The Texel Across Flock Programme
The programme involves a group of progressive Texel breeders collaborating to:
- maximise the accuracy of their individual flock performance recording by combining their data in an across flock analysis for use in all their breeding decisions;
- identify sources of rams that will lift the genetic merit of individual member flocks; and
- present breeders and commercial producers with a gene pool of Texel animals that will lift the genetic merit of purebred and crossbred flocks farmed in terminal sire or dual purpose/maternal production systems.
The programme is at the forefront of group programmes having been the first national terminal sire referencing scheme. Texels were first imported into New Zealand in the late 1980’s and released from quarantine in 1990. The Texel Across Flock has been a feature of Texel breeding since 1994.
- Members of the group are registered with Texel New Zealand.
- They may be identified by the special Texel Across Flock Member logo.
- Animals are identified on the reports by the breeder’s flock prefix and/or SIL flock number.
Across Flock Reports
These are produced regularly and emailed to members. The content and format of reports are prepared in consultation with members to ensure they support their breeding goals. A subset of these reports (trait leaders) is posted here.
With the aim of evaluating Texels on purebred Texel data the flocks contributing to the analysis are selected on that basis. The Texel Across Flock analysis therefore uses data from all Texel flocks registered with Texel New Zealand that are performance recording on SIL and all historical registered Texel flocks that have links to current flocks. Though the CPT (Central Progeny Test) flocks have crossbred data those CPT flocks, where purebred registered Texel sires have been used, are also included in the analysis to contribute genetic links. Currently a total of 65 flocks provide data recorded from 1995. The analysis is run regularly to ensure up to date breeding values are always available for use by members. The website is updated three times a year.
The Texel Across Flock members actively collaborate to improve connectedness based on purebred data within the group. Interested ram buyers should discuss this aspect with the ram breeder when interpreting the trait leader reports.
All animals reported are purebred Texels with the pre-requisite that the young animals have an ultrasound measurement (eye muscle and fat depth) or a catscan measurement (lean yield and fat yield). Currently some 2600 young rams representing 170 sires are ranked annually.
The Sheep Improvement Limited (SIL) system is used for the analysis and reporting. An animal breeding consultant from The New Zealand Animal Breeding Trust (NZABT) manages these aspects of the Texel Across Flock programme. The NZABT is a licensed SIL bureau.