The Texel sheep breed originated on the island of Texel, the largest of the Frisian Islands on the north coast of Holland, at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. It is used for milk production in northern Europe and due to its excellent characteristics, it has spread throughout Europe, mainly in France. The American continent does not escape this propagation, both in the north and in the south. The presence of this race is in Chile, Uruguay, the United States, and Mexico.
It is the result of the crossing of several races, such as Leicester and Lincoln with the local race, now known as Old Texel. The Dutch registers were established in 1909, at present there are breeders in Ireland, France, United States; United Kingdom, Argentina, Finland, Luxembourg, and Germany. It is the most used breed in Great Britain to cross, where the meat breeds make up only 2% of the total herd, but they are parents of 70% of all lambs born, with a huge impact on the quality of the meat.
Characteristics of Texel Sheep
Texel sheep are double-purpose sheep, with a lot of muscles, which produce lean meat. Adult males can weigh between 100 and 110 kg, mature females can weigh between 90 and 100 kg. The wool is around 32 microns and is used mainly for the yarn of wool stockings and for knitting other garments. Well-defined wool with good fiber, approximately 100 mm. at 12 months; 30-36 microns, black wool in any form will not be accepted. His head is free of wool, like his legs.
The Texel sheep is very rustic, presenting high productivity indexes, adapting well both in low and humid areas and in high and stony regions. Usually, the head is without horns, the head is short and wide white with a flat crown, black nostrils, broad muzzle. While the ears are medium to long, white and solid, well covered with hair. Black spots are accepted but not desired, brown spots are not allowed.
It has a moderately long neck, muscular in the male, well settled on the men. The shoulders with spatulas slightly below the spine. They have a distance inclination for a uniform or smooth settling without excessive movement when walking. It has a deep chest, moderately full but very slender, the lower part being slender.
The quarter tracers square, deep with muscular mass extending towards the hocks well rounded out of the legs. In addition, the loin, back, and rump are wide, long and straight with good implantation of the ribs, wide back, wide and deep. It has a large muscle mass on the rib cage towards the shoulder. The legs and pastern are moderately long, well placed, straight between the joints; Strong and large bones, no wool under the knuckle. Black hooves
In addition, the tail is wide, covered with wool, and short; It can reach the heel at most. One of the advantages of the texel herd is that they have high fertility rates above 95% of pregnancy. Under normal feeding conditions, Texel sheep are prolific having between 20 to 40% of twins gestation.
Once a year the ewe lambs can have lambs at the foot, the twins are common after the first birth and the triplets are no exception. The average weight at birth is 4.2 kilos, at 10 weeks it is 25 kilos and at half a year 50 kilos. Its wool is white and creamy, with long fuses. The legs without wool, covered with hair, of medium bone on strong and black hooves.
The Texel sheep also have wool and it is to produce meat. Today the Texel breed is raised in every department of the country and their mothers have the virtue of having many twins. The main quality of Texel is to be a breed of meat excellence, which also provides a good fleece as a by-product. Its meat, of excellent quality, is preferred for its flavor, its appropriate fat content. Its color and its fine texture, for which there is great demand all over the world. You may also like to read Cheviot Sheep.
Texel sheep have hard black hooves that made it a race praised by rice farmers. Their clean heads and lower limbs without wool save work and present them as agile and skillful sheep even in the dirtiest fields. Its rusticity allows adaptation to any type of field in any region of the world. Many sheep breeders were previously interested only in wool production.
However, this species is now cross by part of its flocks with other species, to add to its exploitation of the production of high-quality lamb meat. The Texel breed produces beef-shaped lambs, with wide loins and round buttocks, with lots of meat. The breed stands out in the conversion of grass to meat, producing meat tender and lean. With a greater muscle, which allows the cuts demanded by today’s markets. You may also like to read Shetland Sheep.
If you are looking for a high-producing dairy sheep that is easy to manage, Texel could be the perfect breed. We hope this guide has helped you learn more about Texel and how it can help your farm increase milk production while lowering costs. Good luck with finding the right livestock supplier!
As a reference: Wikipedia