Impressed by the useful qualities displayed by the Texel breed while observing them as a supervisor for the Sheepac quarantine stations, Blackdale invested in a group of top quality purebreds on their release in November 1990. This included a ½ share of the top pick four tooth ram Sheepac 365/88 – “Mr Muscle”. While imported as a terminal sire with a world wide reputation for carcass quality and meat yield, we quickly found Texels brought many other commercially desirable attributes useful to dual purpose breeding flocks.
Texel hardiness has given higher lamb survival, better tolerance to adverse feed conditions, resilience to internal parasites and immunity to pregnancy toxaemia. Clean bums, good handling dispositions and strong mothering instincts makes Texel more user friendly.
The Blackdale flock of 400 ewes has been selected for use both as Terminal sire and dual purpose crossbreeding. Hence selection includes high fertility, good fault free wool type and desirable dual purpose conformation as well as the growth rate and meat quality traits.
DNA testing indicates that all sheep in the Blackdale Texel flock carry two copies of the Texel Myostatin muscling gene which enhances meat yield by 3% for 1 copy and 7% for a double copy.
Blackdale sires are in the forefront of the Texel Across Flock analysis being especially well represented in the Dual purpose overall category.
Registered Texel latest 3 year average:- Lambs scanned to ewes mated 185%
Lambs reared to ewes mated 152%
Lambs scanned to hoggets mated 123%
Ewe wool weight per annum 5.0kg
100 day lamb weaning weight R+E 35kg
Blackdale sire 447/03 sold for $13,500 has become the Texel across flock most used sire with 966 recorded progeny. He also still holds a place in the top 20 Meat and Growth sires of all breeds tested in the Beef and Lamb Central Progeny Tests. Blackdale Texel sheep/semen/embryos have been exported to Australia, Brazil, Equador, Mexico and Uruguay.
Traits tested - Physical soundness, weaning weight, 200 day weight, fleece weight, muscle, growth, fat, reproduction, survival, longevity. DNA tests – muscling, cold tolerance, microphthalmia, footrot resistence, 5K and 50K SNPs. SIL Flock number 2672.