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Loaghtan sheep

Description: Also spelt as 'loaghtan', the name for this ancient breed of sheep comes from the Manx word 'loaghtyn' or lugh-dhoan' meaning mouse-brown and referring to the colour of the adult animal's fleece. Loaghtan lambs are usually chocolate brown in colour.

From the middle of the 19th century, the breed became threatened by changes in the commercial woollen industry which found dark coloured wool to be problematic in dyeing processes and cleaning machinery. Despite being endangered in the past, the Loaghtan breed now appears to be doing well, thanks to work by enthusiasts on the Isle of Man and in England, including the Manx Loaghtan Sheep Breed Society in the Isle of Man and the Manx Loghtan Breeders' Group in the UK. Manx National Heritage played an important role in supporting breed improvements and still retains a flock which is managed from Cregneash Folk Village, including animals kept on the Calf of Man, a small island and bird observatory off the south west coast of the Isle of Man.

Loaghtans are small, hardy, agile creatures, thought to be derived from the Northern Short-tail group of sheep which evolved in the western isles of Scotland and the Isle of Man over at least 1000 years. The breed is famous for the impressive four or more horns grown by the ram.

Place found: Cregneash

Date found: 2004.12.09

Taxonomic name: Ovis aries

Collection: Natural History Zoology Collection

ID number: 2007-0019

Subject tags : #MM100


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