekend the year that a Chairman retires and a new Chairman is elected and for the event to be hosted in the incoming Chairman’s Region. Introduction of the new schedule begins in 2017 when current Vice Chairman Steve Richardson begins his two year term as Chairman. As Steve represents Northern England the 2017 social weekend will be held at Oulton Hall, Leeds. 2016 AGM - Arrangements for the 2016 AGM, which all Members are welcome to attend, will be distributed later this year. News

10 Spring 2016


Sheep breeders that have used Embryo Transfer (ET) technology will be aware of the variation that can occur during a programme. Will the donor respond to the drugs used in the programme and be in season at the correct time? Will she be suitable to inseminate and subsequently flush? Will fertilisation be successful? Will embryo quality/quantity be good/bad/indifferent? All of these possibilities arise even before the embryos are transferred into recipients. Experience has shown that there are some factors such as season, nutrition, reproductive history and age, which can have a significant influence on the ability of the donor animal to respond to the programme and produce viable embryos for transfer or freezing. With respect to age of donor, we have noticed a recent trend for Texel breeders to programme younger donors (here-in defined as 7+ month old lambs and gimmers) in a quest to produce offspring from selected matings as quickly as possible. These young donors have generally been well-grown animals that have been exposed to teaser rams prior to sponging and, therefore, cycled naturally to give them any chance of producing embryos. Even though these young donor programmes are possible they are not without some issues. Animal geneticists will routinely state that decreasing the generation interval (the average age of parent when replacement offspring are born) will increase the rate of genetic gain (the increase in performance through improvement programmes) for selected production traits. A young donor has had little opportunity to demonstrate many of these traits. By definition, those characteristics relating to reproductive or mothering ability remain untested at the time of selection for an ET programme. There have been very few scientifically controlled experiments examining the factors that influence the outcome of a pedigree sheep ET programme. This is probably due to the scale and cost involved of conducting such work since a large sample size is required to observe any significant effects. Despite lacking published scientific evidence, the results from flushing thousands of Texels over the last 25 years can reveal patterns that are good indicators of what is happening in the ‘real’ world. There is little doubt that we see more variable responses from younger donors than mature donors that have had at least one crop of lambs. In terms of transferrable embryos (i.e.

those embryos that have a reasonable chance of developing) the average in Texels would be 4-5 from the young donors versus 8+ for mature donors. Overall we would see more ‘zero’ outcomes (nothing transferrable) in the young donors. These poor outcomes are largely due to either immaturity or overstimulation (many un-ovulated follicles on the ovary). With over-stimulation we see a lower fertilisation rate and generally poorer quality embryos. If a young donor is flushed and the suitable embryos frozen, on average we would expect 2 -2.5 foetuses to develop per flush. The cost and benefit of flushing for such a low potential outcome may not always bear close examination. From a technical perspective, insertion of the UK-approved intravaginal progestagen sponges can be difficult in young donors and risk of damage is high. It is good practice to abandon the use of sponges in any sheep where insertion (and in all likelihood removal) does not feel normal. The future impact caused by damage to the reproductive tract in these selected young breeding sheep is obviously high. They should be allowed to mate naturally without interference when more mature. Although all care is taken during the flushing procedure, the reproductive tract for a young donor is small and delicate and the chance of adhesions is probably higher than in a mature donor. There is no hard evidence to suggest that the future fertility of a donor is significantly decreased by flushing. It would however, be reasonable to assume that the number of times a ewe could be successfully flushed may be reduced if it has been repeatedly flushed from a young age. Although lambs and gimmers may be flushed it is not without its downside. The assumed increased risk of damage to the young donor and the resulting benefit from a largely unproven animal needs to be considered. In the future, widespread use of Genomic breeding values will make selection of donors more accurate. However, the practical difficulties of ET in young donors will probably remain. Techniques such as ovum pick up by laparoscopy and IVF in sheep are currently being developed for commercial use in the UK. This technology can offer a less-invasive method for embryo production from sheep of almost any age and reproductive history.

Technical Corner

Spring 2016


Midlock rams: “I like a tup with plenty of size and a good top shoulder and back end”.

Standing the test of time… Midlock Texels T he Wight family’s Midlock enterprise, based at Crawford in South Lanarkshire, is well known within several different pedigree breeds, but one that has stood the test of time, despite beginning as a hobby, is the Texel. Allan and Karen bought their first Texels shortly after they were married, 23 years ago. Despite Allan being very much a Blackface man at heart, Karen’s parents had Texels so she was keen to have some of her own. “We bought two gimmers to begin with, one of those came from Cambwell, which bred some great females for us, and a year or two later, we got another gimmer from Cowal, which also proved a successful breeder,” says Allan.

Karen & Allan Wight

From the start, the Wights were fairly set on the type of Texels they wanted to breed – ones with size and shape, aimed at the commercial market.

“Hopefully that way, you end up with a whole pen of tups that will appeal to commercial buyers, whereas focusing on the pedigree market can be more risky, with more chance of an uneven batch,” he adds.

“We always planned to target the shearling market at Kelso, and that is still the priority now,” explains Allan.

