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North Country Cheviots and Texels

Liz K

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Hi, All -


Looking for some ewes in OH for a small production farm, meat and possibly wool. And for training and trialing.


Rams are Border Leicesters and will arrive in a couple of weeks. My boyfriend would like some North Country Cheviot ewes because he had wonderful success with this cross before. The wool was nice and the buyers loved the taste of the lamb meat. Ewes were productive, lambs were hearty.


But he's been thinking about trying Texel ewes in the future. We saw some lambs (but not in person) and they looked MEATY.


Questions to the group:

1) Anyone know of any North County Cheviot producers we might be able to pick up some ewes? We are eventually hoping for a steady flock of 70-80 ewes plus lambs in the next year.


2) Anyone had any experience with Texels? Primarily, it would be nice to hear about their breakability for dogs and the taste of their meat. I've read a post in another topic about the gaminess or muttonness of certain breeds' meats. We don't want easily dog broken stock, and don't plan to overwork any breed we may get.


All opinions welcome, and thanks in advance -

Liz K.

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I have experience with both breeds- my friend's flock is mostly NCC x Texel ewes, with a few other breeds in there; my flock is mostly NCC crosses with a little Texel.


The NCCs are my favourite. They're lovely ewes, good mothering, great foragers (I am 100% grass fed), stay fat on dirt. They do mature a little slower than some breeds- I don't breed my ewes until the fall after they turn a year old (they're born in February). They're delightfully light for the dog, but behave nicely. My NCC x ewes will tell you exactly what your dog is doing wrong :rolleyes: They're not super crazy, but they're certainly not heavy like my Romney crosses (gah, moving those is like working boulders!).


The Texels are much heavier to work. They're kind of lazy sheep :D Don't get me wrong, the ewes are good mothers, and the lambs grow relatively rapidly, but they're not nearly as active as the NCCs. For some reason, the cross of the two seems to produce a really bouncy sheep. My friend has great luck with her crosses, though- they twin, have nice lambs that gain well on grass. The Texels seem to gain well to a certain point, then level out, but as we both aim for a 45-50-ish Lb carcass weight, it works for us. I use the Texel as a terminal sire. The few Texel cross ewes I have were exceptionally nice out of nice ewes.


The taste of the meat is going to depend way more on feed and age than on breed. I've had zero complaints about my lambs, even those that I butcher at a year old.

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