Castlemilk Moorit Sheep

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Other common names: Moorit Shetland; Castlemilk Shetland

The basics:
The Castlemilk Moorit Sheep is one of the Northern European short-tailed sheep group of breeds, having a short, triangular tail. It has horns in both sexes and a fleece that is usually moulted or rooed (plucked) rather than needing shearing.

Castlemilk Moorit were created as a decorative breed Sir Jock Buchanan-Jardine of Dumfriesshire, Scotland in the early 1900's. Castlemilk Moorit were created by crossbreeding several primitive sheep breeds, such as the Manx Loaghtan, Shetland and wild Mouflon. All Castlemilk Moorits alive today are descended from a single flock of ten ewes and two rams. The breed's name refers to the Castlemilk Estate on which they were bred, and the Lowland Scots word "moorit" refers to the light tan or reddish brown color of their fleece.

Appearance / health:
According to the Castlemilk Moorit Sheep Society , " The Castlemilk Moorit is one of the larger primitive (type) breeds with mature ewes weighing in the region of 40kgs. (85lbs.) and rams 55kgs. (120lbs.) The head is clean and level between the ears. The ewes exhibit two uniform and wide spreading horns which are much heavier and evenly spiralled in the rams, avoiding the cheeks."

"The neck should be well set on the shoulders following on to a straight back and well sprung ribs; the tail is naturally short and narrow. Both sexes should be upstanding on clean fine-boned legs, with naturally small feet. It’s whole appearance is graceful and well balanced; they are extremely agile and fleet footed."

"Light brown or moorit in colour, they have definite mouflon pattern markings to include white underparts around the eyes, lower jaw, belly, knees and inside lower leg and tail together with a rump patch."

"This breed description is flexible enough to allow the preservation of some diversity in the breed, this is especially important as the breed has a very small gene pool having been reduced to such a small population in the 1970s."

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