The Texel sheep originated on the isle of Texel, the largest of the Frisian Islands off the north coast of the Netherlands. The exact origin of the breed is unknown although it is thought to be a cross of multiple English breeds. It was slowly bred into a meat breed of outstanding carcass quality. It is now one of the most common meat breeds in the Netherlands, making up seventy percent of the national flock. Visit the Texel Sheep Breeders Society website for more information.
The Texel breed is a white-faced breed with no wool on the head or legs. The breed is characterized by a distinctive short, wide face with a black nose and widely placed, short ears with a nearly horizontal carriage. They have black hooves. The wool is of medium grade (46′s-56′s) with no black fibers. Mature animals shear fleece weights of 3.5 kg (7.7 lbs) to 5.5 kg (12.1 lbs).
The most outstanding characteristic of the Texel is its remarkable muscle development and leanness. Texel-sired lambs show an advantage of one full leg score in breed comparisons and less total carcass fat—especially seam fat.