Castlemilk Moorit Sheep
What is the history of Castlemilk Moorit Sheep?The Castlemilk Moorit is a rare breed of domestic sheep also known as Moorit Shetland, Milledge Sheep, or Castlemilk Shetland originating in Dumfriesshire in Scotland. The breed is now found in a number of mostly small flocks throughout the UK The breed was first developed by Sir Jock Buchanan-Jardine during the early twentieth century from Manx Loghtan, Moorit Shetland and wild Mouflon sheep.
RBST founder Joe Henson brought the breed back from the brink of extinction following the sale of the original flock in 1970. Following his death in 1970 the flock was mostly culled. However, a few ewes and two rams were saved in two small groups. Castlemilk Moorits are descended from these two groups.
What are the characteristics of Castlemilk Moorit Sheep?
- Castlemilk Moorit Ewes are always horned and exhibit two uniform and wide spreading horns, the degree of curl of the horns may vary from little to a full semi-circle.
- The rams have much heavier horns.
- Both sexes are uniformly brown in colour although the actual shade can vary from dark chocolate to mid-brown.
- The fleece bleaches in the sun often giving an overall colour impression of light brown when fully fleeced.
- The face colour can vary from dark chocolate to mid-brown but both sexes should have definite mouflon pattern markings to include some white around the eyes, on the lower jaw, belly, knees and inside the lower leg and tail together with a rump patch.
- The Castlemilk Moorits are comparatively docile and handle well.
- They are extremely hardy, as their parentage would suggest, and live out all year round, on grass with supplementary hay only in prolonged snowy weather, and some compound feed just before lambing.
- They lamb without assistance.
- With good management a lambing percentage of around 150-160% can be achieved.
- The Castlemilk Moorit Sheep Society promotes the breed for its ability to graze rough ground, delicious tasting meat and its fine fleece.
- Staple length is 4 – 7 cm
- Fleece weight around 1kg.
What is the weight of mature Castlemilk Moorit Sheep?Castlemilk Moorit Ewes weigh around 40kg and Castlemilk Moorit rams, 55kg.
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