Castlemilk Moorit

Castlemilk Moorit ewe & lambs

Key Characteristics

A hardy breed although shelter is appreciated, especially during lambing. Anecdotal evidence suggests the breed is resistant to flystrike and footrot. However this is no substitute for good husbandry and diligence. Ewes produce lambs well into old age. They produce small, lively lambs and have few lambing problems. Ewes are excellent mothers and very protective. With good management a lambing percentage of around 160-170% can be achieved.

History

  • In the early part of the twentieth century, the late Sir Jock Buchanan-Jardine began a breeding programme on his Castlemilk Estate in Dumfriesshire, Scotland. 
  • Using Manx Loaghtan, moorit Shetland and the wild Mouflon he developed a breed specifically to beautify his parkland and provide fine, kemp free moorit coloured wool to clothe his workers. 
  • Following his death in 1970 the flock was mostly culled. 
  • However, a few ewes and two rams were saved in two small groups. All today’s Castlemilk Moorits are descended from these two groups.

Appearance

  • The breed is small although one of the larger primitive breeds of lowland sheep.
  • Ewes weigh around 40kg and rams, 55kg.
  • A long legged, agile breed with great presence.
  • The head is clean with ewes exhibiting two uniform and wide spread horns whilst rams carry heavy, evenly spiralled horns that avoid the cheeks.
  • The sheep exhibits definite white mouflon markings especially “spectacles”, lower jaw, belly and leg patches and a white rump.

Uses

Wool

The fleece has little or no kemp and is highly prized by hand spinners. Staple length- 4-7cm. Fleece weight- 1kg. Quality- 48s-50s.

Meat

Pure bred sheep are slow to mature but as shearlings produce a high quality, fine grained lean meat of superb flavour. It is a premium product.

Did you know?

The Castlemilk Moorit Sheep Society has worked hard to identify all the remaining founder lines and have worked together with their members to secure a sound genetic future for their breed. 

The Rare Breeds Survival Trust is the leading national charity working to conserve and protect the United Kingdom's rare native breeds of farm animals from extinction. We rely on the support of our members, grants and donations from the public to raise the £700,000 a year needed to maintain our conservation work with rare UK native breeds of farm animals. Visit www.rbst.org.uk to see how you can help.

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