Page 1

TEXEL The bulletin for all

Breeders A Texel Society Publication


In Touch with Texel #addtexeladdvalue


Supreme Champion Royal Highland - Teiglum CFT1503905

Supreme Champion Royal Bath & West - Meon Down FTD1501755

Supreme Champion Great Yorkshire - Teiglum CFT1503905

Supreme Champion Royal Welsh - Procters Farm PFD1302614

Supreme Champion Royal Ulster - Springwell Voltage - GRS1401416

Royal Welsh Gordon Gray


Winter 2016

Royal Bath & West Henry Gamble

Royal Ulster John Mellin

Royal Highland Robert Laird

Great Yorkshire Nigel Hamill

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 Gil Burton Anna Bradley 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 Kevin Milner Phil Scott

British Texel Sheep Society, Unit 74 - 4th Street, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2LG

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

David McKerrow with YDP representatives, Megan and Charlotte Watkins, Millend flock, Anna Minnice Hughes, Penparc flock and Katie & Molly Hobbs, Elkstone flock, see page 10.


elcome to the Autumn edition of the Texel Bulletin, this year has certainly been one to remember for the right reasons in the breed.

And the main NSA Sale at Builth Wells saw an exceptional demand for rams too, with a 93% clearance in the shearlings and an 87% clearance in the ram lambs.

Both the summer shows and the ensuing sales saw breeders showcase the exceptional strength in depth offered by the breed, with quality sheep forward at both the major shows and a wide range of local events too.

This outstanding sales demand is thanks to the work Texel breeders have done in producing sheep suited to modern prime lamb production and commercial flock management.

Meanwhile, the sales season resulted in an unprecedented demand for Texels from both pedigree and commercial producers. From a pedigree perspective the Scottish National Sale, Lanark, saw a record turnover, with close to £1.1m changing hands over the course of the sale and a new record ram lamb average set at £2812.24 for 351 sold. At the English National Sale,Worcester, demand was once again strong and a new 16,000gns female centre record was the result, along with record averages for both gimmers and ram lambs.

The establishment of genomic estimated breeding values for both mastitis and footrot within the breed will be the next stage in this development plan and will provide unique tools for breeders and commercial buyers to use in order to future proof their flocks and breed sheep more resistant to both these diseases.

This strong pedigree demand also translated in to commercial demand at both the National and Club sales as well as the major commercial sales, such as Kelso and Builth.Texels continue to be the breed of choice for commercial producers across the UK and in a wide range of systems, with averages climbing at both these main sales.

The demand for Texels seen this year reinforces the need for the breed to be proactive in meeting the future needs of the industry, enabling commercial buyers to purchase Texels confident in the knowledge the breed will fulfil their needs wherever they are in the UK and whatever their production system.

At Kelso a total of 870 registered shearlings sold to average £878.43, a rise of more than £110 on last year’s sale, while at Builth 681 shearlings were traded to level at £716.67, up by more than £100 on the year.


John Yates, Chief Executive

TEXEL TEXEL IN THE NEWS! The bulletin for all

Breeders A Texel Society Publication


In touch with Texel @BritishTexel

With that in mind the Society continues to invest in research and development, with a brace of new genomic studies due to get underway in the next 12 months and the results from the existing work currently being further evaluated and disseminated.

In Touch with Texel

Texels made the headlines throughout the autumn sheep sales season, with averages rising at all Society sales and records set at both pedigree and commercial sales the length and breadth of the UK.



Winter 2016


November 2016 7

The Draper Family - Claybury Texels announced as most improved Signet flock 2016



Producing big, powerful tups that the commercial customer is after - Danny & Darren McKay - Rohan & Rowandale Texels

So impressed with Texel commercial traits they have bred their own Pedigree flock since 1990 - Sibmister Texels, S & K Sutherland

NEWS 6. Director election results 7. Society National Show & Sale Judges Put yourself forward...



Teiglum Younggun sold at Lanark for 70,000gns


11. The Sutherland Family Sibmister Texels

15. Sire of the year is Tophill Wall St with an average of 42,300gns

12. Danny & Darren McKay Rohan Rowandale Texels

16. 2017 National Show & Sale dates NI National has a new date!

8. New male registration system 9. Largest export of Texels to Switzerland

16. Pedigree proves its worth at large scale commercial sales 17. Performance of PRT at Society National sales


Winter 2016


Ben Vernon - Charben Texels Derbyshire young breeder determined to progress in the breed


OPA and ICEBERG DISEASES IN SHEEP Your expert Kath Dun reports

9-11 June 2017

FIVE NATIONS EVENT 2017 An exciting three day event for teams from each of the five nations. Join us for a social weekend of fun and light-hearted competition in northern England, open to all young Texel breeders aged between 18 and 35.

Activities included will be:


For more details... Call Duncan on 07540053431 Email: Website:

Major Youth event the Five Nations coming soon




• Welcome BBQ • Flock visits to Procters and Sportsmans flocks • Stock judging • Manchester nightlife • Go Karting

Recorded stock proved popular at the 2016 National Sales

18. Education awards

24. Beneifts of Texel sheep genetics

20. Five Nations 2017

24. New selection traits from CT scanning

VET OUTLOOK 28. OPA & Iceburg disease

21. Ben Vernon - Charben Texels 24. Development of genomic breeding tools 26. CT scanning Texel Sires to increase lean meat yield

Winter 2016


News Society Matters Kath Dun has been elected president of the Sheep Veterinary Society. Kath has been writing our Vets Opinion features for the last two years.

Society Reminder

Society Matters

Board of Director Election results 2016 Area 3 - South East Scotland David McKerrow - Nochnary re-elected - 2016 - 2020 Area 5 - North East England Steve Richardson - Stonebridge re-elected - 2016 - 2020

Steve Martin - Broomhall, newly elected East & South East England Director

Area 7 - East and South East of England Steve Martin - Broomhall - elected unopposed - 2016 - 2020, following the retirement of Sylvia Rawlings - Wiston Area 12 - Northern Ireland Elliott Bell - Kiltariff - elected - 2016 2018, following the retirement of Henry Gamble - Springwell Elliott Bell, Kiltariff, newly elected NI Regional Director

When sending correspondence via Royal Mail please remember to put Texel Sheep Society on the envelope and mail to the following address... Texel Sheep Society, Unit 74 - 4th Street, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2LG

To ensure you always recieve the most up to date news via Texel webmail, please keep your email details updated on our system. If you are a Texel online member, edit your BASCO profile if your email has changed.

Society Matters Have you encountered an issue with ‘Texel Throat’? If so we want to know.... Send us the ID of the animal, if the animal was treated, if it survived or if not its year of death/culling. Thank you in advance for your cooperation. Email

Paul Phillips

Performance Recorded Commintee Election result Paul Phillips - Kimbolton elected unopposed 2016 - 2020

Society Matters

Texel support PhD student as part of Youth Breed Development Programme Karolina will be focusing on genomic evaluations specific to the Texel breed which will contribute to our breed development plan over the coming years.

Society Matters

2017 Birth Notifications start with…

Karolina Kaseja




Winter 2016

Event Dates

Society Matters



James Draper with Claybury ewes

Improved Flock Award 2016 The Draper family’s Shropshire-based Claybury flock is the winner of the 2016 AHDB Beef & Lamb Better Returns Programme Improved Flock Award. This award is presented to the English Signet performance recorded flock that makes the greatest improvement in the breeding potential of the lamb crop during the year. With a focus on high welfare and attention to detail animals are bred for growth and an overall high index, aiming to be in the top 5% of the breed. Historic rams to note include Glenside Lord of the Ring, Haddo Ignitor, Humeston Juniper, Garngour Nijinsky, Claybury Indiana, Millar’s Olympian, Claybury Millreef, and Claybury Rocky Balbao. More recent purchases that have had an impact include Mellorvale Tomahawk and the 2014- bought Stainton Vantage II.

