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The Manx Loaghtan is descended from the primitive type of short-tailed sheep that once roamed throughout many parts of Britain, and is a member of the multi-horned group of breeds where animals may have as many as six horns.
On the Isle of Man, moorit became the established colour in the breed about one hundred years ago, and the word Loaghtan means mouse-brown in Manx. The wool is nut-brown in colour, but fades where it is exposed to the sun, and is used mainly for the production of undyed woollens and tweeds and is popular with hand spinners. It is short tailed and fine boned.
The Manx Loaghtan is hardy and small in size; an adult ewe weighs about 40kg. The number of horns in both sexes is variable, and occasionally polled animals occur. They are slow maturing and are normally butchered at about 15 months of age when they produce a lean, low cholesterol carcase weighing up to 18kgs. The meat is of high quality and full of flavour.