Going down that route has stood them in good stead at Kelso, with the Midlock pen regularly averaging over £1000 for 15-20 Lifestyle

12 Spring 2016

Midlock sits at 900ft, with 2500 acres above 1700ft

shearlings. Top price for them so far has been £6400, for a son of the home-bred tup, Midlock Odds On Favourite, in 2013. That same year, the Wights’ 17 shearlings averaged out at £1345. When it comes to finding stock tups to use themselves, Allan rarely has time to scour the pens at Kelso – his focus there is selling the Texels and Bluefaced Leicesters – so they are often bought as lambs from Carlisle or Lanark.

“I like a tup with plenty size, and a good top, shoulder and back-end. I don’t put much emphasis on the head, but breed character is important too,” he says. Some of those that have fit the bill and bred successfully over the years include Baltier Ferrari and Flier – bought along with Peter Gray after he and Allan had been impressed with their sire, Culterallers Exocet. They turned out an ideal pair – Flier being a particularly strong female breeder, while Ferrari’s strength was in producing quality tup lambs. Two Carlisle purchases, Skiddaw Justice and Douganhill Monarch, both proved their worth as shearling breeders, as did the Lanark buy, Lyonshall King of Diamonds. More recently, there’s been the Lanark purchases, Foyleview Superstar, Teiglum Thunder, Sportsmans Unbeatable, and this year’s hopefuls, Springwell Wallaby and Deveronvale Warrior.

“It can be hard to find the type that we’re looking for, and more so now, as there seems to be a lot more people looking for the same kind – but that can only be a good thing for the breed! At one time, you could go to Lanark and pick up a big, shearling type lamb without much bother, but they’re far more popular now, and there are a lot more tups being bought at Kelso by pedigree breeders too,” says Allan.

Despite breeding mainly for the shearling market, the Wights still lamb their Texels in February, for management purposes, and the ewes are all AI’d for that same reason. With a flock of 1200 Blackface ewes and 80 Bluefaced Leicesters also to contend with at Midlock, it’s important to be finished up with the Texel lambing as early as possible. They are lambed inside, with Allan, Karen, son Ben (17) and twins Andrew and Katie (12), all helping out. “Because of our other commitments, we mainly concentrate on the Texels on evenings and weekends, but the children are always keen to lend a hand with them. We’re all really keen on the Texels, they’re good sheep to work with and not hard to manage,” Allan explains. “The timing of the sales also fits in well with our other breeds – the Texel tup sales fall first, followed by the Blues and then the Blackie sales are finished before the Texel gimmer sales start,” he adds. Currently, the flock consists of 50 ewes, which Allan feels is the optimum number for their situation. The steading at Midlock sits at 900ft, with the 2500 acres of ground rising to 1700ft. “We’re quite high up here and it’s not privileged ground, which is another reason that we need to use tups with a bit of size about them.” In addition to the 15-20 shearlings sold at Kelso, the family occasionally sells ram lambs at Lanark, plus 6-8 in-lamb gimmers at Carlisle and a few at the Euro sale. Allan admits they are particularly strict with culling those that don’t make the grade. “We only sell the best of the tups and the same applies with our breeding ewes – we cull any that are not of a certain standard and we generally only keep them until they are four-crops. The females that we keep must have good tops and ends on them and they have to be good on their legs – I judge them as much from the back as the front!” says Allan. Lifestyle

Spring 2016


Q&A The Bulletin looks at Keith’s involvement with the breed from the early years to the present day, asking some, at times, challenging questions. What drew you to the Texel breed initially? At the time I was breeding Border Leicesters, but had heard about the Texel from Sandy Grant who was working for SAC at the time. Jacksons at the Lanark slaughterhouse had seen some Texel carcasses in France and brought a few Texels in to the country. I went to see those and thought they were an exceptional sheep with great potential. As a result I ended up being involved with one of the next importations and got two gimmers out of the draw along with a tup. Everyone’s names were in the hat for both the males and females and as I’d been asked to go to France and select the sheep for importation I had a fair idea which tup I wanted. When the draw was made I was lucky enough to get the one I wanted and named him Annan Double Diamond. He did well for us and like all the Texels being imported than he had an excellent carcass. It was obvious the breed had something which British breeds didn’t when it came to the shape and leanness of the carcass. For the next importation I put my late wife Margaret’s name down too, so we could get more out of the ballot! Did you ever believe the breed could have the impact it has? Never in my wildest dreams did I think we could overtake the main breeds with the Texel. The way the breed has gone from strength to strength has been the biggest surprise ever, particularly to see nearly one in three of all tups being a Texel. There is no doubting that commercial farmers have taken to the Texel so strongly because of the carcass attributes of the breed. What brought it home to me in the early days was an open day we had with a local butcher in the early days of the breed. He cut up a Texel cross carcass and a Suffolk cross carcass and the difference in the amount of waste that came off each on was stark. The Texel cross had much less waste and that really helped promote the breed locally.

After a lifetime of dedication to farming and the Texel breed Keith Jamieson was rewarded at last year’s AGM and social weekend with the Society’s president’s award which he received from Henry Gamble.