16th May NSA Welsh Sheep Llwyn Bedw, Talybont-On-Usk, Brecon, Powys 31st May NSA Highland Sheep Kinnahaird Farm, Contin, Strathpeffer 7th June NSA North Sheep West Shields Farm, Tow Law, County Durham 3rd July NSA Sheep Northern Ireland Ballymena Livestock Mart 7th August NSA Early Ram Sale Builth Wells 18th September NSA Wales & Border Main Ram Sale - Builth Wells 17th November AHDB Sheep Breeders Round Table - Location TBC

Society Matters


Society National Sale, Show Judges

10th - 13th May Royal Ulster Show 31st May - 3rd June Royal Bath & West Show 22nd - 25th June Royal Highland Show 11th - 13th July Great Yorkshire Show 24th - 27th July Royal Welsh Show

To ensure all UK Nations are represented by a Judge at the Society’s Nationals Show & Sales each year, Judges will be selected as shown in a four year rotation. If you wish to be considered send your details and previous judging experience (essential for these high profile shows) to NATIONAL SHOW Year






Northern Irish






Northern Irish






Northern Irish






Northern Irish

Obituary The Society was informed of the loss of some of our dear members and friends during 2016. Enid Jones - Portway Texels - March Doug Jewitt - Osbaldston - April Barbara Gamble - Springwell - May Margaret Mulligan - Brague - May Bob Johnstone - Crawfordjohn, Boghouse - October

The board of directors, chief executive and staff at the Texel office, wish all members and friends of the Society a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Alan Bennett - Penberlan - October Ernest Williams - Stelfox - November


Winter 2016


Society Reminder

Tag your 2017 lambs accurately and supply the Society with the correct animal ID that appears on BOTH tags A number of sheep entering sales this year could not clearly be identified with our catalogue and flock book. Please follow these simple rules and avoid any disappointment and confusion met as a result of mis-tagging of pedigree Texel sheep. Bye Law 9.7: The Society requires that all pedigree Texel sheep carry two ear tags, in accordance with current government regulations. Each tag should clearly identify the breeder’s unique UK flock number and the Society flock book number allocated to that animal. One of the tags shall be an EID tag and the other a visual tag. Any animal with incorrect or indistinct identification or only carrying one tag will be rejected unless the Society has been notified in advance of the inspection and a dispensation certificate accompanies the animal to the point of inspection. Members are required to use the individual animal ID (the last 5 digits of the EID), as the pedigree identifier of pedigree Texel notifications and registrations and not the flock’s own separate management number.

Society Reminder

Things to remember in preparation for the lambing season: • Request a new lambing book if required • Check to ensure all ewes/rams used are fully registered and have been transferred into your flock • Make a note of the fee deadlines • Consider signing up to our online BASCO service and save on birth notification fees

Society Reminder

If returning paper birth notification forms please remember to check that: • All personal details printed on the front page are correct • The breeder declaration and processing requirements sections have been signed and completed • ALL service sires are listed with their name and flockbook number • Birth details are FULLY complete and accurate • A cheque is enclosed for the correct amount if you have not already signed up to pay by Direct Debit

Society Reminder

Most common problems found with birth notification forms include: • • • •

The same lamb ID number has been put against two different ewes Sire code is missing Date lamb born is missing All males have been ticked to be fully registered (males only need to be birth notified unless the breeder intends to use them themselves for pedigree breeding)

Important Reminder

New male registration system Please remember that DNA samples are required for all new male registrations and that the male registration fee applied is dependent on the date the DNA sample is received by the office, not the date of application or issue of certificate. Sampling kits are sent out automatically upon receipt into the office of a ram docket/proof of purchase. Online members can order kits for home bred rams using the Gene-Tex “Place my order” option on the BASCO website. Alternatively please e-mail registrations@texel. with the name and flockbook number of your home bred ram to obtain kits.



Winter 2016

Society Matters

“Instant flock” with export to Switzerland Swiss breeders have once again been active over the summer months buying British Texels, with 103 sheep from seven Scottish flocks making up the largest single export group to be shipped from the UK. The consignment included both males and females, with both ram lambs and shearling rams among those purchased by the Swiss breeders. Gimmers made up the bulk of the females sent, with a selection of ewe lambs also bought, explained Robert Laird who coordinated the export. “They were once again looking for good, functional, commercial sheep with growth and carcass.” Sheep in the consignment came from Mr Laird’s Cambwell flock, the Clark family’s Garngour, Teiglum and Clarks flocks, Angus McColm’s Crailloch flock, Jimmy Warnock’s Watchknowe flock, David McKerrow’s Nochnary flock and Allan Campbell’s Strawfrank flock. Swiss importer and breeder Heinz Pluss said the latest consignment of Texels to leave for the country had been sourced to meet growing demand and interest in the breed in Switzerland. “Interest in Texels is very high in Switzerland and some breeders are now undertaking performance recording with Signet too.” Some of the recently exported sheep are likely to feature at an event later this autumn which will see a multi-national show of Texels take place, with Swiss, British, German, French and Austrian Texels being presented. Texel Sheep Society chief executive John Yates said the continued export demand for British Texels and particularly performance recorded stock was something the breed could be rightly proud of. “Exports of this size are rare, but it shows the appetite for British Texels in Switzerland and indeed Europe as a whole. The high level of performance recording among the breed is another determining factor for many buyers with importers seeking as much information about the sheep they’re buying as possible.

“Performance recording is another layer of detail and information which helps with their decision making process and gives reassurance about the genetic potential of the stock they are buying.”

superior to all other breeds and types. There are no other sheep in Switzerland with such a potential for growth and such genetic potential,” says Mr Pluss.

Mr Pluss, says the advances made by British Texel breeders using performance recording are immediately obvious when the sheep are compared with those from other countries. “In the past some breeders imported Texels from Germany and France because they were cheaper there than in the UK. However, sadly they discovered there was no real difference to our local breeds.

“There is a massive difference in the quality of lamb I am now producing since switching to solely British Texels, with many butchers saying they’ve never seen carcasses like those of the British Texel lambs. I had been dissatisfied with our local breeds and felt I couldn’t do anything to improve the quality of my sheep. British Texels have turned that around for me and now I’m seeing a steady demand for ram lambs from commercial sheep farmers looking to improve their flocks.”

“When I first imported British Texels it was soon clear to me that they were


Winter 2016


Society Matters

2017 AGM & SOCIAL WEEKEND Co-hosted by the Society and the Northern Region Texel Breeders Club OULTON HALL - LEEDS Friday November 11th - Sunday November 13th 2017 Taking place at a stunning 18th century country manor hotel set in beautiful landscaped gardens, with imposing statues, sweeping spiral staircases, a state-of-the-art spa and a 27 hole golf course. We have arranged a weekend of fun and entertainment at a fantastic rate whether you want to come for the whole weekend, have a one night stay or just dinner on Friday or Saturday, we are sure we have the package for you.

Society News

Tomos Evans (Welsh flock) This year’s Northern Irish National Sale, Ballymena, featured on Welsh language channel S4C when the programme followed this year’s judge Tomos Evans of the Welsh flock, Carmarthen. The programme, aired on Monday 29 August, included coverage of the presale show as well as the sale itself and interviews with Tomos both at the sale and at home on his farm.

Tomos Evans

Tomos was also earlier this year selected as one of the winners of the Princes Countryside Fund Land Rover bursary for 2016-17 giving him the use of a Land Rover Discovery Sport for 12 months to support young people in the development of their countryside careers.

Society Matters


THE ITINERARY INCLUDES... Guaranteed Yorkshire welcome Drinks receptions pre-dinner Friday and Saturday Guest after dinner speaker Awards & Presentations Friday night’s entertainment is a real ‘Mystery’ Saturday - the infamous Texel Challenge Saturday night’s band - The Baltic Donkeys!! Provisionally reserve your place very limited availability, over half already reserved. Email MISS IT - MISS OUT!

NSA Sheep event - Malvern

The Society held a ‘win a weigh crate’ competition at two of the NSA Sheep events this year. Guess the weight of lambs at ScotSheep and Stockjudging at the NSA Sheep Event, Malvern, with the Society chairman, David McKerrow acting as official Judge. Both competitions proved very popular with the record amount of entries being broken at Malvern with in excess of 700 on the day. At the end of Sheep 2016 at Malvern all correct entries from both events were put in a bucket with a winner drawn by David McKerrow, ably assisted by

NSA ScotSheep

the YDP team. The winner was Louise Atkins - Plantfield Texels, Beaworthy, Devon, with her stockjudging entry at Malvern.


