Stephen Curtis with some of his top-scoring Texel ramsA flock of Texel sheep — established just over 20 years ago by Yorkshire pig-breeder Stephen Curtis — has come top out of over 200 Signet-recorded Texel flocks in two financially-important traits indexed by EBLEX, the independent English Beef and Lamb Executive. There are 1,178 Texel flocks in England.
The flock, run by ACMC Ltd, Beeford, near Driffield, was No 1 for both Scan Weight EBV and Lean Weight EBV. Scan Weight EBV is an indicator of genetic potential for lamb growth to 21 weeks of age while Lean Weight EBV is genetic potential for muscle yield within the carcase. This means that the 55-ewe Beeford flock has the genetics for the fastest-growing lambs in the breed and potential for the greatest weight of muscle in the carcase.
Samuel Boon from EBLEX says that a significant proportion of the genetic merit of these traits could be passed on under commercial conditions and estimates this would be worth around £5 per lamb.
Stephen Curtis, who established the successful international pig-breeding company ACMC, is now selling increasing numbers of Texel rams to commercial breeders — particularly in Yorkshire, The Midlands and East Anglia — who realise the value of genetically-improved terminal sires. “Pedigree breeders are also buying from us to improve the commercial trait values in their flocks,” he said.
Texels are being increasingly recognised for commercial crossing because of their excellent gigots, good loin eye and high lean content in the slaughter generation of lambs, he added.
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