What do you think is the biggest threat to the breed at the moment? Perhaps the biggest threat is complacency and forgetting what the breed was first brought in to the country for. Other breeds are improving all the time and as Texel breeders we need to ensure we focus on producing what the commercial man wants. Fads and fashions will always come and go, but if we forget who the customer is that will be the undoing of the breed. It’s Keith Jamieson happened to other breeds so there’s always the chance it could happen to us. Breeders can chose to follow fashion if they want, but they need to watch they don’t get the sheep any sharper in the shoulder or they’ll lose the tops the breed is renowned for among prime lamb buyers. Of course breed points, such as good heads are important, but no more so than tops and loins. The commercial buyer is the customer we must always remember. How has the breed improved over the last 40 years? There have been many improvements, the skins have tightened up, growth rates have improved and the breed has made strides in other areas too. I’m proud to have played a part in getting the breed where it is today. One thing I do worry about though is the amount of feed some of the lambs are getting ahead of the sales. It used to be that Lanark lambs were good strong natural lambs, now it’s a feeders game and that could hurt the breed in time. What has been your proudest moment in Texels? There have been many, winning Smithfield twice was quite an achievement, as was selling 70 gimmers in 1993 to average £1425, that was quite something back then. We also had champion at Lanark back in 1988 with a lamb bred in my daughter Helen’s flock. The late 1980s and early 1990s were some great years for the breed. Which rams you’ve bred would you want back again? There are plenty of rams I’ve seen and bred which would do some good again now. From those I’ve bred it would probably be Annan Braveheart and Annan Won O Won. Braveheart did Lifestyle

14 Spring 2016

An audience with Keith!

tremendously well wherever he was used, including in Canada where lambs by him broke carcass records. Won O Won, meanwhile, was used extensively in a number of flocks and many of the Aberdeenshire flocks of today cite his females as being their most solid foundations. What’s been the secret to your breeding success? Undoubtedly its all about families. There is a real need to understand the female lines within a flock and remember that it’s not always the best looking member of the family which breeds the best lambs. There have been plenty of great show sheep over the years which have bred nothing of note, while many lesser appreciated members of the same family have bred exceptionally well. When we lost all the sheep to foot-and-mouth in 2001 I bought back some females from lines we’d sold over the years, including one, JKA98207, which I’d sold in 1999. We’d lost her two sisters in the cull and I knew that was the one sheep I had to buy back if I could. It took me a couple of years, but I got her. She then produced Annan Jewel and I’d say about 50% of the current flock goes back to her too. I also got one back from the Goulds at Woodmarsh and she bred well too, including being dam of one I sold to Procters which has done well for them too. How do you feel about the amount of embryo transfer work being done in the breed? I think perhaps its got a bit over the top now. In some ways I’m maybe as bad as everyone else, but there are so many people

flushing ewes now that there is perhaps a need to limit it somehow. I don’t know how it could be done fairly, but the number of flocks now flushing is huge and it could create problems. I know if I was in Lanark looking to spend five figures on a ram then I wouldn’t be half as keen if I knew he had six or seven brothers heading off to the other sales. We also need to watch out for some of the ewes being flushed which are heavy breathers or have bad bags or other issues. All flushing these ewes is doing is multiplying the problems and that’s a real worry for the breed. How do you feel about the high prices the breed is seeing nowadays? Good quality pedigree stock will always command a premium, its difficult to comment really, but I do worry sometimes about the image it portrays to the wider public. Breeders need to remember that just because a sheep was dear it isn’t necessarily a good sheep! If you could change one thing about your time in the breed what would it be? I’d change nothing. Obviously losing the flock in 2001 was hard and there were a few days when I considered not starting again, but the friendship I’ve had through the Texels over the years has been tremendous and in many ways that’s what got me back in again rather than the sheep themselves. Texels have been a huge part of my life and I can’t imagine not having them or the friends I’ve made through the breed in my life. Lifestyle

Spring 2016



Invitational Sales Report As ever the seasonal in-lamb invitational sales produced some sparkling prices and none more so than the Christmas Stars sale, Carlisle, which peaked at 22,000gns for a gimmer from the Innes family’s Strathbogie flock. Selling at this price was their first in the ring, IJS1400787, a Strathbogie Untouchable gimmer that had stood second at the Highland and reserve champion at Turriff. She’s an ET bred gimmer out of a dam by Clinterty Par One and going back to Haddo Knoxie. Selling in-lamb to Millar’s Windbrook, she sold with a recipient carrying an embryo from a successful flush and was knocked down to Edward Pugh for the Glanllyn flock, Bala. Select Seven This year’s Select Seven Texel female sale held at Lanark saw a brace of gimmers lead the trade at 6500gns, with the fist coming from Albert and George Howie’s Knock flock and the second coming from Gordon Gray’s Ettrick consignment. Leading the way for the Knock pen was a Cambwell Rob Roy daughter, HAK1400650. This ET bred gimmer is out of a dam by Garngour Nobleman and sold with an index of 261. Going back to Muiresk Heir Apparent she sold having been AI’d to Cowal Vogue and from the same family as the 20,000gns Knock Oregano and the 12,000gns Knock gimmer and the 10,000ns Knock Iron. This one sold to Geoff Morgan, Blaencar, Sennybridge. Northern Stars A guest consignment from Clitheroe, Lancashire-based Procters Farm, proved to be the main attraction at thenNorthern Stars sale of in-lamb Texel gimmers at Ballymena. Leading the way at 6200gns was the first in the ring from Procters, PFD140349. This ET bred gimmer is by the Lanark champion from 2013, Tophill Union Jack and is out of a dam by Sportsmans Scania. This full sister to Proctors Vancouver, reserve champion at the Royal Highland in 2014 goes back to an Annan ewe which bred the gimmer which was champion at the Highland and reserve at the Royal Welsh in 2014. Sold in-lamb to Glenside Whiskey Galore this one was claimed by Robbie Wilson for the Milnbank flock.

