Miserden Texels Exports
Miserden Texels have exported live breeding animals and semen to a number of different countries worldwide. Several years ago we made contact with Arthur March, from the St Helena Ministry of Agriculture ,who was studying at the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester. Through this contact we exported two Texel rams to the island in 1999 with a further three being ordered in September 2006. Since then our exports have expanded to France, Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Romania, Bulgaria, United Arab Emirates, Estonia and Northern Ireland.
We have exhibited Texel rams at both the Paris show and Eurotier in Hannover, with both groups of stock being sold on to French, German and Swiss buyers.
2014 saw interest from several European countries and resulted in the export of three White Texel rams and one Blue Texel to Estonia later in the year. Exports are not the easiest things to do, the paperwork and veterinary inspections can be costly and time consuming, but it also doesn’t help if the lorry picking up the stock arrives at 2 am, and while transferring from our trailer to the lorry the rams manage to escape! Luckily they were soon recaptured and are now living happy, healthy lives in Estonia.
In April 2013 we again visited Agraria in Cluj Napoca, this time as private breeders under the British Livestock Genetics banner. More farms were visited and such was the interest that we received two visits from Romanian farmers this year as part of the British livestock genetics . One of these resulted in the export early in 2014 of two Texel rams and 12 females to assist in top quality lamb production in Constanta, southern Romania. The purchaser is a young businessman who has already sourced his market of top restaurants in Bucharest. A small pedigree flock will be established, with rams also being used on the native Tsurcana sheep, whose female progeny will be retained to go on and produce a ¾ Texel lamb for this market. He is also prepared to upgrade the pastures and enclose his sheep which will be a first for a Romanian farmer and could attract a lot of interest. We are just looking forward to his first seasons lambing.
2012 saw some new export markets open up, quite often totally unexpected. We started in the Spring with some visitors from Norway, who were a delight to show round the farm, and enjoyed seeing both the Texels and Blue Texels. We have previously sold semen to Norway from Miserden Orient Express and his progeny are doing well there. Live animal export was not allowed in 2012.
In May Aubrey and I joined Mike Adams (Livestock Export) for a week on a stand at Agraria, the agricultural exhibition at Cluj Napoca in Romania. This was a relief from the grey wet English weather as the sun shone all week with temperatures in the mid-twenties. This was our third visit to the exhibition, and once again we were invited to visit some local farms in the evenings, which was a wonderful opportunity to see their farming methods and look at their indigenous sheep. We have already exported both Texels and Blue Texels to both Romania and Bulgaria and we were able to see the progeny of some of these rams, although the earlier lambs had already been sold.
The Texel ram on the local Turcana ewe leaves a much improved lamb than breeding the Turcana pure. The introduction of the Texels has provided the Romanian farmers with better, more valuable, meat lambs. Farming in Romania is a very nomadic way of life and it is difficult to explain to the farmers that they will not achieve the weight gains they would like when they are walking their sheep a considerable distance every day, especially when the lambs are very young. We are trying to make them understand that some form of fencing and separation is required both at tupping and at lambing to achieve the results they would like to have.
We had a surprise visit later that summer when some Swiss Texel breeders, who were visiting the Sheep event at Malvern, called and selected one of our show rams, by Miserden Petherton, to purchase along with several females. They were looking at a number of flocks in the South of England and a shipment of around thirty animals were taken including a further Texel ram from the Miserden flock who then travelled on to Germany. At the same time we had a French visitor who selected an excellent Texel ram lamb, by Cowal Sundancer, a son of Kelso Pavarotti, who has left us no end of good lambs. Later in the year this lamb, Miserden Troubadour, made his way to France to be used in the French National Texel stud.
Through Heinz, who had purchased sheep from us earlier in the year, Aubrey received an invitation to judge at Huttwil show in Switzerland at the beginning of November. We had a great weekend socially and an education into the type of Texel sheep sought by both the Swiss and the Germans.
In November 2012 we both spent four days in Hannover at Eurotier, a large Agricultural exhibition, advertising our own flock and supporting the Texel stand. Representation at Eurotier resulted in the sale of five Texel rams and fifteen females to Abu Dhabi in February 2013. This was arranged through British Livestock Genetics and they were part of a large consignment of a number of different breeds. The idea is to build up nucleous flocks from which rams can be selected to raise the quality of lamb from the indigenous breeds in the Arab States. While at the exhibition we were also able to gauge the type of Texels produced in Germany and discuss he possibilities of British Genetics improving their stock. Interest came from as far as China and Russia but export protocols are not yet in place for us to help there.