PRT-Texel Pure Performance
Performance recording in Texel flocks is currently the backbone of improving genetic progress in the UK sheep industry, with the Texel breed contributing 29% of the sires used across UK flocks and being the sire of 12% of the crossbred ewes in the country too.
Through performance recording Texel breeders are able to identify the best breeding in their flocks and the breed as a whole and deliver increasingly better sires to their commercial customers.
Ram buyers are then able to select rams with superior breeding potential for traits of interest to them in developing their flocks.
Performance recorded flocks weigh their lambs at birth, eight weeks and 21 weeks old as well as ultrasound scanning eye muscle depth and backfat depth at the same age. Breeders can also submit lambs for CT scanning helping increase the accuracy and value of their performance recording.
Through performance recording pedigree breeders can increase their flocks’ rate of genetic progress by identifying ram lambs suitable for use as stock sires, making more informed breeding decisions and selecting female replacements.
Additionally, breeders are better able to market their stock, with performance recording giving buyers more confidence in their ram purchases and being able to compare rams more easily between flocks.
Selecting rams based on individual trait EBVs means both pedigree and commercial buyers can identify the best sheep to meet their breeding criteria.
Crucially, DEFRA funded trials have shown that high index rams can both increase carcass weight and reduce days to slaughter giving a benefit of £2.50-£3 a lamb.
From spring 2018 onwards the Texel Sheep Society will be the point of contact for breeders performance recording their flocks, with the intention of making the service more applicable and accessible to Texel breeders across the UK.