10 Winter 2016

Sibmister Gimmers

Fiona, Amy, Kenneth (Jnr), Stephen, Kenneth (Snr) and Elspeth


S & K Sutherland Thurso, Caithness


he Sutherland family – Kenneth and Elspeth and sons, Kenneth and Stephen – were one of the first farming businesses in the far North of Scotland to use Texels on their cross ewe flock, and they were so impressed with the results that since 1990, they have bred their own pedigree Texels too. Between Stainland and Sibmister farms, near Thurso, in Caithness, the Sutherlands farm 1600 acres (mainly arable ground, bar 300 acres of hill). They run a 400-strong suckler cow herd, from which the calves are sold as stores, and a sheep flock of 1200 cross ewes, 300 cross ewe hoggs, 70 pure Suffolks and 70 pure Texels. The family’s pedigree Texel flock, which runs under the Sibmister prefix, was established in 1990 and produces all the rams needed for the commercial flock. There’s also around 12 shearlings sold annually at Quoybrae, which have averaged over £700 for the past three years. In fact, Sibmister shearlings have lifted the championship and topped the sale at Quoybrae for the past three years in succession. And now that the pedigree numbers have increased, the Sutherlands sold at Dingwall for the first time this year, reaching a top of 980gns. For management purposes, the pedigree ewes are AI’d to lamb in February, whilst the tups for the cross ewes are put out the second week in October, for one month, and the cross ewe hoggs run with the tups for three weeks from the beginning of November. “We have also carried out a bit of ET work in the past couple of years,” says Stephen. “By flushing a couple of our best breeding proven ewes, we hope to increase numbers and quality. We have one seven-yearold ewe, SJX09714, which seems to breed well with any tup and has been particularly prolific, with 14 daughters in the flock. She has also produced a couple of champions and three shearling sons have averaged over £1000. “This year, she’s again produced a bumper crop of 28 embryos. With a sound mouth and udder and still rearing lambs at her age, she certainly is the kind of female we want!”

Stock rams are normally bought at Lanark, with the first one purchased for 1000gns back in 1990 – Grougfoot Victor. “He was a big, long sheep, that bred well for us and I think he’d still look impressive today,” says Stephen, who adds that it’s not always easy to find the type of tups that they’re looking for. “We’re always looking for big, long sheep, with good gigots and sound on their legs, but for a while, the sheep seemed to be getting smaller and smaller and a lot are hard on the shoulder. There certainly seems to be a better choice of bigger sheep around now, but there’s definitely still a lot of breeders concentrating on character to the detriment of carcass,” he explains. “Also, I personally have concerns about the emphasis placed on performance recording, not only in this breed, but throughout both the sheep and beef sectors. Many flocks and herds are chasing figures, as opposed to the basic needs of most commercial producers – easy fleshing, good conformation and mobility,” adds Stephen. The team – which includes Kenneth jnr’s wife Fiona and their young family, Amy and Jack, plus two full time staff are, however, delighted with this year’s lambs off their 2015 purchase, Arkle War Wagon, a Halbeath VIP son bought for 8000gns at Lanark. “He has left big, growthy tup lambs with excellent length and tops and a lot of smart lengthy ewe lambs,” says Stephen. Their hopes for next year rest mainly with the new purchase, Knock Yukon, a Tophill Wall St son, bought jointly with Jonnie Campbell for 3200gns at Lanark. “Our plan for the future remains the same as when we started in the breed, to produce growthy, tight skinned tups, with good tops and gigots that will produce top spec lambs. “What started as a hobby has become the main influence in our entire sheep enterprise. I don’t think any other breed can offer such increased returns, whether it be for store lambs, prime lambs or the cast ewe market,” concludes Stephen.  Lifestyle

Winter 2016


Rohan Gimmers

ROHAN - ROWANDALE Danny and Darren McKay, Ballymena, Co. Antrim


s with many breeders it was Danny McKay’s experience of Texels in his commercial flock which persuaded him to start a pedigree flock with the intention of breeding a few rams to use himself.

Danny & Darren

“We’d always used Suffolks in the commercial flock, but I bought a Texel ram lamb from John Currie one year and was impressed with the lambs he produced. As a result of that I fancied buying a few ewes for myself and that’s how the Rohan flock was started. “The intention really was just to breed a few rams to use ourselves, but as it happened we bred a decent ram lamb in our first year which we sold for 3800gns. This was Rohan Lucky Dip, a Parkview Judge son out of a Tullagh gimmer by Carrowdore His Highness. It was a fantastic start for us and really gave me the bug to stick with it and progress with the pedigree side of things,” explains Danny. “I’ve always looked for a commercial type of Texel with that extra bit of spark and breed character to breed the better sheep too. The first sire we bought was Tullagh Legend for 6000gns at Lanark in 2006. He was a big spend for a young flock, but he proved his worth, leaving great females and also being the sire of Rowandale Rocky which we sold from my son Darren’s flock in 2010 for 14,000gns and of Rowandale Predator which sold for 2600gns at Dungannon in 2009.” As with any flock it is these solid foundations which have paved the way for the McKay family, with Danny commenting that the style and stamp from those initial Tullagh gimmers and Legend

still show throughout the flock today. “There’s no doubt about it we were lucky to start with such good genetics. It has paid dividends in the flock year after year and allowed us to bring in a variety of stock sires all of which have knitted well with the flock. “Nowadays we’re looking to produce big, powerful tups that the commercial customer is after in order to produce top end prime lambs. We need a bit of size and stretch to suit our commercial buyers and they are after all, the bread and butter of the sheep industry. Of course we like to breed a few lambs a year which catch the pedigree breeders’ eye, but these are the exception rather than the rule. They help keep our name out Lifestyle

12 Winter 2016

Rowandale Yorkie - sold at Lanark for 1,400gns

there in what can be a competitive market here in Northern Ireland.” With this in mind current stock sire and 7500gns purchase Knap Vital Spark was bought for his scope and power. “He’s proven to be a great breeder in his first season and we’re hopeful his daughters will pass all of his attributes through to their progeny in due course.” But, with a small flock of just 12 ewes there is a need to keep things moving and in order to achieve this. Danny likes to push on with new genetics by flushing up to eight ewes a year. “That may seem excessive for such a small flock, but I’d sooner keep a small number of high quality ewes and flush them as it allows us to move through the generations quicker and ensure we stay at the front of the pack. “It is probably fair to say the flock changes completely every couple of years as we bring fresh gimmers in and sell on older proven ewes. There is a ready market for these proven ewes and often they go on to breed well for their new owners having done a good job for us too.” Flushing also allows the McKays to sell a significant number of gimmers each year, with most years seeing between 75 and 90 lambs born in to the flock. “In 2014 we flushed 97 embryos from six ewes with about 80 of these holding, so we’ve always got good numbers of females to pick from for ourselves as well as a good number to sell too.” From the outset Danny hasn’t been afraid to bid well for the right tups, including buying a share in the 14,000gns Cherryvale Nijinsky, a tup he says did exceptionally well at Rohan and left a lasting female legacy. “We’ve still got ewes in the flock by him now and they continue to breed the right type of sheep by a variety of sires. This focus on buying good sires also means we don’t use semen from other rams. “I’d always rather own the tup than buy a bit of semen from here or there. It means we can keep some level of control over things and gives us the chance to buy a ram to suit our own

Rohan ewes

females. Despite flushing so heavily we still need a tup to use naturally too and I’d rather it was a decent tup rather than one just bought as a sweeper,” he adds. Danny does question though whether flushing is the right route for the flock in the long-term. “It’s a really tricky one, at the moment we’re getting the rewards from it, but there’s no doubt that with the amount of flushing being done in Northern Ireland now the market is becoming more and more competitive. It might be that in time we increase our numbers and go away from flushing. “To justify the expense of it you really need to be selling a few decent priced lambs a year. If we went to a larger flock and cut the flushing we’d be able to perhaps cull harder than we might like to at the moment.” The flock lambs in February with ewes housed about a fortnight before lambing and then turned back out to grass as soon as the weather allows. “We’re lucky to have plenty of grass at hand for the ewes and lambs receive creep feed from early on in order to help them get a good start. We only show at Balmoral normally, but that’s early in the season, so we need our lambs to be thriving from the minute they are born to make a mark there.” With the Rohan flock now passing its tenth anniversary Danny feels it has hit maturity, with Rohan and Rowandale tups breeding well for their purchasers and the flock recognised as one selected for correctness and fleshing. “These are the vital attributes we mustn’t forget. Keeping breed character is important and would be hard to breed back in if we lost it, but locomotion and correct feet and legs are equally paramount for me and our commercial customers want rams with carcass and growth. “As with any flock there is always room for improvement, but its pleasing to see our sheep performing well for others and repeat customers for both rams and gimmers are a sure sign we’re getting things about right,” he adds.


Winter 2016



National sale roundup - 2016


his year’s round of National Texel Sales in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England saw a number of new records set for the breed with the sales continuing to deliver sustained growth for Society members.

English National sale topper - Beautry CUB1501219 sold for 16,000gns

Northern Irish National Sale topper - Tullagh Yan sold for 3,800gns

Scottish National sale topper - Teiglum Younggun sold for 70,000gns

Welsh National sale topper - Oldford Yogi Bear sold for 3,800gns

Following him at 52,000gns was Clinterty Yogi Bear from the same pen. He’s another by Tophill Wall St and is it out of a dam by Clinterty Par One. He carries an index of 347 and was knocked down to Charlie Boden for the Sportsmans flock.

