The Texel breed is famed for its exceptional carcass qualities, which has made the Texel the dominant terminal sire breed in the UK. In recent years the breed’s hardiness and adaptability has been recognised by upland and hill producers who use the Texel to their advantage by breeding store lambs and cross bred females and these increasingly replace traditional hill breeds with a more marketable product.
My Charollais Ram “Randolf”
The breed was first imported from France in 1976. The breed is centred around the town of Charolles in the Saone Loire region of France where is grazes alongside the famous Charolais Cattle. Since that time it has grown in popularity and is currently probably the 2nd most numerous terminal sire breed for the UK .
Active and fertile rams – Charollais rams are renowned for being hard-working. They reach sexually maturity from 7 months of age and will work for most of the year. They certainly are keen and ready for work for early lambing flocks. Most Charollais rams will work for 6 or 7 seasons and many have been known to live for 10 years or more. Farms and research projects have found that Charollais rams sire more lambs than other terminal sires working at the same time.
Easy lambing – Charollais rams will without question give shepherds (and ewes) easier lambing. The skeletal structure of the breed; without heavy bone, broad shoulders or big heads makes lambing a joy. First time users of the breed cannot believe how easy birth is with the breed.
Robust vigorous lambs - Lambs are straight up on their feet, bleating and ready to suckle. The trouble-free birth ensures they are not stressed and the nature of the breed means they ‘get up and go’.
Fast growth – growth rates for Charollais cross lambs are excellent. Their length, wide loin and good hind quarter confirmation mean heavy, well-fleshed lambs. Single lambs can achieve weights of 40kg in just 8 weeks .
Prolificacy – The breed has very strong maternal traits. Mature ewes lambing in December will average 180%; this will rise to 210 – 220% in February. Eight out of ten ewe lambs will take the ram from 7 months of age and will lamb at 130% +. The ewes have an extended breeding season.