Castlemilk Moorits: a real success story
- Credit: 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
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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
MORE: For more information, stock aquisition or a flock visit please go to
www.castlemilkmooritsociety.co.uk or email us at email@example.com