She sold to Hugh and Alan Blackwood, Auldhouseburn.

At the Scottish National Sale, Lanark, the breed delivered a new all-time gross sale record, with the two-day fixture resulting in a total of £1,081,668 being spent on the best genetics the breed has to offer. Additionally, this sale also saw a record ram lamb average, with 351 sold to level at £2812.24. Meanwhile, the English National Sale, Worcester, saw a new centre gimmer record set at 16,000gns, with a record average for gimmers too at £993.45. Ram lamb averages rose at all National sales, with just shy of 800 ram lambs finding buyers across the four sales in the space of 14 days. Scottish National Sale, Lanark Taking the pick of the trade at Lanark was Teiglum Younggun from Alan, Andrew and David Clark when selling for 70,000gns. This much admired son of the homebred Teiglum Windfall is an ET bred lamb flushed from the family’s show gimmer of this year. His dam, which was interbreed champion at Great Yorkshire and breed champion at the Royal Highland, is by Castlecairn Vavavoom. Leading the bidding throughout was a partnership of North West breeders, with half shares taken by Procters Farm and Messrs Boden and Davies for their Procters and Sportsmans flocks, respectively. Brian Buchan enjoyed a flying trade for his pen from the Clinterty flock, taking calls of 60,000gns and 52,000gns. Topping the pen was Clinterty Yuga Khan, a Tophill Wall St son out of a dam by Ettrick Smasher. This lamb sold with an index of 417 and was shared eight ways by Gordon Gray, Ettrick, Robert Cockburn, Knap, the Wight family, Midlock, Messrs Gray, Scrogtonhead, Messrs Blackwood, Auldhouseburn, the Knox family, Haddo, Messrs Arnott, Haymount and James Currie, Carlinside.

Selling at 42,000gns was Strathbogie Your Tupped, a Glenside Wild Boy son out of a dam by Strathbogie Untouchable from Jim Innes. Selling in a two-way split he was bought by Keith, Alan and Roy Campbell, Cowal, and Bruce Renwick, Castlecairn. At 35,000gns from the same pen was Strathbogie Ya Belter, a son of Millar’s Windbrook which stood second at the Highland. He’s out of a dam by Glenside Razzle Dazzle which is sister to the 24,000gns Strathbogie Smoky Blue. He was also shared, being bought by Procters Farm, Procters and Will Davis, Usk Vale. A 32,000gns bid then followed for Arkle YingYang from George Wilkinson and family. This son of Brackenridge Underdog is out of a dam by Cambwell Rob Roy and sold with an index of 305. He was shared by six breeders, Kenny Pratt, Hilltop, Albert and George Howie, Knock, Brian Buchan, Clinterty, Rodney Blackhall, Sceeoch, Douglas Webster, Lower Reiss and Allan Chisholm, Wester Moy. Gimmers at Lanark were led at 13,000gns by MJH1504937 from the Mellin family’s Hull House flock, Hellifield, Skipton. She is by Garngour Vodka and is out of a dam by Sportsmans Terrific II.

English National Sale, Worcester Gimmers enjoyed a flying trade at the English National Sale with a new centre record price of 16,000gns paid for a gimmer from Stuart Currie’s Beautry flock, on an evening which saw 81 gimmers sell to level at £1002.69, a rise of £197.34 on last year’s fixture. Leading the way was CUB1501219, a single born daughter of Loosebeare Voldemort out of a dam by the homebred Beautry Taz. She was subject to a fierce bidding battle after an opening bid of 2000gns, before finally being knocked down at 16,000gns to Paul Tippetts, Shifnal, Shropshire. Second top of the evening at 6200gns was the pre-sale female champion and reserve overall champion from Robert Cockburn’s Knap flock, CKP1500173. Offered late in the sale she is by Tamnamoney Tuborg Gold and out of a dam by Knock Papoose. Buying this one were Geoff and Eifion Morgan, BlaenCar, Sennybridge. Heading up the male prices was the champion from the pre-sale show, Sportsmans Yolo, a Strathbogie Whiplash son out of a dam by Cairnam Talisman and sold with an index of 310. This one from Charlie Boden was the pick of David Chambers for the Twelve Oaks flock, Northamptonshire. Second best of the day was a 6500gns call for John Leith’s Cornmore Yokel.


14 Winter 2016

Leading the trade at Ballymena at 3800gns was a ram lamb from the Tullagh flock of Jim and Richard Currie. This was Tullagh Yan, a son of Milnbank Womaniser out of a dam by Glenside Topgun. He sold to James Kane, Castlewellan, Co Down.

This son of the homebred Cornmore Vidal is out of a Cambwell bred dam by Cambwell Laird and was knocked down to Paul Johnson for the Corriecravie flock, Stoke-On-Trent. Charlie Boden was then back in the money taking 5800gns for Sportsman’s Yamaha, a member of the first prize winning group of three by Strathbogie Whiplash and a full ET brother to the pre-sale champion. He sold with an index of 285 and was bought by Henry Ashley and family for the Lincs flock, Boston.

Following that at 3400gns was another from the same pen, Tullagh Yogi. Again by Womaniser this one is out of a Fairywater Superstar dam and sold to young breeders, Adrian Liggett and Andrew Kennedy for the Corbo and Maineview flocks, respectively. Welsh National Sale, Welshpool

Northern Irish National Sale, Ballymena

The Welsh National Sale, Welshpool, saw a top call of 3800gns as the sale average rose by more than £40 on the same sale last year for the same number sold.

A total of 154 ram lambs found new homes at Ballymena, with these selling to average £579.75, a lift of £27.04 on last year, while 71 shearling rams settled the day at £665, up by more than £58 on 2015.

Leading the prices on a solidly commercial trade was a ram lamb from

Robert Pierce’s Oldford flock, Pulford, Chester. This substitute entry, Oldford Yogi Bear, is a son of Eden Valley Warrior out of a dam by Mullan Supremacy. This one sold with an index of 355 and having stood fourth in the pre-sale show. Buying him in a two way split were the Forrester family, Doonguile and Steve and Helen Smith, Pen Parc. Next best was a 3200gns sale for Gary Scott’s Bryn-Y-Coed Yogi Bear. This son of Sportsmans Tremendous II is out of a dam by the 42,000gns Tullylagan Tonka and was the pick of Richard Wilson, Eden Valley. Shearling rams sold to a top of 3100gns here for Caereinion Warrior from Cefyn Pryce. This son of Ryders Varka is out of a dam the homebred Caereinion Number One and was knocked down to Mark James for the Ripperstown flock, Pembrokeshire.

NATIONAL SALE SIRE OF THE YEAR 2016 Tophill Wall St delivers bumper dividends The winner of the first season sire of the year award for 2015 born sires is Tophill Wall St. Bred by David Houghton, this one was bought last year in Lanark for 32,000gns by Brian Buchan, Clinterty, Albert and George Howie, Knock and the Knox family, Haddo, with David Houghton retaining a quarter share.

Club Sale, Carlisle. His best three sons were Strathbogie You’re Tupped at 42,000gns, Strathbogie Yabba Dabba Doo and Strathbogie Yolo at 11,000gns. This gave Wild Boy an average of 21,666gns for his best three sons.

Tophill Wall St

himself being a son of Procters Ventura and out of a dam by Milnbank Times Square.

His best selling three sons in 2016 were all sold at Lanark, being the 60,000gns Clinterty Yuga Khan, the 52,000gns Clinterty Yogi Bear and the 15,000gns Knock Yardman.

Taking second spot was Glenside Wild Boy, bred by John Forsyth and bought by the Innes family, Strathbogie, Robbie Wilson, Milnbank, and Bryden Nicholson, for 12,000gns at the Solway and Tyne

This resulted in an average for the three sons of 42,300gns, with Wall St

And in third was Millar’s Windbrook bred by Cyril and Martin Millar. He was bought by the Innes family, Strathbogie, for 14,000gns at Lanark. His best sellers were Strathbogie Ya Belter at 35,000gns, Strathbogie Yankee Doodle at 5000gns and Strathbogie Y Fronts at 4000gns. Windbrook’s best three sons levelled out at 14,666gns.




