The Frisian Islands off Holland can justly lay claim to the Texel breed, where it has been known since Roman times. Careful selection over the centuries, together with an infusion of principally British blood, including Lincoln, Border Leicester, South Devon, Wensleydale and Hampshire Down, has continually improved its potential.

It was not until 1933 that the breed was introduced to France, quickly becoming established in the northern regions of the country. The United Kingdom saw the first examples of the breed in 1970, when the Animal Breeding Research Organisation (ABRO) brought in four rams to assist breeding experiments. A year later, four more followed with the aim of comparing the Texel with other terminal sires. The extensive programme concluded that the Texel excelled in two important areas - carcass quality and lean meat yield.

With this explicit vindication of the Texel's qualities, in 1973 a group of Lanarkshire breeders teamed up with ABRO to import 27 ewes and 13 rams from France. This was to be the first of many imports throughout the 1970s, establishing the Texel as a popular and sought-after breed within the British Isles.


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