Fine wool, sheep husbandry
Strabo, who was a, contemporary of our Saviour, and who consequently lived a generation earlier than Columella, says that the fine of Useful Arts." It was the lineal ancestor of our present organization. Robert R. Livingston, LL. D., Secretary of Foreign Affairs under the American Articles of Confederation, Chancellor of New York, &c., &c., went as American Minister Plenipotentiary to France in 1801. He there gave much attention to the Merinos preparatory to an importation of them. He is an
... them. He is an able, and in matters of fact, extremely reliable, writer. He was one of the most spirited and influential agricultural improvers in our country, and is never to be forgotten as the patron and coadjutor of Fulton. f Lasteyrie travelled into every country in Europe, where the * There lias been some confusion as to the use of the term "jar" in our country. I think the foreign writers do not mean by it that firmly rooted hair which projects from the wool on the thighs, necks, &c., of some sheep, but that sharp-pointed, shining hair which is found detached from the skin within the fleece, and usually much shorter than the wool. It becomes detached when the wool has partly grown. 14: FINE WOOL SHEEP HUSBANDRY. at half a pound less, but of the ewe's the same. The Spanish system of washing alluded to, was much more perfect than our own. Brook-washed, on the back, in the American way, the shrinkage would not have exceeded one-third.* These are but general averages, and do not indicate the weight of fleeces of prime animals. The King of England's nock of ]N~egretti's, about one hundred in number, yielded during five years (1798-1802) an annual average of 3^ff pounds of brook-washed wool, and 2^|^p ounds of wool scoured for manufacturing.f the sheep encountered among his dependents that obstinate antipathy which subsequently met them among the ignorant in every other country outside of Spain. As would be expected under such circumstances, they attracted no notice, and soon disappeared. A subse-16 FINE WOOL SHEEP HUSBANDRY. quent importation of Merinos by M. de Perce, resulted so favorably as to attract the notice of the government, which instituted a series of experiments on the subject, under the direction of the celebrated Daubenton. These proved satisfactory, and Louis XYIII. of France applied to the King of Spain for permission to export a nock. The latter not only granted the request, but ordered " that they should be selected from the finest flocks of Spain." A little over three hundred of them arrived safely in France in 1786, and were placed in an agricultural establishment, devoted to the improvement of domestic animals, at Rambouillet, about forty miles from Paris. Gilbert, in his already cited report to the National Institute of France, in 1796, thus describes them, and the course of breeding to which they were subjected: " The stock from which the flock of Rambouillet was derived, was composed of individuals beautiful beyond any that had ever before been brought from Spain ; but having been chosen from a great number of flocks, in different parts of the kingdom, they were distinguished by very striking local differences, which formed a medley disagreeable to the eye, but immaterial as it affected their quality. These characteristic differences have melted into each other, by their successive alliances, and from thence has resulted a race which perhaps resembles none of those which composed the primitive stock, but which certainly does not yield in any circumstance to the most beautiful in point of size, form, and strength, or in the fineness, length, softness, strength, and abundance of fleece.