Sold for Progeny Gns owner

Sire Breeder


Clinterty Yuga Khan - BBY1601056

Tophill Wallstreet - HPH1500816



Brian Buchan

J D Houghton


Clinterty Yogi Bear - BBY1601064

Tophill Wallstreet - HPH1500816



Brian Buchan

J D Houghton


Knock Yardman - HAK1601070

Tophill Wallstreet - HPH1500816



A & G Howie

J D Houghton


Average Gns






Strathbogie You’re Tupped

Glenside Wild Boy



James Innes

John Forsyth


Yabba Dabba Doo

Glenside Wild Boy



James Innes

John Forsyth


Strathbogie Yolo

Glenside Wild Boy



James Innes

John Forsyth



THIRD Lanark

Strathbogie Ya Belter

Millar’s Windbrook



James Innes

Cyril and Martin Millar


Strathbogie Yankee Doodle

Millar’s Windbrook



James Innes

Cyril and Martin Millar


Strathbogie Y Fronts

Millar’s Windbrook



James Innes

Cyril and Martin Millar 14,666


Winter 2016


Society National Shows & Sale Dates 2017


Pedigree proves its worth at large scale commercial sales


and provenance which pedigree conveys, while unregistered Texels struggled to match the averages achieved by registered sheep at either sale.

At Builth more than one quarter of all the rams sold was a registered Texel shearling or ram lamb, with more than one in five rams sold at Kelso a registered Texel.

Kelso saw unregistered shearlings average nearly £300 less than their registered counterparts, while at Builth the gap between registered and unregistered was more than £120, with more than 50 fewer forward at Builth than in 2015.

nce again the two main commercial tup sales of the autumn and the two largest ram sales in Europe, Kelso Ram Sale and the NSA Main Sale, Builth Wells, provided confidence for Texel breeders and their commercial customers.

The Main NSA Sale at Builth Wells saw an exceptional demand for rams too, with a 93% clearance in the shearlings and an 87% clearance in the ram lambs. At Kelso a total of 870 registered shearlings sold to average £878.43, a rise of more than £110 on last year’s sale, while at Builth 681 shearlings were traded to level at £716.67, up by more than £100 on the year. The four registered Texel rings were crammed with buyers throughout the day, now a regular sight year on year, with commercial buyers clearly drawn to the proven and consistent supply of Texel genetics. Registered Texels are proving themselves the choice for buyers looking for rams of a quality standard and with the assurance

Demand for all registered Texels was at near record levels at both sales. The excellent averages and clearances at both these significant commercial sales consistent message; pedigree registered flocks provide confidence for commercial producers. This continues to drive the breed’s dominance in the commercial sector and follows on from an excellent series of Society National and Club sales for the breed. A clear sign that buyers place a lot of trust in pedigree. There is no better endorsement of the breed and the Society than the premiums offered and rising averages and strong clearances seen for registered Texel shearlings at both these major sales.

Scotland - 23 - 24 August - Lanark Wales - 26 August - Welshpool England - 28 - 29 August - Worcester Northern Ireland - 6 - 7 September Ballymena - NEW DATE!

Commercial producers continue to back the Texel breed as the breed of choice to produce lambs capable of earning premium prices in both prime and store rings as well as breeding sales. With lamb prices buoyant for much of the summer and export demand stronger than recent years, the benefits of using quality rams have been even more evident across the sector. Texel lambs regularly earn premiums of more than 20p/kg in live markets as buyers seek them out for the consistent quality they deliver week in, week out. It is no surprise to see commercial buyers backing the breed to the level they have at these recent sales and is testament to the foresight and commitment of Texel breeders across the country. The Society continues to invest on behalf of the membership in long-term research and breed development programmes to ensure the breed remains at the forefront of the industry.


Total sold (reg and non-reg, shearlings and lambs) 2015

Total sold (reg and non-reg, shearlings and lambs) 2016

Sales value 2015

Sales value 2016

% of total sale value 2015

% of total sales value 2016

Ave price 2015

Ave price 2016














































Registered Texel shearlings









Unregistered Texel shearlings










Total sold (reg and non-reg, shearlings and lambs) 2015

Total sold (reg and non-reg shearlings and lambs) 2016

Sales value 2015

Sales value 2016

% of total sale value 2015

% of total sale value 2016

Ave price 2015

Ave price 2016














































Registered Texel Shearlings









Unregistered Texel Shearlings











16 Winter 2016


Performance recording and type; a happy union


ecorded stock proved popular at this year’s National Sales, with a number of high priced sales coming for top performance sheep, a clear reflection of the excellent balance breeders are striking between performance and type within the breed. The demand for correct, well grown, well fleshed sheep with breed character is as high as ever, with many of these now also carrying performance figures in the top 10% or 5% of the breed.

Claybury Yacht - sold at the Welsh National for 2,600gns

Garngour Yankee - sold at the English National for 1, 100gns

Millars Yankee sold at the Scottish National for 2,800gns

Millars Yannis - sold at the Northern Irish National for 480gns

At Lanark the top three prices were taken by ram lambs in the top 5% of the breed, with the sale topper, Teiglum Younggun from the Clark family having an index of 360, placing him in the top 5% of the breed. The second top priced lamb, Clinterty Yuga Khan from Brian Buchan sold with an index in the top 1% of the breed, while the third top priced lamb, Clinterty Yogi Bear has an index inside the top 5% of the breed. The 2016 National Texel sales have been a success for performance recorded members with rams in the Top 5% of the breed dominating the entries and the number of animals sold. Across the board at Lanark, recorded stock sold with a clearance rate more than 10% above that of unrecorded stock at, with 81.6% of the recorded ram lambs selling at an average of £3573.15. Meanwhile, at the English National Sale, Worcester the pre-sale champion and top priced ram lamb was Sportsmans Yolo which sold for 7000gns and has an index just outside the top 10% of the breed. Sportsmans Yamaha, a lamb with an index in the top 25% of the breed sold for 5800gns and Stainton Yogorra from Peter Woof sold for 5000gns with an index in the top 5% of the breed. Interestingly, nearly half the recorded ram lambs sold have figures in the top 5% of the breed.

And at Welshpool performance recorded sheep aslo fared well, with ram lambs in the top 5% of the breed peaking at 3800gns for Oldford Yogi Bear, the top price of the day, and achieving an 83% clearance rate. Recorded gimmers delivered a similar result, with a gimmer in the top 5%, GCT1505306, leading the prices at 2800gns, while in the shearling rams those in the top 5% of the breed achieved a 100% clearance rate and led the trade at 2800gns for Caereinion Warrior. What is revealing about these statistics, says Texel Sheep Society chief executive John Yates is that these higher indexed sheep are also of the type sought by breeders and commercial producers. “Performance recording is often seen as antagonistic to breeding for breed type, structural correctness and other desirable traits. Texel breeders are clearly finding this not to be the case, with the breed capable of producing sheep with good type and good performance figures in volume.” “The work done by breeders in this area is to be applauded and is just one more reason that Texels continue to be in demand from commercial producers across the UK.”


Winter 2016


Texel Education awards The Society’s Educational Awards are awarded to the students who attain the highest mark on a sheep production related Honours Research Project. The awards of £250 are offered to a student at one of four Universities representing Northern Ireland, Greenmount Scotland, SRUC - Wales, Aberystwyth University and England, Harper Adams.

If you have any ideas to develop the YDP programme get in touch with your regional YDP Committee Member or email


Greenmount - Henry Gamble presenting to Joshua Thompson

SRUC - David McKerrow presenting to Molly Beattie Aberystwyth - Professor Wolf presenting to Kathryn Morris

Harper-Adams, Professor Liam Sinclair presenting to Elizabeth Harris

Young Handlers class winners 2016


Once again young breeders tested their handling skills at the Royal Ulster and Royal Welsh Shows.


YDP young handler Sam Hughes with Judge Bridget Booker at the Royal Welsh Show

Area A - Kerr Jarvie MBX 01764 681 589 or 07736 299632 Area B - Duncan Mellin MJH 01729 850 220

RUAS young handlers with Judge James Robinson (Kaker Mill) and Stephanie McCollam (NITYB)

Society National Show & Sale Novice Flock/Ram Lamb class winners B J Newton - Moorgate Yielder Welsh sale Novice Flock

Area C - Vacant position election process

Judge,Tomos Evans (Welsh flock) presenting the trophy to James Wilkinson - Northern Irish sale Young Breeder Ram Lamb Class

Area D - Anna MinniceHughes - SJP - 01938 850 265 or 07979 381285 Area E - Adrian Liggett LIG - Chairman 02882 841 691 or 07766 146624 Michael Leggat - Foreman Hill Yoshi English sale Novice Flock

Gary Evans (Neogen) presenting the trophy to P Donnelly - Donrho Scot Yokel - Scottish sale Novice Flock

Youth Focus

18 Winter 2016

9-11 June 2017

FIVE NATIONS EVENT 2017 An exciting three day event for teams from each of the five nations. Join us for a social weekend of fun and light-hearted competition in northern England, open to all young Texel breeders aged between 18 and 35.

