Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Sheep breeding in the Netherlands - impressions from an educational visit

Abstract

In the last 6 yr, the population of ewes in the Netherlands has doubled to the current figure of approx. 665 000 ewes in 23 482 flocks. There are 15 breeds, the most important of which is the Texel. An account is given of the development of the prolific Swifter breed, developed from crossing Texel and Flemish sheep, and of the North Holland breed, based on the Texel and Finnish Landrace. Details are also given of the Cofok sheep breeding programme, involving crossing between German Mutton Merino, East Friesian and Barbados Blackbelly sheep, which has produced a prolific dam line averaging a litter size of 2.2 and 1.47 lambings per yr. Data are also given on crossing German Whiteheaded Mutton (GWM) sheep with Romanovs and Texels. For 68 GWM, 317 Romanov, 302 GWM × Romanov, 270 Romanov × GWM and 723 Texel × (Romanov × GWM) lambs, birth weight averaged 5.30, 2.81, 3.10, 4.74 and 4.34 kg resp., and daily gain to 120 days of age 305, 214, 231, 288 and 266 g. Details are also given of a programme involving the crossing of Booroola Merino × Texel rams with Texel ewes.