North Ronaldsay are a small rare breed of sheep of the
Northern short-tailed group of breeds. They have remained virtually unchanged.
Their most unique feature is their diet, which consists mostly of seaweed.
Mature ewes rarely exceed 25 kg (55 lbs); rams about 30 to 35 kg (66-77 lbs.).
They are primitive and fine-boned and have evolved in a specialized seashore
environment on their native island.
They adapt well to mainland management including
conservation grazing. Rams are horned, but ewes can be horned, polled, or
scurred. Virtually any color of wool is possible. Wool is fairy fine, with some
kemp. Rams develop a mane and beard of coarse hair. There are about 3,700 of
these sheep still on the island of North Ronaldsay.