Activities included will be: • • • • •

Welcome BBQ Flock visits to Procters and Sportsmans flocks Stock judging Manchester nightlife Go Karting

Youth Focus

For more details... Call Duncan on 07540053431 Email: Website: Winter 2016


Some of the Charben flock

CHARBEN Ben Vernon, Marston Bank, Staffordshire H

aving been brought up with Texels in the family’s commercial sheep flock, Derbyshire young breeder Ben Vernon is determined to progress in the breed and continue producing top quality commercial rams which have pedigree appeal too.

Ben with Emma, baby Millie and Ed the dog

The Charben flock, founded in 2002, has enjoyed a number of successes in recent years following a period of investment by Ben in AI and ET work to maximise the flock’s best genetics. “It really is the last five or six years that things have been stepped up a gear for the flock, with the aim of breeding sheep with some potential as pedigree stock as well as producing good, easily fleshed commercial rams too.” Highlights include selling Charben Valentine to Robert Cockburn’s Knap flock for 4500gns, with this lamb going on to be the sire of the reserve overall champion at the Solway and Tyne Club sale, Carlisle, in 2015, Knap Wot A Nut, with this lamb subsequently selling for 5000gns. “That was definitely a major step forward for the flock and culmination of several years’s breeding to get to that stage. In January 2016 I also topped the Chelford sale with a ewe lamb at 2250gns and sold another on the same day at 1150gns. Other sale success also includes selling Charben Wolf for 2000gns

at Worcester and Charben You Cracker for 2400gns to the Thomas family’s Bryn Garth flock in 2016.” The flock has also enjoyed success in the North West Texel Breeders Club’s flock competition, winning the small flock class in 2016 as well as picking up first prize pen of five ewe lambs, the champion pen of ewe lambs and reserve overall champion flock. But Charben breeding has also been behind success for other flocks too, with a homebred ewe lamb by Tullagh Real Deal flushed in a shared deal with the Sportsmans flock

Youth Focus

20 Winter 2016

Charben Yorkie & Charben Yankie sold to Bottomhouse & Gyros respectively

resulting in the 20,000gns Sportsmans Trojan II. “His mother was VCB1100243, a ewe bred from three generations of homebred dams and going back to a Woodmarsh ewe bought as foundation stock for the flock,” explains Ben. Notable purchases in the flock’s more recent history include ewes from Ettrick, Mellor Vale and Milnbank, with all three having a strong influence on the flock’s success. “The Mellor Vale ewe is one of the most dominant bloodlines in the flock now, while the Milnbank ewe was the dam of the 1700gns Charben Winner sold at Welshpool as well as breeding a ewe lamb which was champion at Hartington Sports which is the biggest show of Texels in Derbyshire. “The Mellor Vale ewe is by Baltier Panther and goes back to Castlecairn Nile God on her dam’s side, while the Milnbank ewe is by Castlecairn SAS Commander, with both having been bought at in-lamb sales at Carlisle. The Ettrick ewe was bought back in 2005 at Chelford, but lasted well and left a number of good females, she was by Tophill Jetstream.”

2015 show gimmer VBC1501598 Sired by Glenside Valhalla

of lift and stretch as well as being correct. I’m finding a lot of tups are too raw on the shoulder, so have to be careful of that going forward.” With a full time job managing a local chicken farm which carries 140,000 birds as well as contract shearing about 7000 sheep a year and managing a couple of local commercial flocks it is clear Ben has a lot on his plate and he cites the help of friend and fellow breeder Mike Turner as key in keeping the sheep on track. “I shear with Mike and we help each other out with our flocks as needs be.” Lambing in mid-February the Charben flock is run at grass for as long as possible with all sheep put away to keep on local dairy farms for the winter to give the ground at home a chance to rest and provide a fresh bite for ewes and lambs after lambing. “I take a couple of weeks off from work for lambing and try to get the ewes and lambs out to grass as soon as possible. That can mean they’re out by day and in by night for a while, but it works well and as soon as the weather allows they’re out full time.

With the Mellor Vale ewe proving her worth she has been flushed in recent years and is the grand dam of Charben Warhorse, a ram Ben retained for his own use and sold a small amount of semen from in his first year. “He has bred well including being the sire of Tomas Evans’ much admired ewe lamb at the Royal Welsh Show this year.”

“Lambs are then creep fed from about three weeks old onwards, with ewe lambs taken off creep as soon as is practical. I prefer to let them grow out naturally while continuing to feed the ram lambs ahead of the sales, with the aim being to sell all of them as lambs rather than shearlings,” he adds.

When it comes to tup choices Ben is keen to ensure any tup he uses carries the depth of fleshing the breed is renowned for as well as being correct and where possible having the extra bit of flash to breed top drawer males and females. “Over the years I’ve used a number of good tups, including Tullagh Real Deal, a tup I shared with Frank Rushton, as well as semen from a number of good tups, such as Tullylagan Tonka, Milnbank Special One, Glenside Valhalla and Strathbogie Terminator.

Looking to the future Ben says the ultimate aim would be to be among the tickets and top prices at Lanark as well as continuing to breed strong commercial sheep for local customers. “I’m keen to see the flock progress as far as it can and having good people such as Frank Rushton and Charlie Boden around me has been really good as I’ve been developing the flock. They’re help and support has encouraged me to invest in the breed and continue to strive to do better,” he explains.

“Buying semen is a great way of getting access to some better tups which otherwise I wouldn’t be able to afford to use. Last year I shared a tup with the Blaencar flock of the Morgan family, Brackenridge Woody and he has left great females, he has plenty

“I firmly believe the breed is still the number one commercial terminal sire in the UK and has all the qualities needed to keep it there. First and foremost we have to keep the fleshing on the lambs and keep them correct,” adds Ben.

Youth Focus

Winter 2016


22 Winter 2016

Gloucester & Border Counties Club Annual “Christmas Present” In-Lamb Gimmer, Ewe Lamb Show & Sale

Saturday 3rd December 2016 at Worcester Market

Tel: McCartneys on

01905 769770

The Twilight Texel Sale Friday 2nd December

At 6.00pm at Borderway Mart, Carlisle Tel: 01228

406 230

In-Lamb Gimmer Sale From the flocks of Procters, Douganhill, Thacka, Llangwm, Haddo, Stainton, Welsh, Arkle, Loosebeare, Hallbeath, Haltcliffe, Crailloch, Plasucha, Alwent

Winter 2016


Modelling the benefits of British Texel sheep genetics


he British Texel Sheep Society recently commissioned AbacusBio to conduct an economic impact study and a survey, to provide knowledge about the Texel breed and support new research initiatives. Consultants Tim Byrne, Peter Amer and Tom Kirk carried out an analysis of genetic trends in performance-recorded and non-recorded Texel flocks, and the scale of use of the breed in commercial flocks. The economic benefits, arising from use of the Texel breed, were estimated for the period from 1996 to2015, along with future benefits up to 2035. The study found that both maternal and terminal index trends approximately doubled from 1995 to 1999 and 2010 to 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. “The annual increase in the maternal index genetic trend is driven almost entirely by the gains in terminal traits,” Tom explains. “This applies to both performance-recorded and non-recorded trends.” At the same time, an increasing trend is apparent in the proportion of Texel rams used to breed replacements. In 2015, an estimated 56% of Texel rams used were rams from which replacements were retained, while in 1996 this figure was 30%. “The growing importance of the maternal role of Texel genetics in the UK sheep flock indicates there may be further opportunities for economic gain, through an increased focus on maternal ewe traits for breed improvement in the future,” Tim says. Historical financial benefits of genetic improvement from the use of the Texel breed have been significant, amounting to £197 million between 1996 and 2015. The benefits can be attributed to a combination of an increasing genetic trend, increased use

of rams from pedigree-registered flocks (as opposed to rams from commercial flocks), and increased use of Texel rams to breed replacements. Future financial benefits of genetic improvement from the use of the Texel breed are predicted to be significant as well, amounting to £244million between 2016 and 2035. Meanwhile, a survey developed and analysed by consultants Tim Byrne, Peter Amer and Jonathan Chuah, targeted at British Texel sheep breeders, gathered views on the current and future use of the breed, strengths and weaknesses, selection criteria and future trait improvement priorities. Terminal traits were clearly regarded as strengths of the Texel breed. The most highly regarded strength of the Texel breed was shown to be carcass meat yield (for 96% of respondents), followed by growth rate (87%), lamb vigour and survival (86%) and the ability to differentiate between breed type in the live market (85%). In terms of selection criteria, some 56% of respondents considered health status to be extremely important, followed by ram structural traits that affect functionality (50% of respondents), saleability of offspring based on visual criteria (39%) and traits that define correct breed type (37%). An overwhelming majority of respondents (85%) agreed that there should be a greater focus on maternal traits, to assist in developing specific genetic lines of the Texel breed for the future. Taken together, the economic analysis and survey outcomes give clear guidance to the British Texel Society about research priorities in the future. “We plan to extend the results of this study to a wider farming audience and use the information to help us develop strong industry-relevant breeding programmes in the future,” says John Yates, the chief executive of the British Texel Society.