Christmas Star Sale - IJS1400787 Strathbogie - J Innes & Sons

Twilight Texels The Twilight Texel sale saw a high of 10,000gns achieves for a gimmer from the Plasucha flock of Robert Bennett, with this Garngour Upperclass daughter, BFE1404286. This ET bred gimmer is out of a Connachan sharky bred dam and goes back to Mellor Vale Masterpeice on her dam’s side. She sold in-lamb to Kelso Wiseman with an index of 361 and was bought by Robert Jones, Darlington, January Gems It was a gimmer from the Mullan family’s Bluegates flock which proved to be the highlight of the January Gems sale of in-lamb Texel females held at Ballymena, when selling for 2000gns.This sale leader was MUC1400226 a Carran Sutherland’s Star daughter out of a dam by Mullan Superfly and going back to the noted Douganhill McFly. Selling in lamb to a Sandelford sire which is in turn by Orrisdale Viking this one was bought by L Brown, Listillion, Letterkenny, Co Donegal. Christmas Cracker The Christmas Cracker sale of Texel inlamb ewes at Carlisle saw a gimmer from the Allanfauld flock of Archie and John MacGregor take the day’s top price of 2200gns, with Martin and Cyril Millar following that with a 2000gns sale. The day’s top call came for a XMM1406807, an ET bred gimmer by Garngour Ultimatum and out of a dam by Strathbogie Stifler. She goes back to Clynnog Joe Tex on her dam’s side and sold in lamb to Baltier Wellington and with an index of 286. She was bought by Archie Hamilton for the Smyllum flock, Lanark.


Regional Club In-Lamb Top Sellers The regional Club in-lamb sales saw a solid trade across the country, with buyers willing to bid well for the best of the sheep on offer. Scottish Club Sale At the Scottish Club’s sale, Lanark, in early January it was the reduction of the McKerrow family’s Grougfoot flock which led the way with a top call of 2000gns for a 2011born ewe by Glenside Rocket and out of a ewe by Grougfoot Jocks Favourite. She sold in-lamb to Castlecairn Vavavoom and found a new home with James Gibson, Cowgrove, Galston. North West Texel Sale, Chelford The North West Texel Club’s sale at Chelford recorded a top call of 2250gns for a ewe lamb from Ben Vernon’s Charben flock, Staffordshire, with this Glenside Valhalla daughter being out of a Strathbogie Thunder daughter and selling to L A Lloyd, Knighton, Powys. Shropshire and Borders Club A strong demand pushed prices to 4300gns at the Shropshire and Borders Texel Club in lamb sale at Welshpool. The sale saw both new and existing breeders competing strongly for the best of the genetics on offer, with the top price paid for a gimmer from Robert Pierce’s


16 Spring 2016

Oldford flock, Chester. The sale topper, PRE1400381, is a daughter of Knock Powerpacker out of an Ettrick bred dam by Mitchellhill Paparazzi and going back to Thinacres Grenade. With an index of 361 she sold carrying to Hexel Wildcard and was bought by Edward Morgan for the Blaencar flock, Sennybridge. Solway and Tyne Club Top call in the Solway and Tyne Texel Club’s sale of in-lamb females at Carlisle was an 1100gns call for the first prize gimmer and overall champion from R S and J Bradley and Son’s Far Hey flock. This was the Anglezarke Uno daughter BRF1400224 an ET bred gimmer out of an Allanfauld Rockafella daughter and going back to Durisdeer Lotus. She sold carrying to Millar’s Who’s The Boy and was knocked down to J S Lodge, Moss, Doncaster. Gloucester and Border Counties The annual Christmas Present Sale of Texel females at Worcester for the Gloucester and Border counties Texel Club saw a top call of 1000gns on Saturday, with this price achieved for a gimmer from Jim and Nicola Hartright’s Whitehart flock. This was HWM1401771, a daughter of Broomknowes Tyson and out of a dam by Ellen Valley Nemesis. This one had been champion in the pre-sale show and sold in-lamb to Loosebeare Voomer, being bought by the judge John Ledbeater for his Northampton-based Blackbird flock. Northern Area Texel Club Top call at the Northern Area Texel Club in-lamb sale was a bid of 1300gns for the pre-sale champion from Spiros Spyrou’s Gib Farm flock. The sale leader, a gimmer by the 4500gns Deveronvale Superb is from the most consistent female line in the flock, with the title winner, scanned in-lamb to Anglezarke Uno, sold to R N Kirby and Son, Northallerton.


National Sale updates 2016 Following feedback from members the Society has introduced some changes to the Sale entry and substitution procedures to improve the overall process of entering and attending the events for both vendors and purchasers. • Substitutes will be accepted much closer to the sale date as shown below. Members can substitute one animal per class per vendor, requests for substitutes MUST be returned on the substitution entry form that is supplied with the detailed entry forms via Royal Mail or as a scanned electronic copy via email to cataloguing@ . All substitutes will be charged at £12 (including VAT) per substitute. Venue

