Developed in Scotland by Sir Jack Buchanan-Jardin, at his estate in Castlemilk. Crossing Shetland, Manx Loughton, Soay, and Wiltshire horn to create this self-reliant, 2 horned elegant looking sheep. Moorit means reddish-brown in the Old Norse language of Orkney. DNA analysis updated summer 2023 – RBST The ark magazine.
Castlemilk Moorit is a rare breed of sheep that originated in Scotland, specifically on the Castlemilk Estate near Dumfries. It was developed in the early 20th century by Sir Jock Buchanan-Jardine with the goal of creating a small, dual-purpose sheep that could thrive in the upland areas of Scotland.
The Castlemilk Moorit sheep are known for their attractive appearance and unique coloration. They have a small to medium-sized frame with a distinctive reddish-brown fleece. The wool is short, soft, and fine, making it suitable for a variety of textile applications. The face and legs of the sheep are also reddish-brown, while the muzzle, inside of the ears, and tip of the tail are lighter in color.
In recent years, Castlemilk Moorit sheep have gained recognition as a “Modern Conservation” breed in the United Kingdom. Modern Conservation is a term used to describe a breed that is not native to the UK but has been established for at least 25 years and is considered at risk of extinction. The breed’s status as a Modern Conservation breed reflects the efforts to preserve and promote its unique genetic heritage.
Conservation organizations, such as the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) in the UK, work to conserve and increase the population of rare and native breeds like the Castlemilk Moorit sheep. These organizations provide support, guidance, and resources to breeders to ensure the long-term survival of these breeds.
The Castlemilk Moorit sheep are valued for their versatility, hardiness, and attractive appearance. They are suitable for both meat and wool production, and their adaptability to harsh upland environments makes them valuable for grazing on rough terrain.
Overall, the Castlemilk Moorit sheep breed represents an important part of the UK’s agricultural heritage and serves as a prime example of the ongoing efforts to conserve and protect rare and endangered breeds.