The Texel Breed


Texel origins

The Texel originated on the Isle of Texel off the coast of The Netherlands around 200 years ago. Some limited crossbreeding with British imports, notably Lincoln and Leicester Longwool further developed the breed. A standard for the Texel was gradually established through local shows held on the Island. The emphasis being on a sheep that would produce heavily muscled lambs with a superior eating quality lean meat.

During the early 20th Century the Texel was imported into France and in the 1970's into the United Kingdom, where it is now the dominant terminal sire. The first Texels where imported into the United States in 1985 where it is becoming increasingly popular.

Characteristics

"The Texel breed today is a white-faced breed with no wool on the head or legs. The breed is characterized by a distinctive short, wide face with a black nose and widely placed, short ears with a nearly horizontal carriage. These sheep also have black hooves. The wool is of medium grade (46's-56's) with no black fibers. Mature animals shear fleece weights of 3.5 - 5.5 kg."

Lamb production

The Texels excellent milk yield ensures good lamb growth with lamb growth rates of around 250 grams per day. At 12 weeks they have an average weight of (25kg) and at 24 weeks (44kg) Ewes first come into season at about seven months and then have an annual breeding season of about 5 months. They are generally excellent mothers, producing a good litter size.