Texel rams have once again led the way in the latest results from AHDB’s RamCompare project, with the breed providing nine of the top ten ranked rams for overall carcass merit in each of the project’s four breeding seasons (2016-2019).

On top of that 11 of the top 15 rams for overall carcass merit were Texels, showing the exceptional strength in depth which the Texel breed offers commercial producers across the UK, explained the Texel Sheep Society’s breed development committee chairman Steve Smith.

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

“It gives the most complete assessment of a ram’s potential to influence their progeny. 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 carcass quality across a wide range of dam breeds in a diverse range of farming systems and environments,” he said.

In the 2019 RamCompare results Texels once again posted some impressive results, taking four of the top five spots in the overall carcass merit EBV rankings. “Overall seven of the top 10 rams for carcass merit EBV in the 2019 season were Texel rams,” explained Mr Smith.

Adding to the breed’s success in the 2019 season performance, three of the top five scoring rams for days to slaughter EBV were Texels.

“This is another key indicator for commercial flocks, with lambs which finish quicker bringing a number of benefits. Quicker finishing lambs free up grass for other stock, generally achieve higher prices and reduce vet and medicine costs too,” he said.

“Importantly, quicker finishing lambs are also more environmentally efficient, reducing the climate change impact of red meat production and helping provide a sustainable protein source by converting grass to energy dense protein.”

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Breaking down the results further Texels also scored three of the top five rams for carcass conformation EBV across the projects four breeding seasons, taking six of the top 10 spots for the same index across the four year project.

“The breed also achieved the same feat in the carcass weight EBV rankings, showing that no matter how you chose to measure performance Texels lead the UK industry and provide commercial farmers with the genetics they need to suit their system,” said Mr Smith.

Society chief executive John Yates said the strong performance of Texel sires in RamCompare wouldn’t come as a surprise to either Texel breeders or commercial farmers already using Texel sires in their enterprises.

“The breed’s ability to add value to its progeny as well as deliver quick growing lambs which grade well and are in demand from both independent butchers and mainstream processors alike is well recognised across the UK.

“These results further back up the society’s own research and development work in recent years and give clear indications for commercial producers looking to improve their margins and reduce risk,” he added.