Mouflon Rouge Castlemilk Moorit Products
PRODUCER: Mouflon Rouge Castlemilk Moorit Products, Buckinghamshire
PRODUCT: Rare Breed Castlemilk Moorit Hogget
REGION: London and the South East
CATEGORY: From the Field (Primary)
WHAT THEY DO
When Lucinda Reeves decided to move to the countryside and begin farming, she already had her mind set on raising a flock of rare-breed sheep, having admired the work of the Rare Breed Survival Trust for some years.
Today, Lucinda is the owner of a flock of Castlemilk Moorit, one of the most recent of the primitive Hebridean breeds and an important part of the UK’s farming heritage. First bred in the early 1900s by Lord Jock Buchanan-Jardine as parkland sheep for his Castlemilk Estate in Scotland, on his death the entire flock faced culling. Although few were saved, today the Castlemilk Moorit is still a rare breed with a population of just 1,200-1,300.
At Mouflon Rouge, the Castlemilk Moorit sheep are allowed to mature slowly until at least 16 months old (hogget is meat from sheep that are between 1-2 years old – older than lamb but younger than mutton). The animals enjoy warm stables, pastures, meadows and dew ponds, and are fed natural molasses cereal and vegetable-based mixes in addition to pasture. At lambing time ewes are kept in the stables and home paddock to be closely monitored and mothers are kept with their lambs in their own bedded pens. Lucinda says, “I am devoted to my flock and raising them in as natural and enjoyable a way as possible.”
Mouflon Rouge employs a small family abattoir and butcher, Joseph Morris in Lutterworth, Leicestershire, to prepare their meat each autumn and again at Easter. Lucinda’s commitment to good husbandry results in lean, rich meat that is becoming increasingly popular in the area.
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID
The judges for this region were all very impressed by Mouflon Rouge, and particularly admired the care taken throughout the animals’ life cycle. The emphasis on welfare, from the monitoring of mothers and lambs to the use of a small abattoir, held a great deal of appeal.
VISIT THE WEBSITE: mouflonrouge.co.uk