Substitute deadline August

Event commences August


Thursday 11th - by midday

Tuesday 16th


Friday 19th by midday

Wednesday 24th

Wednesday 24th - by midday

Saturday 27th

Thursday 25th - by midday

Monday 29th

• Wool Inspections. A major overhaul of the wool inspection process will be made for the 2016 National Show & Sales. Joining the current Inspection team that focus on Veterinary and Identification inspections are a team of up to three wool inspectors. Herby Kennedy, John Bogue & Alec Brown, led by Aubrey Andrews will inspect all ram lambs at the point of entry to the sale yard. Ram lambs which in their opinion are found to have been dressed, trimmed or clipped will be rejected from the Show & Sale as per Bye Law 9.6 Bye Law 9.6 No dressing, trimming, clipping or excessive use of dips on the fleeces of sheep will be permitted. No artificial whitening on any part of the sheep is permitted. If an inspector is present at the sale they have the authority to disqualify any sheep, which in their opinion, are below a minimum standard with regard to breed type or are found to be contravening the Society Bye-laws, right up to the point of sale. The decision of the inspectors shall be final and failure to accept the inspector’s decision will result in the entire consignment being rejected. • Performance Recorded Texel Classes Entries into our 2016 PRT Classes at all National Sales will be limited to those rams in the top 10% of the breed that have been ultra sound scanned. All eligible rams will be allocated ‘Gold’ neck tags with their lot numbers to identify they are at the top of the breed for performance figures.


Spring 2016


Young Handlers at Royal Shows If you are attending a Royal Show this year, check out the Young Handlers classes!! Currently held at The Royal Ulster Show, The Royal Highland and special Texel classes at the Royal Welsh Show Contact the Society office for more information and you could be the focus of a Young handler winner’s feature!

Top Tips for Showing If you have any ideas to develop our YDP programme get in touch with your regional YDP Committee Member.

By Anna Minnice-Hughes. Summer time is fast approaching and that means for many of us back on the show ring circuit. Not only is it a chance to show off our latest offspring, it is also a great time to catch up and see how the breed is evolving as each season passes by. Selection of the show team is a topic for another day, but it is important to Anna Minnice-Hughes with Haydn Fletcher, remember whatever your preference Damdale Texels, Derbyshire Club Show Champion is, the sheep must be well presented, clean and correctly tagged. It is always worthwhile to visit a show to speak to fellow breeders to hear their tips and gain an insight in preparation and showing etiquette.



Some of you are hard nosed showmen (or women) who know all the tricks in the book, but for those wishing to embark on the show ring circuit for the first time or for those of us who need more than a Double D and a squirt of perfume here are my top tips to help you on your way. Prepare in plenty of time – make sure you have everything you will need such as numbers, passes, licenses, washing equipment, feed for your sheep and DON’T FORGET YOUR WHITE COAT!

Area A - Kerr Jarvie MBX 01764 681 589 or 07736 299632

If you have not been to the show ground before check routes and include a map on the back seat. Satellite navigation is not all it’s cracked up to be, especially when it freezes and your Dad thumps it so hard all it can say is “it is experiencing some problems”.

Area B - Duncan Mellin MJH 01729 850 220

Ensure you do not keep the judge waiting! You should ensure that you arrive for your class on time; it would be a shame if the judge only remembered you for keeping him away from his lunch.

Area C - David Bradley Farmer - FTD 01730 823 003 or 07732 993085

Presentation of yourself and your animal is the key to success; stand off the animal whilst keeping it under control, ensure it is standing with a leg in each corner and looking proud of what you are presenting can make all the difference when the judge is finding it difficult to make his final decision.

Area D - Anna MinniceHughes - SJP - Secretary 01938 850 265 or 07979 381285

Many let their sheep down in the ring by not concentrating on the judge, keep focused on job in hand, a smile always helps and avoid that juicy bit of gossiping, which can mean you have missed the judge placing you.

Area E - Adrian Liggett LIG - Chairman 02882 841 691 or 07766 146624

The judge’s decision is final, please remember that “doctors differ and patients die”. If you don’t agree with the judge and you wish to know how you could have improved your ranking ask the judge for his opinion after the judging has finished. The show ring is a shop window for your breed and your flock, it is an invaluable place for learning and enjoyment. I wish everyone a successful show season for the forth-coming year. Youth Focus

18 Spring 2016

Sheep Breeders Round Table The 2015 Sheep Breeders Round Table, Nottingham, once again saw the Society and the regional Clubs sponsor a number of young members to attend, including Charlotte Watkins of the Millend flock, Herefordshire, Phil Loveland of the Greylands flock, Kent, Anna Minnice-Hughes of the Pen Parc flock, Welshpool, and Molly Hobbs of the Elkstone flock, Gloucestershire.

The project was also highlighted by SRUC during the poster session. Out of more than 30 sheep related research posters on display throughout the weekend, covering a range of novel and innovative scientific studies, it went on to win the delegate vote for the best poster during the SBRT awards presented on the Saturday evening.

Commenting on the conference all delegates found the weekend informative and thought provoking, with Charlotte Watkins saying it had enabled her to appreciate the need for continued genetic improvement in sheep production. “It was clear from the conference that new ideas from other countries and even species should be relished as these can help us maximise productivity.

Will came away from the conference filled with enthusiasm and confidence in the sheep industry. “Gathering a wide range of speakers from differing backgrounds in an informal situation gave attendees a great opportunity to learn and discuss the topical issues and prospects in the sheep world,” he added.

