Airies Texels - Breeding Policy

Breeding policy.:- Since 1989 I have selected for traits that were important to profit in the commercial sheep enterprise.
The following points explain my general breeding policy.

  • Lambing ease. From my own experience and also listening to my commercial customers I realise that the future of the sheep industry in this country will rely in lowering input costs and there will be no profit in sheep that require veterinary assistance or that have high mortality at lambing. (Big dead lambs in the spring don’t sell well in the autumn.)
  • That is why for over 10 years I have been monitoring and selecting for unassisted lambings.
  • Prolificacy. Lambing percentage has always been an important profit factor in the sheep industry with maximum number of twins being the aim. After I started breeding Texels the most common complaint I heard against the Texel cross ewe was that she did not produce as many lambs as the mule ewe.
  • That is why by consistently selecting my female replacements from twins or triplets and selecting my rams mostly the same I have made my flock more prolific.
  • Low input with high output. From the start I have always bred for medium sized ewes that are hardy, thrifty and milky enough to produce a good crop of lambs from grass with minimal concentrates and other inputs. Longevity has always been another trait we breed for, and often we have ewes still fit and productive at 8 years old. We do not creep feed any lambs and our ram lambs are only fed a small amount of concentrate at grass after weaning in mid July. This allows us to select for natural performance and produce sheep in good breeding condition.
  • That is why you can be assured a ram from Airies will go on and do.


  • Uniformity. My selection has never been for sheep that are extreme in any trait. I like sheep that stand straight and well on four good black feet and well up on their pasterns. I like them to stand narrower in front than behind with a smooth shoulder into the neck as this produces the correct shape of lamb for an unassisted lambing. I like sheep with moderate length as usually if they are too long they loose some thickness. I like them to have a good back and gigots. Mule type ewes require a ram with natural thickness. I don’t like rams with a thick tail, as their lambs will tend to become over-fat for the market at too light a weight. I do like a ram in good condition without a thick tail as he will produce red meat lambs without excessive fat. I like a good tight skin but not too bare as good wool cover gives the lamb better chance of survival outdoors after birth. Good wool will become a worthwhile product for us again maybe sooner than later. I don’t like a large coarse head as this leads to difficult lambings. I do like a bright head with good hard white hair and a black nose. The head does not increase profit on a line of lambs in the abattoir but it makes a pen of sheep attractive. Balanced trait selection without extremes leads to uniformity and consistency of type.
  • This is what my customers need to produce a crop of lambs that are of a type that are consistent, grow well and flesh easily and top their market.