Records tumble as National Texel sales deliver sustained growth

Texel sheep
Texel sheep

This year’s round of National Texel Sales in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England have seen a number of new records set for the breed with the sales continuing to deliver sustained growth for society members.

At the Scottish National Sale, Lanark, the breed delivered a new all-time gross sale record, with the two day fixture resulting in a total of £1,081,668 being spent on the best genetics the breed has to offer.

Both pedigree and commercial buyers were equally active at Lanark, with plenty of ram lambs sold in the 400gns-1000gns to commercial buyers looking for well grown, naturally fleshed rams, explained society chairman David McKerrow.

“Additionally, this sale also saw a record ram lamb average, with 351 sold to level at £2812.24. The breed continues to deliver what the commercial market place wants and that in turn is giving pedigree breeders the confidence to invest in the future of their flocks by seeking out the latest genetics available,” he explained.

Meanwhile, the English National Sale, Worcester, saw a new centre gimmer record set at 16,000gns, with a record average for gimmers too at £993.45.

“This exceptional average came on the back of a sale which delivered an 86% clearance rate for the gimmers offered, with a number of new breeders establishing flocks from the gimmers available,” said Mr McKerrow.

It is clear the Texel breed continues to attract interest from new breeders attracted by he clear and increasing commercial demand for Texel rams capable of producing premium lambs, he added.

Ram lamb averages rose at all National sales, with just shy of 800 ram lambs finding buyers across the four sales in the space of 14 days, explained Society chief executive John Yates.

“This insatiable demand for Texel genetics is driven by commercial producers seeking out the breed for both its terminal and maternal qualities.

“The ongoing breed development including extensive use of performance recording and development of genomic technologies places the breed at the forefront of genetic improvement in the UK sheep industry helping deliver added value to commercial producers,” he said.

“Feedback from across the UK is that Texels continue to be the number one choice sire for commercial flocks no matter what the dam breed or the system.”

The breed also enjoyed another exceptional year at last week’s Kelso Ram Sale, with 870 shearlings selling to average £878.44, a rise of more than £110 on the year, while 101 ram lambs averaged £643.76.

“Texels continue to extend their influence across the UK industry and deliver what modern commercial sheep producers require,” added Mr Yates.

With a number of local club sales as well as next week’s NSA main ram sale at Builth still to come Mr Yates said commercial buyers had plenty of opportunity to buy Texel sires to suit their needs.

“Builth alone has an entry of more than 1200 registered Texel rams, giving buyers plenty of quality to pick from to find rams to add value to next year’s lamb crop.”