“Following a difficult year for the industry with regard to market prices it was great to see the level of passion and forward thinking demonstrated by the speakers.” Meanwhile, Molly Hobbs said the conference had helped her realise the importance of the UK sheep industry and research facilities on a global scale. “There is a lot of scientific work going on behind the scenes which most sheep breeders have little knowledge of. However, this will all undoubtedly help them run their businesses in the years to come, with mastitis and worm resistance just two areas where current research is likely to impact future production. “I was also impressed by the level of collaboration shown in the Norwegian industry, something the UK industry could learn a lot from.” Kent-based Phil Loveland found the conference particularly useful as a new flock owner and came away with a number of useful contacts to help him develop his flock in future. “I learnt an awful lot in just a small amount of time and I’m looking forward to being able to put some of it in to practice over the next few years as I develop my flock.” The current research investigating the genomics of mastitis also featured during the conference. Texel Sheep Society Technical Manager Will Sawday presented an overview of the project to delegates detailing why the society was keen to investigate the genetic aspect of mastitis using genomics and what the project involved in terms of data collection and genotyping.

Youth Focus

Spring 2016


Caseous Lymphadenitis (CLA) Should we be concerned? YOUR EXPERT

Kath Dun BVM&S, Cert SHP, MRCVS Galedin Veterinary, Kelso

Caseous Lymphadenitis

CLA is a chronic bacterial disease of sheep and goats characterised by abscess development in lymph nodes and other tissues (eg: the lungs). The condition can result in chronic wasting and has welfare, financial and ethical implications. First confirmed in the UK in 1991, CLA is now well established in the UK and Northern Ireland. It is not currently a notifiable disease and detection and recognition of the condition relies on the vigilance of farmers to report and vets to investigate, any suspicious lumps on sheep and goats. The condition is very infective and treatment is not successful or recommended. The causal organism of CLA is called Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis. As well as being highly infective, it is also very resistant, being able to survive in the environment for several months (8+). Two forms of CLA are seen. In the UK the external form is more common and results in the formation of very thick walled abscesses in lymph nodes, especially around the head and jaw, and sometimes in the lymph node over the shoulder. These abscesses become very firm with thick pus and antibiotics generally cannot penetrate the abscess wall. In other countries the visceral form leads to abscesses forming in the lungs, liver, kidneys and udder. In studies in the UK it is thought that 25% of sheep with the external form of CLA also have some abscesses in their lungs. Transmission of infection is most commonly by direct contact with infective pus, when an abscess ruptures. Entry into a naïve animal is via nicks/ cuts on the skin (shearing/tagging/tattooing/dipping) breaks in gums due to erupting teeth or breaks on the head where rams or ram lambs are fighting. There is also potential for spread via coughing and the aerosol route where there are abscesses in the lung tissue. Observations from Australia support this theory. Sheep which are being housed/fed closely together are at greatest risk of transmitting the disease through a group. Infection through head contact or close airspace breathing are the highest risk factors. Unfortunately, high value pedigree sheep flocks have both these risk factors due their type of management and it is in terminal sire sheep where most cases of CLA are diagnosed. Experimentally, incubation time from infection to abscess formation is around six weeks.

Diagnosis of CLA can be challenging where there are no clinical signs. Where abscesses are present, growing the bacteria from the pus in the abscess is the gold standard. Blood tests for CLA are available, but unfortunately there are sometime false negative results. Results are more likely to be accurate when lumps are present. The most likely way for you to get CLA in your flock is to buy it in with purchased animals. Keeping your flock as closed as possible and maintaining good biosecurity, as discussed with your vet in your flock health plan, is the best means of prevention. SAC consulting offer a CLA monitoring scheme for purchasing rams, but it is good policy anyway, to isolate bought-in rams for a period of 4-6 weeks and blood sample for CLA during this period. Always insist on good disinfection of any “shared” equipment, for example: shearing stands/machines, mobile dipping facilities, handling facilities/ trailers etc. So, the answer to the title question should be “yes” – we should be concerned about CLA and we as farmers and vets should be responsible for the diseases in our flocks and the risks of passing on these diseases to other flocks when selling sheep. Consult your veterinary surgeon if you have any concerns about CLA in your flock or want to discuss screening your flock for disease.

Vet Outlook

20 Spring 2016

Castration and Tail-docking Under the Protection of Animals (Anaesthetics) Act 1954 (as amended), the use of a rubber ring or other device to restrict the flow of blood to the scrotum or tail, without anaesthetic, is only permitted during the first week of life. Tail docking must be carried out only in strict accordance with the law. The procedure should be performed by a competent, trained operator. Surgical docking (i.e. using a knife) may only be carried out by a veterinary surgeon. Remember: sufficient tail must be retained to cover the vulva in the case of female sheep and the anus in the case of male sheep. Failure to comply with this, as per the use of rubber rings on animals over a week of age, is an offence and you might be liable to prosecution. Both tail-docking and castration procedures are part of the cross compliance inspections and, therefore, a reported breach of these requirements might have a significant impact on your single farm payment. Clostridial vaccination: protect your lambs…..they are worth it…… Clostridial diseases remain a serious threat to unvaccinated sheep. Almost all cases of clostridial disease are fatal - very few can be successfully treated and often the first sign of sickness is finding dead sheep.Vaccination is cheap and effective, so why take the risk? Clostridial diseases are caused by bacteria that are found in the soil, where they can survive for a very long time.They can also occur naturally in the gut of healthy animals and usually require a stress event to trigger clinical infection. The more common clostridial diseases in sheep are pulpy kidney, lamb dysentery and black disease.Tetanus, blackleg, struck and braxy are also seen. Large losses can be experienced when sheep are not correctly vaccinated. Breeding females require two vaccinations given four to six weeks apart followed by annual vaccination four to six weeks before the expected lambing date.The timing of this booster will ensure adequate accumulation of protective immunoglobulins in colostrum to protect lambs. Lambs should then be vaccinated anything from 2-3 months-old and before their maternally-derived immunity wanes. Remember that females to be retained for breeding who have been vaccinated with a 4 in 1 vaccine (eg Ovivac-P or Lambivac ) as lambs still need two doses of a 7, 8 or 10 in 1 vaccine (eg Covexin or

