Cold Stream Ranch

The Cold Stream Ranch Story(3 of 3)


R & M Van der Laan:
The first few years we sold cross bred lambs such as Suffolk X Texel and Dorset X Texel as well as Rideau X Texel and several pure Dutch Texel rams. Due to import changes, nothing could be imported from The Netherlands; therefore my next purchase in 2008 was a RR ram with NZ genetics from Quality Sheep, Norwood Ontario. Most sheep breeders are aware the Texel originated from the Island of Texel however few know that Texel sheep were brought to the United States as early as 1625 with Dutch immigrants,but the flocks disappeared due to attacks by dogs, wolves and bears. Texels imported from Denmark came back to the United States in 1986 after an absence of some 360 years, then shortly after Gordon Young and the Messings' brought them to Canada. Some of the advantages of the DutchTexel breed: Little fat on the carcass, High dress out weight, Better than average feed conversion, Easy to handle And very low maintenance. The mature rams weight in at 190 / 220 lbs and the ewes' weight in about 160/ 180 lbs. I have marketed my own product quite successfully and have a waiting list for breeding stock and freezer lambs. While selling several rams to commercial producers, with comments such as: "There is less fat in the off springs" And "a higher than normal dress out percentages"; Plus "good prices at the sale barns". In summation: The Texel sheep is now considered one of the hardiest meat breeds, it adapts well to a variety of climatic and grazing conditions. The grazing capabilities allow conversion of grass into nutritious, low fat, high quality meat, keeping feed and labour cost low. The Texel is known as a seasonal breeder with a lambing rate of 1.8%, first time lambers seldom have twins however they are expected to twin out in the second lambing. Ewes have good maternal instincts and are good milkers with a quiet disposition, resulting in high lamb survival rate. Lambs are able to graze at an early age. They grow quickly, an important economic characteristic in breeding of meat sheep. Lambs can reach up to 45kg in 135 days. Owning a well established flock of Texels and Texel crosses has to be one of the highlight of being in the sheep industry.
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