Hi, I’m Nathan Horst, the owner of Harmony Hills Texels. I love sheep and raising quality breeding stock is my passion. I began raising sheep in 2001 at the age of eight. Over the next number of years I gradually built up a commercial flock of about 50 ewes of mostly Dorset breeding.
In 2008 I was introduced to the Texel breed and bought my first Texel ram and a few ewes. Long story made short, I fell in love with the breed and eventually decided to sell the commercial flock and focus on raising Texel breeding stock.
I have found Texels to have decent parasite resistance/tolerance and as a result my sheep are raised with minimal chemical worming. Their diet is forage based with grain given as needed for proper nutrition – generally to the ewes around lambing time and to the young lambs.
My main production goals are to produce a prolific sheep that is correct in build, wide with heavy muscling, of medium height, and has a large heart girth. Based on the work of master cattle geneticist Gerald Fry, my own observations with sheep, as well as studies comparing Texel sired lambs and lambs from typical black-faced sires, my hypothesis is that such an animal will be able to extract more nutrition from its food, whether grass or grain, and will be better able to gain or maintain condition on food that the average sheep would lose weight on. This lowers the need for grain in the diet, which in turn lowers the cost of weight gain on lambs and the maintenance of a ewe flock.
As a terminal sire, a properly proportioned Texel ram will pass those genetics on to its offspring even in the first generation resulting in better gains and/ or lower costs in a commercial flock.