Messing Texel Story

Michiel & Grace Messing Texel Story (2 of 3)

The Messing Texel Story
because we could buy all the sheep from one farm ( less risk of disease).We imported 23 ewes and 5 rams , all of them were 5 years old or older(one of the Canadian import rules) in September 1989. Some of the ewes and two of the rams were directly related to top performing bloodlines in Holland at that time. All animals were in quarantine for 2 weeks in England so the veterinarians could test for most of the sheep diseases. After being flown to Edmonton airport they went immediately into quarantine in the Nisku quarantine station which belongs to the federal government so the veterinarians could do the exact same test over again After a month at the quarantine station , we picked up our new possessions and our home place was now under quarantine.

The 5 year farm quarantine went in as soon as the first lamb was born in 1990. Our lambing percentage has varied from 120% to 160% since that time. Lambing problems are minimal, we needed a veterinarian during our first lambing . Afterwards we blamed it on our inexperience with the Texel breed and our anxiety knowing these were expensive lambs. During the five year quarantine period we shipped 75% of the ram lambs and a few of the ewe lambs to the butcher. They all had to go to the Canada West facility in Innisfail. For every shipment the government veterinarian would visit our farm and check all animals to be shipped . After filling out all kinds of documents they would let us ship them to Canada West.

Canada West was kind enough to do some retail cuttability test on some of the lambs . The result was that the carcasses produced upwards of 8% to 9% more meat than other lambs. The nice feature about the extra yield is that it is mostly in the leg and loin, which are the most expensive parts of the animal. We participated in the first Canadian wide lamb carcass competition in September 1992, After winning first and second place in the Alberta provincial competition we went on and won the Canadian grand champion.

To make sure we would not run into any inbreeding problems we imported in 1992 frozen semen of 8 different rams from the Netherlands. Due to this importation ,we were restricted in selling breeding stock to American buyers only if they entered the voluntary scrapy monitoring program . When the lambs out of these semen were 5 years old this restriction was lifted . From the late 90`s till the BSE outbreak most of our lambs were exported to Mexico. When The U.S.A. closed their borders our sales plummeted.

Texel sheep  advantages of Texels
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