Heptavac-P) to get fully covered, and don’t forget to vaccinate the tups. Speak to your vet to discuss the most suitable vaccine strategy for your flock. Good vaccination techniques Sheep should be clean and dry when vaccinated to prevent abscesses forming at the injection site- don’t vaccinate dirty or wet sheep. Injections must be carried out hygienically; sterile needles and clean vaccination guns should be used. Needles should be changed frequently – at least every 25 sheep unless using a sterimatic system, where change is recommended every 100 sheep. The latter system also protects the needle when it is not in use, and so helps to guard against accidental needlestick injuries. Sheep should be adequately restrained. Don’t rush, a two handed technique for subcutaneous vaccines is best using one hand to lift the skin to form a “tent” and part the fleece, then injecting under the skin at the bottom of the fold. The needle should be inserted parallel to the body surface to prevent injecting too deep and into the muscle. Vaccine must be stored correctly in the fridge and part used bottles should be discarded at the end of the day. Feeding sheep in pregnancy After a great grass growing summer and autumn last year, the majority of ewes went to the ram or were inseminated, in really good body condition. This should hopefully mean good conception rates and good lambs numbers for lambing 2016. However, a word of warning… adequate energy supply to ewes in late pregnancy is essential to ensure good lamb birthweights and lamb viability and to avoid the risk of twin lamb disease and other metabolic problems in your ewes. In an “open” autumn and winter where there is milder weather (and we may be too hasty in predicting this…) and the grass continues to grow, it can be harder to control the energy intake of ewes still outside. During the autumn and winter the quality in grazing grass is much reduced. Where ewes are in good to fit body condition, there is a restriction on the amount of rumen fill available in late pregnancy so it is crucial that ewes are able to get enough energy from a small amount of good quality concentrate balanced with quality forage. Any negative energy balance in late pregnancy great increases the risk of seeing outbreaks of twin lamb disease or pregnancy toxaemia. Discuss any queries with your veterinary surgeon or nutritional advisor. Vet Outlook

Spring 2016



he UK’s first commercial progeny test RamCompare was launched in May 2015. The project will record weights and carcase information from 6,000 slaughter lambs to identify which rams have the most profitable genes for commercial sheep production, providing a direct comparison between the commercial performances of 67 rams from five terminal sire breeds for the first time.

“Gaynes Major” CMG06129 - This “Lumbylaw Java” son has been an influential stock ram at the Aragon, Gaynes and Collwood flock of Trinidad Investments with over 200 progeny. “Roxburgh Shotgun Willie” EJR1101108 – a stock ram at Mathew Prince’s Stonedge and Hightecs flocks, was second highest indexed lamb in the country with over 250 progeny, EBLEX Ram Linkage Scheme ram.

The project aims to help sheep producers identify which genes have the biggest impact on speed of finishing and carcass value, as well as identifying the degree of difference between breeding lines for new traits like saleable meat yield and tenderness.

Natural service Texel rams Six Texels were purchased to run as single sire groups: Tynewydd MDY1400927, Drinkstone PJP1304727, Kimbolton PPK1400417, Miserden AAS1401255, Miserden AAS1401351, Penygelli PAP1401307. Full estimated breeding values and pedigrees for rams used are available at

RamCompare involves a partnership of 14 organisations and six commercial flocks. Each farm has provided 320 ewes and is using four ram breeds; Suffolk, Texel, Charollais and either Hampshire Down or Meatlinc. RamCompare is the first step in assessing the feasibility of running a UK commercial progeny test helping our sheep industry understand whether data collected from farms and abattoirs on cross-bred slaughter lambs can be used in genetic evaluations. The project will examine how the performance of lambs from different terminal sire breeds compare under commercial conditions. For further information on commercial flocks and project updates visit or Twitter @RamCompare. Ram selection Rams are selected based on their estimated breeding values (EBVs) and breeding lines. Linkage between other flocks is important, especially for the rams destined for use by artificial insemination (AI). 2015 Texel sires Two AI sires were chosen to cover 30 ewes each on three of the six farms, both will be used again this season on two more flocks.

2016 Texel rams 29 Texels were nominated for the year two AI sire, demonstrating a keen interest in the project from pedigree breeders with an eagerness to be involved, we are grateful for the support. “Stainton Vantage II” WPS1400599 will join the 2016 AI team, used widely in the Claybury, Hope Valley and Glanllyn flocks with 130 progeny, this Anglezarke Uno son represents a widely used bloodline that is new to RamCompare. With excellent EBVs for growth and muscling he tends to be leaner than many of the sires on test – hence the project’s interest in the time taken to finish his lambs. Nominations are open for six Texel rams to join the natural service teams this summer. Rams must have: • High EBVs (top 20%) • Genetic diversity • Maximum two rams/breeder • MV Accredited flock Contact, nominations close on 31st March 2016.

