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For the commercial shepherd who depends on customer satisfaction, whether direct market or small ethnic slaughter facilities, a Texel terminal sire is a natural fit. For us, raising sheep is about providing a product that the consumer will enjoy and want to come back to for more. In this process the producer must be able to make money in a relatively trouble-free manner. Whether crossbred or Texel, if our animals are not trouble-free, they are culled.

Two qualities that attracted us to the Texel breed are the superior carcass conformation and its tender, low fat, mild flavored meat. Part of the reason for their shapely carcasses, is the polygenic effects of the Texel breed, which create a more compact carcass with shorter, thicker muscles and less bone. This is the result of many gene contributions.

Another contributor to the excellent carcass and the wonderful table quality of Texel meat is a single gene, the myostatin gene. This gene, which has only been found in Texels to date, has received considerable research attention over the last ten years. Studies have shown that animals with both copies of the myostatin gene can have up to 10% more leg muscle and 10% less fat than animals without the gene. Meat quality traits are unaffected by the myostatin gene. The meat is still tender.


The following are links to some interesting articles published in the Journal of
Animal Science concerning the myostatin gene in Texel sheep:

“Effects of quantitative trait locus for muscle hypertrophy from Belgian Texel sheep on carcass conformation and muscularity”

“Meat quality traits were unaffected by a quantitative trait locus affecting leg composition traits in Texel sheep”

“A directed search in the region of GDF8 for quantitative trait loci affecting carcass traits in Texel sheep”


The following sheep carcass pictures are the reference standards for carcass conformation grading in Europe.
It is called the “EUROP” system with “E” being the most desirable and “P” being the least.


Photos courtesy of Meat and Livestock Commercial Services, Ltd., UK

Charlie and Deb Wray  |  11636 Snake Point Drive  |  Caledonia, MN 55921
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