Development of genomic breeding tools YOUR EXPERT

Dr Ann McLaren, SRUC Hill & Mountain Research Centre, Perthshire The development of genomic breeding tools has the potential to greatly benefit Texel breeders by allowing early selection decisions of young animals in order to achieve genetic improvement in traits that are hard to measure or only observed later in life. The recent 18 month project has provided valuable data and information relating to hard to measure traits such as Mastitis. The collection of data for traits associated with milk quality, provided by 29 Texel flocks

throughout the UK, has allowed the estimation of the first preliminary genomic breeding values (GEBV’s) relating to mastitis. This work has been aided by the collection of DNA information from over three thousand animals based on participating flocks and a selection of rams within the overall Texel population. The project has also validated the California Mastitis Test (CMT) as a useful indicator of somatic cell counts (SCC) present in the ewe’s milk.

Technical Corner

24 Winter 2016

Are you getting the most from Performance Recording your flock?


o get the maximum benefit from performance recording your flock we recommend the following protocol be adopted:

Activity - Record and submit weights for all shearling ewes when the rams are put in Why? – Allows mature size of ewes to be monitored/selected for. Smaller ewes can be more efficient by producing more Kg of lamb/hectare, plus stocking density can be higher = more £ return Activity – Record birth weights of all lambs and record all dead lambs Why? – Allows the correct treatment of the lambs in the analysis (single/twin/triplet) plus allows the ewe litter size to be accurately calculated. Birth weight submission also makes it possible to identify lines that lamb easier thus potentially reducing workload at a busy time. Activity – Record eight week weights of all lambs (done between 42 and 84 days of age) Why? – Allows the maternal ability of the ewe to be calculated (i.e. its milking ability), plus provides an indication of the lamb’s growth rate while on its mother. Activity – Record 21 week weights and ultrasound scan all lambs Why? – Allows the individual lamb’s growth rate to be calculated. Selecting for high scan weights will produce faster growing lambs. Ultrasound scanning allows accurate back fat and loin muscle depth to be assessed allowing exceptional animals to be identified. This information can be used to inform breeding decisions or as a marketing tool if the animal is to be sold. Activity – CT scanning of selected ram lambs at 21 weeks Why? – This step is optional, but highly valuable as the additional insight provided from the CT scanner is extremely useful. CT offers information on the killing out % of the lamb without actually killing the animal.Values are calculated for bone, fat and

muscle and the output allows breeding decisions to be made as it is a great way to identify exceptional animals that can be used for home use or that can be sold to others looking for those particular carcass attributes. Activity – Use management groups to ensure data is treated correctly Why? – If you have lambs within your flock that are managed differently, then ensure they are identified and that weight data is submitted in different management groups. Examples of where management groups could be used are if you have a show team that is being fed differently, or if you have a group of lambs that have experienced severe orf or other health issues. An additional management group prevents these animals being compared against the “normal” group and will ensure their performance is not inaccurately calculated. Activity – Record all animals Why? – Unless you record all lambs you will be selectively recording and this will supress your top achievers. Within the analysis there needs to be a range of good, bad and ugly. This range provides the real context within which your “top performers” can be identified and treated accordingly. As we move rapidly into a genomic world the importance of collecting these measurements (called phenotypes) has never been more important. Genomics is based on the power of numbers and these numbers are the large data sets collected by the performance recording community. Without extensive data collection the full power of genomics cannot be harnessed as scale is vital. The Society fully recognises the benefits and potential as well as the disruptive potential of genomics and has produced a breed development strategy to ensure that genomics can be leveraged by its membership in a fair and considered way that benefits the future of the breed and its membership. Further information on the Society’s Breed Development plan will be published early 2017. Technical Corner

Winter 2016


CT scanning Texel sires to increase lean meat yield and reduce waste in crossbred lambs YOUR EXPERT Dr Nicola Lamb SRUC


inal results from the SRUC trial supported by Texel breeders and initially reported in the Spring 2015 Bulletin are now available.

From the 200 Texel ram lambs CT scanned in 2013, 12 were selected that were divergent in CT-measured lean meat yield percentage (LMP), defined as predicted carcass muscle weight divided by live weight (after an adjustment for age).

The use of this trait in a breeding program has the potential to increase lean whilst reducing waste. These rams were mated to 15 Mule ewes each and 201 progeny in total were followed through to CT scanning at 21 weeks, then slaughtered. LMP varied from 28 to 39% in the rams. Rams were divided into 2 groups based on these measurements: high LMP (average 34.4%) vs. low LMP (average 29.6%). On average, rams in the high LMP group were lighter, had a lower fat weight, similar muscle weight, eye muscle area and gigot shape, and had a slightly higher killing out percentage. It is of note that rams in the low LMP group were not ‘low value’- rams, as they had been selected to be CT scanned by their owners, indicating that they had potential as breeding stock. In other words high LMP would appear even more superior if compared to the flock average. When the crossbred lamb progeny of these rams were CT scanned at around 21 weeks, lambs sired by the high LMP rams had significantly higher LMP themselves than lambs from low LMP sires (33.5% vs 32.9%), indicative for the genetic basis for LMP. Lambs from high LMP sires also had more muscle, a tendency for less fat and a deeper, rounder gigot muscle, when corrected for differences in live weight (Fig.1). Similar results were produced when data were adjusted to a constant age, rather than live weight, although carcass weight was on average 0.75kg lighter in high LMP sired lambs. Considering the sires across the range of LMP values suggested that rams with a 10% higher LMP at the same live weight had crossbred lambs which, on average, had an increased LMP by 1.2%, 400g more meat and slightly less fat. Their carcass weight was unchanged, but there was also a tendency towards a higher killing out percentage (carcass weight divided by live weight). Eye

muscle area did not change significantly with sire LMP, but there was better gigot muscularity as sire LMP increased. One month after CT, the lambs were slaughtered. For each carcass, hot and cold carcass weights, weight loss (hot vs. cold carcass weight, measured not predicted), conformation and fat class, and total price paid for the carcass were recorded. There were no statistically significant differences between the groups, except that lambs from high LMP sires had a lower average fat class.

In summary, selection of sires for improved carcass traits, as measured by CT, translated to smaller, but measurable, differences in their crossbred progeny. There was some indication from the age-adjusted results that use of LMP may favour lighter rams with lower growth rates and lighter carcasses. Therefore, if LMP was considered for inclusion in a breeding programme, it should be as part of a multi-trait selection index, including other growth and carcass traits, to maximise production and economic returns. The results also indicate that existing grading systems in abattoirs may be too inaccurate to detect differences that are apparent when animals undergo CT scanning. However, future implementation of grading systems based on video image analysis (VIA) could change this situation and enable abattoirs to pay producers for an increased amount of meat per carcass, for lower waste and preferred muscle shape.

The availability of a CT scanning service for terminal sire breeders in the UK, which is unique in Europe, allows accurate analysis of body composition of live sheep, providing an enormous opportunity for Texel breeders to produce rams that will help meet these new specifications. For further information on CT scanning visit node/464 Technical Corner

26 Winter 2016

Towards implementation of new selection traits obtained from routine CT scanning by Dr Nicola Lamb SRUC


wo PhD projects with SRUC were successfully completed in 2015/16 that used archived Texel CT-images and data to look at the potential of additional selection traits that could be obtained from routine CT scanning. AHDB are now considering funding the creation of new EBVs for the practical inclusion of these novel traits into commercial breeding programmes. The Society aim to incorporate these new traits into their genomic programme with the result that two novel GEBVS can be made available for Texel breeders. 1. Genetic variation in spine characteristics Claire Donaldson’s PhD investigated genetic variation in spine characteristics – number of individual vertebrae and length of spine in different carcass regions to assist breeders in selecting animals that have more chops and more loin. Further analyses, presented at the Farm Animal Imaging (FAIM) conference in Edinburgh in 2015, looked at the genetic control of these traits in the full data set of all commercial Texel rams with CT records (from 2000 to 2014). The dataset included production, pedigree and CT records from 2583 commercial Texel rams, from a total of 94 different flocks, collected over the 15 years. The commitment by Texel breeders over many years has enabled the accumulation of a powerful dataset that has supported the PhDs.

