Texels are top of the pops, a project comparing rams has found.

Texel sires have proved the breed’s ability to add value to flocks across the UK in the latest results from AHDB’s RamCompare project.

The breed have provided 11 of the top 15 rams for carcass merit over the project’s duration from 2016-2020.

Seven of the top 10 rams for carcass merit across the project’s timespan were Texels as were seven on the top 10 of the rams used in the project’s latest research season, 2020.

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, explains Texel Sheep Society chief executive John Yates.

He said: “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."

Adding to the breed’s success in the five years of the project, three of the top five scoring rams across all breeding seasons (2016-2020) 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.”

Breaking down the results further, Texels also scored four of the top five rams for carcass weight in the 2020 breeding season and six of the top 10 rams for the same measure across all five breeding seasons.

In addition Texels were three of the top five rams for carcass confirmation across the five years the project has been running, said Mr Yates.

“These results show 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 Yates.

“The strong performance of Texel sires in RamCompare won’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."