Texel-Market To Market

Texel sheep

Originally uploaded by baalands

Texel appears to be the body builder of the sheep world. The large, meaty carcass, with its clean head and legs looks out of proportion for the person more familiar with Suffolk and Dorset.

The breed originated in the Isle of Texel off the coast of the Netherlands during the late eighteenth century, probably from the native short-tailed breeds that were common over northern Europe. These native sheep were cross-bred with Lincolns and Leicester Longwools to produce a well muscled, lean animal that would be marketable in central Europe where there was a preference for lean lamb.

Breeding has emphasised the characteristics listed above as well as being docile, easy to work with and having a good feed to muscle conversion. The only requirements of the wool in the US breed standard is for it there is less than 10% colored fibers in the fleece with pure white animals preferred. The fleeces average anywhere from 6-8 pounds and has a micron count of about 26-33 microns, (46-56 on the Bradford scale). This is comparable fineness to with a Dorset or fine Romney.

In looking for a fleece you may have to do some searching to find someone who has fleece worth working with. But come with me on this adventure and I believe you will be pleasantly surprised with the wool from this breed.

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