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A brown Orkney sheep with long horns standing in the grass.Also Known By: North Ronaldsay


The Orkney breed is found mainly on the Islands of North Ronaldsay and Linga Holm off the coast of Great Britain. The original flock was on the island of North Ronaldsay and the flock on Linga Holm was started in 1975. The breed has evolved to the tough conditions found in the islands. One of its most notable characteristics is its ability to exist on a diet of seaweed for most of the year.


Orkney are small and fine boned. They belong to the northern short-tailed type. They have little wool on the face or legs. Rams are horned and have a fringe of coarse hair on the underside of the neck.


The wool is usually gray or white but occasionally it will be black or brown. The staple length of the wool is 4-8 cm with a spinning count of 50's to 56's. The average fleece weight is between 1.5-2.5 kg.


Registries and Breed Associations


United Kingdom

North Ronaldsay Sheep Fellowship
Hon. Secretary
Brian Cassie
The Chimneys
Rugby Road
LE17 4HN




British Sheep and Wool, British Wool Marketing Board, Oak Mills, Station Rd., Clayton, Bradford. 112 pp.


Mason, I.L. 1996. A World Dictionary of Livestock Breeds, Types and Varieties. Fourth Edition. C.A.B International. 273 pp.

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