CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Country Smallholding today CLICK HERE

Castlemilk Moorits: a real success story

PUBLISHED: 17:05 05 June 2014

The Castlemilk Moorit - saved from extinction

The Castlemilk Moorit - saved from extinction

Archant

A breed that combines all the best characteristics of its Hebridean ancestors

Saved from the brink of extinction in 1970 by Joe Henson, Castlemilk Moorit sheep are one of the great success stories in the regeneration of our ancient indigenous stock with a registered population now of 1,346. Sharing ancient genetics with Shetland sheep, Manx Loghtan and also more unusually wild Mouflon, they are the most modern of the primitive breeds, having been developed on the Castlemilk Estate of Sir Jock Buchanan-Jardine in his quest for the ideal Parkland breed. They combine all the best characteristics of their Hebridean ancestors, being hardy, resistant to foot rot and excellent mothers who birth easily, as well as providing beautifully soft, cappuccino-coloured wool and incredibly succulent and lean rich meat. They are also strikingly elegant and almost deer-like in appearance.

Although fairly large for a primitive breed, with both ewes and rams horned, Castlemilk Moorits are smaller and easier to physically handle than commercial sheep. Agile and athletic, they are

easily contained with ordinary stock fencing, and happily live outside all year given access to some sheltering hedges and hay when the grass dies off. They are readily bucket trained,

and often keen to interact with their keepers if they think a snack is in prospect, and so can be corralled easily. Mature ewes normally produce twins with typical lambing percentages

of around 170%, and the lambs grow steadily on grass to a good slaughter weight at around 14 months. As interest in sustainable, traceable, premium produce has increased in recent

years, so has demand for Castlemilk meat, with a growing domestic and gastro pub market in London. Furthermore, although a fleece may only weigh 1 to 1.5 kg the wool board offers

up to four times the price per kilo compared to mule wool. While productivity is important, Castlemilk owners will tell you one of their greatest assets is the way they beautify your

fields.

MORE: For more information, stock aquisition or a flock visit please go to

www.castlemilkmooritsociety.co.uk or email us at castlemilkmoorit@hotmail.co.uk

Interact with other smallholders and post your questions

Visit our forums


More from Livestock

Friday, September 7, 2018

Caring for pregnant livestock can tax even the most experienced smallholder. Tim Tyne discusses how to look after expectant ladies and spot the warning signs when something is amiss

Read more
September 2018
Friday, September 7, 2018

Chickens, as well as turkeys, gamebirds and other poultry can be affected by Newcastle Disease

Read more
September 2018
Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Liz Shankland continues her guide to improving herd productivity, this time investigating the importance

Read more
August 2018
Monday, July 9, 2018

In this focus on fertility, Liz Shankland looks at what you can do to maximise the number of piglets produced in each farrowing

Read more
July 2018
Monday, April 9, 2018

Jack Smellie looks at what to do when lambing and kidding doesn’t go to plan

Read more
April 2018
Monday, April 9, 2018

Smallholder Tim Tyne advises on the treatment of lambs which are hypothermic

Read more
April 2018
Monday, April 9, 2018

Debbie Kingsley outlines the rules and regulations for smallholding – this month identifying your sheep or goats

Read more
April 2018
Friday, March 9, 2018

Now to the crux of things. In his series about the most challenging aspects of smallholding, Tim Tyne turns to livestock

Read more
Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Debbie Kingsley talks to sheep keepers Steven and Hannah Payne about their Tordown flock

Read more
March 2018

Most Read

Newsletter Sign Up

Country Smallholding monthly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

This Year’s Shows

Country Smallholding cover image

Don’t miss our comprehensive guide to rural events

Find out more

Like us on Facebook


Follow us on Twitter