In 1971 a small group of Boreray sheep were removed from their island so that their
fleece-casting could be studied.
These animals are the foundation stock from which current mainland Boreray are descended.
Our flock are traceable progeny of that group.
Boreray sheep are classified as Critically Endangered by the RBST. This means that
there are fewer than 300 registered breeding females in the mainland UK.
A feral population of these sheep exist in the western isles of Scotland. A conservation
plan is in place to ensure that there is no interference with the animals living
“wild” on the island of Boreray.
We have the genetics of all the originally imported island sheep (see box, mid-right)
and have bred to maintain these genetics.
Both “in the wild” and in captivity, most of these sheep are white or cream, with
black, mottled, or tan markings. Occasionally black or dark mouflon coloured animals
occur (see the mixed group below).
Most ewes are horned, but scurred or polled can be seen. The rams have striking
The sheep are thrifty, they lamb easily, are intelligent and naturally short tailed.
In normal breeding conditions, they shed their fleece naturally.
The Boreray breed is important in telling us what 19th century Scottish Blackface
sheep looked like.
Isolated from the mainland, the 400 or so island dwelling sheep are “unimproved”.
This gives us a true insight in to a 19th century flock.