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Cargile Sheep Herd

Cargile Ranches have been involved in the sheep business in West Texas for over 60 years. The Cargile sheep herd began in the early 1950s when John Cargile and his father Frank began operating the ranch at Arden.  Rambouillet was the predominant breed in the Southwest at the time and ranchers soon found that using Suffolk sheep in a crossbreeding program to develop fast-growing quality lambs was a profitable move. At that time John Cargile began to work on a purebred herd of Suffolk to raise rams from and sell to West Texas sheepmen. This was a staple of the ranch at Arden for many years.    

Although we have over six decades of experience breeding Suffolk and Rambouillet sheep, we are progressing towards the future. With the increased pressure of predation, difficulty of labor and shearing, and a decreased market demand for tradition wool lambs the decision was made in 2014 to phase out of the wool sheep business and pivot to a hair sheep herd. 

Hair sheep have grown in their popularity within the southwest for several reasons. The rapid growth and the excellent survivability of the hair lambs as well as the ability to adapt and thrive on native pastures in West Texas make them an excellent choice as an alternative to take place of our Suffolk and Rambouillet herds. Because of the gentle nature of these hair sheep, they are easy to handle which results in less stress on the herd during a gathering, weaning lambs, and general maintenance. Through careful selection and culling, we have now established a herd of spring lambing Dorp/Croix ewes that we are proud of. With a decrease of ranchers actively fighting predators predation of lambs has become a major issue for many operations including us. We are now utilizing livestock guardian dogs to help combat predators with promising results so far.

We have sold some offerings of ewe lambs at weaning the last four years with excellent results and this year, conditions permitting, plan to hold back a number of top-end bucks to sell private treaty. Our goal will always be to sell range ready livestock to the stockmen of Texas and beyond. For more information call Benny Cox @325-234-4277 or Charley Christensen @325-234-4939.