The Royal White sheep, a relatively new breed of hair sheep, has been privately funded and developed by William Hoag of Dorpcroix Sheep Farm in Hermeleigh, Texas. This breed is the result of a deliberate crossbreeding program involving Dorper and St. Croix sheep, aimed at combining the favorable traits of both parent breeds.
Distinguished by their pure white coloration, Royal White sheep exhibit a unique characteristic in their seasonal hair growth. They grow longer hair during the winter months, which is naturally shed off as the spring approaches, aiding in their adaptation to changing environmental conditions. Notably, both ewes and rams of this breed are naturally hornless, contributing to ease of handling and management.
Ongoing research conducted by Texas Tech and Texas A & M University focuses on various aspects of the Royal White breed, including meat production efficiency and resistance to scrapie, a fatal neurodegenerative disease affecting sheep. This research aims to further understand and optimize the breed's potential in the agricultural sector, particularly in Texas and beyond.