Recent survey and trial results show the Texel breed continues to dominate and deliver for commercial sheep producers across the country

Cumulative results from the last six years of AHDB’s RamCompare project show Texel sires accounting for 14 of the top 20 rams for overall carcase merit index. Eight of these 14 rank within the top 10 rams over the last six years and four of them are in the top five, proving the breed’s ability to produce carcases suited to the needs of the modern meat trade, according the to breed society's chief executive, John Yates.

“These cumulative results, which were omitted from public reporting of RamCompare’s sixth year data, demonstrate the ability Texels have to add value at every step of the lamb supply chain,” he said.

Designed to provide an overarching index showing the genetic merit of sires used in commercial flocks, the carcase merit index combines EBVs for carcase weight, conformation and fat class.

“It gives the most complete assessment of a ram’s potential to influence their progeny to meet with current payment methods provided from the EUROP carcase classification. It is no surprise to see Texel rams scoring so well on this EBV and it reflects the breed’s universally acknowledged ability to improve carcase quality across a wide range of dam breeds in a diverse range of farming systems and environments,” he said.

The Texel breed also contributed three of the top five rams for days to slaughter as well as 14 of the top 20 rams for fat class and nine of the top 20 rams for carcase conformation index which included three of the top five.

“The breed also had 11 of the top 20 rams for carcase weight index in the RamCompare cumulative results, with four of these ranked inside the top five,” he said.

However, Texel breeders are not resting on their laurels and the Society is currently involved in new research targeting reductions in greenhouse gases to help reduce the climate change impact of the sheep industry.

“As a breed Texels are already highly efficient thanks to decades of investment by Texel breeders in performance recording.

“There is always more that can be done and the Society is currently, through supplying rams, supporting research which is aiming to reduce methane emissions from the sheep industry,” added Mr Yates.