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
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
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.
Back to Rare Breeds