The Keane family from Newport, Co. Mayo run a family butcher shop alongside their Glenaileann and Gleanvale pedigree Texel flocks.The family butcher shop was opened in 1984 by Sean Keane. The Keane family now have a blooming enterprise incorporating a mobile shop servicing local areas with a work force comprising of Sean’s brother Richard, sister Ann, his sons Shane and David and fellow colleague Andrez, not to forget his wife Mary who is the woman behind it all keeping the farm going.
Texel lambs prove perfect for the Keane’s for their butcher shop, “The Texel breed has come on leaps and bounds in the last number of years due to their ability to reach heavier weights with sufficient carcass cover but remaining lean. The Texel is renowned for their larger legs and a greater eye muscle, both traits which we would be looking for in our killing lambs”. The Keanes supply many local restaurants and hotels that require larger cuts of meat. “The Texel carcass has the perfect balance, the loin is the most valuable cut and the Texel provides a length and depth of loin that other breeds can’t compete with”.
Having seen the huge benefits that the Texel sheep possess Shane and David established a Pedigree Texel flock each in 2012 and 2014, respectively. Not alone are the Texel’s doing the business on the pedigree side of the farm, they also run a commercial flock of Texel x ewes. Some of these are used for commercial lambs which are all slaughtered through their own shop, with the others kept for embryo transfer recipients.
Texel lambs are lively at birth, and very hardy
“We are situated near the coast and can experience harsh spring weather and find that Texel’s thrive even in the toughest of conditions, the wind and rain could be blowing in off the Atlantic and the lambs are still up looking to suck within a few minutes”. The Keane family fully intend on sticking with Texel’s, “Our future plans are to continue to improve the quality of both our commercial and pedigree flock, producing top quality lambs for our shop and pedigree rams that will hopefully go on to breed excellent quality lambs for slaughter for other commercial farmers”.
Texel Premier Show and Sale
You can talk to Shane, David and many other breeders about their positive experiences with the breed at the Texel Sheep Society Premier Show and Sale on Friday and Saturday10th and 11thof August at Doyle’s Mart, Blessington, Co. Wicklow. The show will take place on Friday where Judge Mr. Rodger Strawbridge will have the difficult job of sorting through what is sure to be an excellent selection, including 230 males and 70 females, to find his winners in each class and finally his champion of the show. This will be followed by a complimentary BBQ of prime Irish Texel lamb. The sale will commence at 11:00am sharp on Saturday with the females going under the hammer first, followed by shearling rams and then the ram lambs. Vendors at the sale will facilitate purchasers with transport. It is sure to be a fantastic weekend with the cream of Texel sheep in the country coming under the hammer!
For further information and enquiries: 0873552992 or Irish Texel Sheep Society on facebook.