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     Castlemilk Moorit
 

 

2008 Watchlist; Category 3, Vulnerable.

 


The Castlemilk Moorit is a short-tailed primitive breed, created from the Soay, Manx, Shetland and probably wild Mouflon, and kept entirely for its ornamental appearance.

It is a Scottish laird's decorative sheep breed, which was established by the Buchanan-Jardine family on their Castlemilk estate in Dumfriesshire more than a century ago. It is a long- legged, elegant beast, with light tan or reddish brown fleece of the colour known in Shetland sheep as "moorit". It has a distinctive white-bellied, white-rumped Mouflon pattern and all the ewes have horns, turning back and out. Rams (always "tups" in Scotland) carry heavy spiralled horns.

They lamb without assistance (one lamb, sometimes twins). They produce small joints of meat which is usually mistaken for venison. The fleece is short and tight, tending to be dark brown next to the skin and lighter on the outer surface. It is clipped in most flocks, but will be cast in summer if not clipped. It makes good tweed, even undyed.

The Castlemilk flock was sold in 1970 and only one tup and 10 ewes survived. This tiny foundation is the basis of all today's Castlemilk Moorits, so they are very closely related and uniform in type, although showing few of the detrimental effects of tight inbreeding.

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Castlemilk Moorit
 

 
 
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