It’s baa baa brown sheep!

The Edwards' rare Castlemilk Moorits
The Edwards' rare Castlemilk Moorits

Rare breed thrives in Kinghorn

When Kinghorn couple Marilyn and Ron Edwards decided to act on their long-held ambition to raise some sheep at their country cottage, little did they know what they were letting themselves in for!

Their initial small flock of six Castlemilk Moorit ewes, along with one ram and his companion has literally doubled in size in just six months, with five of the six ewes giving birth to six lambs in April this year.

And the environmentally-friendly pair, who are members of the Craigencalt Rural Community Trust, now have their hands full with their growing flock which has taken over two of the fields around their Craigencalt Cottage home.

“Luckily they are fairly independent animals and the lambing process was quite straightforward, which we were thankful for,” explained Ron. “We had a wee bit of bother to start off with, as the other sheep did not take kindly to the new arrivals, but after a while they settled down and the rest were no bother.

“We feed them sheep pellets every morning and now, when they hear us up and about in the morning, they start baa-ing until we go to the field and feed them.

‘‘ They are a wild breed and they don’t like being handled, so it will be fun in the near future when we have to shear them for the summer.

‘‘We are going to get an expert in to show us how to do it, and we will look into selling their wool to any local spinning groups which may be interested.”

Marilyn added: “When we drove to Yorkshire to see the sheep, we were warned they were wild, but we were not aware quite how wild to start off with, and we have had a few instances with sheep running off when we were trying to move them and the ram butting down a fence, trying to get to the ewes, but we are getting used to their ways.

“I am actually getting quite fond of them and they are getting more used to being around us too.”

The breed:

There are only around 500 Castlemilk Moorits in existence and they originate from the former Castlemilk estate at Lockerbie in the Scottish Borders, while moorit is the Gaelic word for brown, as they have brown wool coats.

The rare breed of primitive sheep provides a hight quality meat as well as fleece, and is ideal for parkland and conservation grazing.