Figure 2: Distribution of vertebrae counts in each spinal region (numbers in chart represent number of vertebrae).VNLum = number of vertebrae in lumbar spine region;VNTh = number of vertebrae in thoracic spine region;VNTL = total number of vertebrae in thoracic + lumbar regions Vertebrae number appears to be under low genetic control in Texels (5-11% heritable using this data set), whereas spine region lengths are more heritable (21-43%).

Low genetic correlations with other traits in the current selection index suggest that breeders could select rams on spine traits, alongside growth and carcass composition traits, with no detrimental effects on current breeding goals. 2. Genetic control of CT-predicted intramuscular fat (IMF), as a indicator for meat quality Using the same data set, Neil Clelland investigated the genetic control of CT-predicted intramuscular fat (IMF), as a proxy for meat quality. His previous studies had found that tissue density values measured during live lamb CT scanning could predict IMF in the loin meat of lambs (measured in the lab after slaughter), with accuracies around 60-70%.

Figure 1: The skeleton of a sheep (left) and a topogram (right) SHOWING 2D CT-image taken from ‘belly to back’, and provides a unique and novel use of CT Scanning technology to assess carcass quality.

Substantial genetic variation was identified in characteristics of the lumbar (loin) and thoracic (rib) spine regions within Texel rams using CT scanning. Although most Texel rams had the ancestral 19 vertebrae in total across these 2 regions (Fig. 2), 34% had 20, whilst 2% had 18, and 6 animals (0.26%; not shown in Fig. 1) had a total of 21 vertebrae. These differences were more commonly due to variation in the lumbar region (6 or 7 vertebrae). Increased numbers of vertebrae or spine length in the thoracic and/or lumbar regions would produce more, or thicker, ribs or chops in the valuable cuts from these areas of the carcass.

These measurements provide a very rare opportunity to predict meat quality in live animals. Using the commercial Texel data set, Neil found that the CT prediction of IMF was moderately heritable (31%) and partially under different genetic control from total carcass fat (correlation ~0.6 at the genetic level).

This suggests that it may be possible to select Texel sheep to maintain or increase IMF, whilst lowering, or maintaining carcass fat. Genetic correlations with growth and muscling traits were very low, suggesting that including selection for IMF in breeding objectives would not affect these breeding goals. Technical Corner

Winter 2016



Kath Dun BVM&S, Cert SHP, MRCVS, VIO Veterinary Services, SAC Consulting, St. Boswells


ery topical in the sheep vet world at the moment are the so called “iceberg diseases”. This term describes the situation where the clinical disease signs observed in a flock are merely the tip of the iceberg and there is far more under the surface than on the exterior. Diseases in sheep which have been commonly referred to in this way are: Johne’s disease, Ovine Pulmonary Adenocarcinoma (OPA), Maedi-visna (MV) and Caseous Lymphadenitis (CLA). In this article we will briefly discuss OPA. FACT: for every clinical case of OPA in a flock, there can be potentially 15-20 animals sub clinically affected.

ewe affected with OPA, photo credit: Phil Scott

Recently, and in conjunction with Moredun researchers, ultrasound scanning of the chest of the ewe by skilled veterinarians is being undertaken with favourable results in affected flocks. Although the use of this method does not allow a definitive diagnosis of OPA in an individual, its use on a flock scale as part of a test and cull programme has potentially exciting prospects for control of disease in badly affected flocks. If this method can be developed further then this could lead rapidly to huge benefits to the sheep industry. It is important that ongoing research into OPA diagnosis and control must be continued.

INCIDENCE: The true incidence of OPA within UK flocks is currently The “iceberg” of OPA steals unknown and to better understand this, profits through reduced Moredun in collaboration with SACC production, increased secondary Veterinary Services undertook a three diseases (eg pasteurellosis, day slaughterhouse study in January parasitic gastroenteritis), increased 2014. The lungs of 3385 cull adult feed costs and higher number of sheep were examined and samples cull ewes. Transmission of many of taken from any with suspect lesions. Scott Phil : credit lungs affected with OPA tumour photo these “slow” diseases which take a Histopathology was performed to few years to manifest in a flock, is confirm a diagnosis. OPA lesions were often to animals when they are young. found in 0.9% (31 of 3385) of those examined. OPA positive animals from England, Scotland and Wales were identified. THE DISEASE: OPA (Ovine Pulmonary Adenocarcinoma) is an infectious lung cancer resulting from infection with the The true extent of OPA is likely to be much higher than Jaagesiekte sheep retrovirus (JSRV). It leads to cancerous the findings from this study suggest. Many animals with OPA changes within the cells of the lung, causing tumour formation. are either culled on farm due to ill thrift or die from the Infected sheep tend to be thin and become breathless after effects of the disease, with the cause of the death never being exercise. Excessive fluid is produced by this tumour and investigated. Indeed in another study run over 15 months in the release of fluid from the nostrils when the head is in a 2014/2015 at a fallen stock centre in the north of England, an downward position is a feature of this condition. incidence of OPA in 7% of carcases examined was reported (B. Strugnell). This value may indeed be a truer representation There is no effective treatment or vaccination for OPA and because cull animals were being examined. the condition is usually fatal. Post mortem examination is required to make a diagnosis. Despite ongoing valuable TAKE HOME MESSAGE: if you suspect that you may have research at the Moredun Research Institute, there is still no a problem in your flock, speak to your vet practice to discuss definitive diagnostic test available in the live animal. This fact this further. Despite difficulties in diagnosis and control of OPA, makes instigating control strategies in infected flocks extremely the investigation of a thin ewe problem in your flock by post challenging. mortems and other methods, may significantly improve your flock health and productivity. Vet Outlook

28 Winter 2016


Friday 16th December 2016 @6.30pm Hilltown Livestock Mart BT34 5YN Tel: 028406 30287 / 07707811818 Main Service sires

Sportsman’s Your a winner - Milnbank Womaniser Sportsman’s Yogi Bear - Wydden Yuan Sportman’s Ya Ya - Strathbogie Wanted Five consignors: Tullagh, Springwell, Blackstown, Mullan, Braehead And guest consignor: Cornmore Tullagh Yandel 6000 Gns. Lanark Champion 2016.

Approx. 85 females

SHROPSHIRE & BORDERS CLUB Evening Sale of In-Lamb Females

on Thursday 22nd December 2016 at Welshpool Market Call Welshpool Livestock Sales

on 01938 553 438

Winter 2016


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

Society Umbrella £15

Winter 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 2017

2017 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

1st January following year of Birth Onwards









Standard BN fees








ET BN fees

(£2.16 Inc VAT)

(£2.44 Inc VAT)

(£2.40 Inc VAT)

(£2.70 Inc VAT)

(£12.00 Inc VAT)

(£13.50 Inc VAT)







(£8.16 Inc VAT)

(£8.44 Inc VAT)

(£8.40 Inc VAT)

(£8.70 Inc VAT)

(£18.00 Inc VAT)

(£19.50 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)

(£7.09 Inc VAT)

(£6.84 Inc VAT)

(£7.69 Inc VAT)

1st November year following YOB onwards

Online £8.50

(£10.20 Inc VAT)

(£135.30 Inc VAT)

Tel/Paper £9.56

(£11.47 Inc VAT)

Transfers (only fully registered sheep can be transferred)


Paper £11.28

(£13.54 Inc VAT)

Terms of Membership relating to fees Male Registrations and Import Registrations (having previously been birth notified) 1st July 31st Oct


1st Nov 30th June

Tel/Paper £29.60

(£35.52 Inc VAT)


(£71.04 Inc VAT)

Fee applies to date DNA kit is 'recieved' back at the Society office

(Please note new members Adult fees will now only be accepted by Direct Debit payment) Adult Joining Fee - £60.00 Inc VAT Annual Subscription fee - £54.21 Inc VAT Junior (up to age 21) Joining Fee - Free Annual Subscription fee - £27.11 inc VAT The VAT Inclusive prices include VAT at 20% and may be adjusted at any time. Issue of male registration certificates will only be permitted once a DNA sample profile result has been issued by the laboratory and has been received by the Society office. 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”.

Texel bulletin winter 2016 issuu  
Texel bulletin winter 2016 issuu