Technical Corner

22 Spring 2016

Society Fees 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 2016

2016 Male and Female Birth Notifications 1st Jan - 15th April in Year of Birth

16th April - 31st May in Year of Birth

1st June - 31st Dec in Year of Birth















(£2.16 Inc VAT)

(£2.44 Inc VAT)

(£2.40 Inc VAT)

(£2.70 Inc VAT)

(£12.00 Inc VAT)

(£13.50 Inc VAT)

1st January following year of Birth Onwards

Paper £112.75 (£135.30 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











(£6.30 Inc VAT)

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

Tel/Paper £29.60

(£35.52 Inc VAT)

(£7.09 Inc VAT)

(£6.84 Inc VAT)

(£7.69 Inc VAT)

Transfers (only fully registered sheep can be transferred)

1st November year following YOB onwards

Online £8.50

(£10.20 Inc VAT)

Tel/Paper £9.56

(£11.47 Inc VAT)

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





(£13.54 Inc VAT)

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 Paper entries are 12.5% more costly than submitting online. Consider using our online system (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”.

Spring 2016


#addtexeladdvalue Society Club Sales & Ram Sales 2016 1 August

8 September

15 - 16 September

24 September

9 December

BUILTH WELLS NSA Early Ram Sale Clee, Tompkinson & Francis Tel: 01874 622 488

CARMARTHEN Carmarthen Livestock Centre Tel: 01267 236268

SKIPTON Craven Cattle Mart Tel: 01756 792 375

CARLISLE Harrison & Hetherington Tel: 01228 06 230

CARLISLE Harrison & Hetherington Tel: 01228 406 230

17 August

9 September

17 September

29 September

10 December

EXETER NSA SW Ram Sale Sue Martin Tel: 01409 271 385

RUTHIN (DUTCH) Ruthin Farmers Auction Company Tel: 01824 702025

WORCESTER McCartneys Tel: 01905 769 770

WELSHPOOL Welshpool Livestock Sales Tel: 01938 553438

SKIPTON Craven Cattle Mart Tel: 01756 792 375

17 September

17 October

22 December

19 August

9 September

KENDAL NWA Jct 36 Tel: 015395 662 00

ASHFORD Hobbs Parker Tel: 01233 502222

BAKEWELL Bagshaws Tel: 01629 812 777

WELSHPOOL Welshpool Livestock Sales Tel: 01938 553 438

WELSHPOOL Welshpool Livestock Sales Tel: 01938 553 438

19 September

26 November

16 December

20 August

9 September

GAERWEN Morgan & Evans Tel: 01248 723 303

KELSO For more details Tel: 01573 224 188

BUILTH WELLS Main NSA Ram Sale Clee, Tompkinson & Francis Tel: 01874 622 488

NEWARK Society Sale Newark Livestock Market Tel: 01636 676741

LLANDOVERY Clee, Tompkinson & Francis Tel: 01874 622 488

1 - 2 September

11 September

20 September

28 November

CARLISLE Harrison & Hetherington Tel: 01228 406 230

LLANDOVERY Clee, Tompkinson & Francis Tel: 01874 622 488

THAINSTONE Aberdeen & Northern Mart Tel: 01467 623 710

THAINSTONE Aberdeen & Northern Mart Tel: 01467 623 710

CHELFORD Frank Marshall Tel: 01625 861 122

3 September

11 - 12 September

22 September

1 December

SHREWSBURY Shrewsbury Livestock Auctioneers Tel: 01743 462 620 5

RUTHIN Ruthin Farmers Auction Tel: 01824 702 025

CLITHEROE Lawrie & Symington Tel: 01555 662 281

FFAIRFACH Ffairach Livestock Mart Tel: 01267 236 268

24 September

3 December

8 September

LANARK Lawrie & Symington Tel: 01555 662 281

NEWARK Society Sale Newark Livestock Market Tel: 01636 676741

WORCESTER McCartneys Tel: 01905 769770

WILTON Southern Counties Tel: 01722 321 215

15 September

7th January 2016

7th January 2016 LANARK Lawrie & Symington Tel: 01555 662 281

Northern Ireland 29 August

9 September

15 September

22 September

TBC December

RATHFRILAND Rathfriland Farmers Co-Op Tel: 028 4063 8493

ENNISKILLEN Ulster Farmers Mart Tel: 028 6632 2218

LISAHALLY Richard Beattie’s Livestock Sales Tel: 028 8164 7105

CLOGHER Clogher Mart Tel: 028 8164 7105

Ballymena In-Lamb J A McClelland Tel: 028 2563 3470

3 September

SWATRAGH Sperrin & Bann Valley Mart Tel: 029 7940 1335

16 September HILLTOWN Hilltown Mart Tel: 028 4063 0287

GORTIN Richard Beattie’s Livestock Sales Tel: 028 8164 7105

14 September

21 September

10 October

BALLYMENA Co Antrim J A McClelland Tel: 028 2563 3470

MARKETHILL Markethill Livestock Tel: 028 3755 1265

BALLYMENA (Harvest Sale) J A McClelland Tel: 028 2563 3470

RUAS BALMORAL Richard Beattie’s Livestock Sales Tel: 028 8164 7105

8 September ARMOY D McAllister Tel: 028 2177 1227

7 September

7 October

Dates correct as of 10/02/15

Texel bulletin spring 2016  
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