The Fimber Texel Flock

     

 

The Fimber Texel flock comprises around fifty Pedigree Ewes together with usually three Stock Rams. Progeny are reared to Shearling stage for sale in the Autumn, annually. The sheep are kept on rented permanent grasses at approximately 500 feet above sea-level on the Yorkshire Wolds. We can always be sure that sheep will 'grow on' when they leave this environment for kinder surroundings.

The Texel flock has been kept by Jack, wife Ruth and son Mark since 1978. The flock began by aquiring two twelve month old lambs through an official Texel Society importation in 1978 with Pelzer and Canon blood-lines. First lambs were sired by John Earle's Annan High Hopes bred from Annan Double Diamond. These first two ewes, affectionately known as "Madame" and "Red 16" produced 9 and 20 lambs respectively over their life time and hence truly formed the basis of the Fimber flock.

Ruth and Jack

Selection of rams has always been based on well-developed gigot and on length. In the early days the Texel was criticised by competitors as being too short. (Along with others selecting for length, we have put those days behind us.) While Annan High Hopes got us off to a good start with some excellent female progeny, other blood-lines have been influential. Arguably the purchase of Nethermuir Overseer (shared with Len and Sandra Pratt of Rillington, near Malton) proved an excellent choice. He left strong and well muscled lambs which made a great impact in the Shows and Sale-rings.

Fimber Snoopy Fimber Snoopy, a son of Overseer, took a number of Championships but had to stand Reserve at the English National Sale where he 'topped' the market to go to Linda Brown of Aspatria. His progeny became sought after, particularly in the Carlisle area. He was also used in the Beautry flock where his ram-lambs sold to 7000 at the Lanark National sale.

Another powerful son of Overseer was called Fimber Underline. He achieved Champion male at the English National Texel sale and was bought by Doug Jewitt of Hutton Buscel near Scarborough. He went on to make his mark in the Showring for a number of years but more importantly helped the Osbaldeston flock to include more scope and gigot.

Our production methods concentrate on the sale of shearlings. (The land we use for rearing is not sufficiently productive for getting ram lambs and ewe lambs ready for the autumn sales.) Both Pedigree and Commercial sheep are sold. Sales from home generally commence in August. While we have sold at both the English and Scottish National Sales, in recent years we have concentrated on the Club sales at Carlisle and Skipton.

While we have always employed performance-testing using a computerised programme developed in-house, additionally we are recording with MLC/Signet which now compares performance of both male and female stock across the whole of the National Texel flock. With the concentration on growth rate and gigot conformation over all the years, not surprisingly we have many of our current generation of  rams and gimmers in the top 1% of recorded Texels.

Inevitably in recent years we have had to focus on the Scrapie resistance programme and are full members of the "National Scrapie Plan" (NSP). We were fortunate not to have had any Type 4 or Type 5 rams or ewes. While the ARH gene dominated our flock at the outset, the use of Type 1 rams on most of the ewes has quickly moved the flock in the direction of ARR genotypes. We did, however, feel it necessary not to wipe out the major benefits derived from a powerful  Ballaglonney sire even though he was ARR/ARQ. Careful selection and continued scrapie testing has enabled us to preserve his bloodlines.

Visitors are welcome to view the stock - just ring 01377 236698 or send an email to JackLucas@fimber-texels.co.uk

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How to find us