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Manx & Shropshires

Manx Loaghtan

The Manx Loaghtan is a primitive breed of sheep, listed as at risk by the RBST. Originally the Native Manx sheep were white, some black but very few of the moorit colour that we see today. The loaghtan coloured stockings were highly prized by the islanders, and over time the other colour variations were bred out.   Loaghtan is the Manx word for the fleece colour, derived from “lugh” meaning mouse and “dhoan” meaning brown, or possibly “lhost dhoan” meaning burnt brown. Apart from the colour, they are very similar to the Hebridean, providing full flavored low cholesterol meat and a high quality fleece.

Shropshire Sheep

During a visit to Joyce Newby to purchase a Manx ram we were introduced to Shropshire sheep. Two bottle fed lambs were purchased for the girls, duly christened Swanley & Dwynwen, and we soon fell in love with these charming lambs. Efa halter trained the lambs and took Swanley to Nefyn show and won the young shepherd under 10 class.

We were keen to encourage her enthusiasm and we therefore decided to invest in a small flock which she could develop herself. A mix of ewes, lambs and shearling ewes were bought from Hannah Power, and Rhys a handsome shearling ram from Mr. & Mrs. Brian Higgins, Fflint.

The Shropshire is derived from the native sheep of the Shropshire and Staffordshire regions, but has been improved over time by the input of Southdown influences and the out-breeding of horns. Two Shropshire men, George Adney and Samuel Miere, were instrumental in its development in the 1850’s improving temperament and wool quality, and promoting the breed in shows.

The Shropshire is a medium sized sheep typically weighing 80 to a 120kg, with a naturally clean black face, and a covering of wool on the poll. They should possess a broad straight back, with a deep well fleshed body. A typical fleece weighs between 2 to 3kg and has a staple length of 10 to 15cm. The breed is listed on the RBST watch list as being a minority breed.

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