Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Rambouillet

Rambouillet Sheep
Meet the Rambouillet, a large breed of dual-purpose domestic sheep that has quite an interesting history and legacy.

Before the late 18th century, the Merino sheep breed in Spain were under close guard. They were protected by the government and exportation was forbidden... Until 1786 when the government finally granted a special request by the French King, Louis XVI (the kings were cousins). 359 carefully selected sheep were sent to a farm in Rambouillet, near Paris.

Once the sheep made it to France, they were kept under royal control for a few years, but that did not last. They eventually spread elsewhere in Europe and added their genes to other breeds both on that continent and abroad. By the mid-1800s they had made it to America.

The Rambouillet breed is a large one, with rams growing up to 300lbs and ewes measuring around 200lbs. They have a high wool yield, and long wool at that-- greater than 3in. They are also great meat producers, and are incredibly adaptable. Rambouillet are farmed in all kinds of environments and climates, from hot Texas and Mexico to the chillier regions in Canada and the northern U.S.

Status : Doemsticated
Location : France
Size : Weight up to 300lbs (135kg)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Mammalia -- Order : Artiodactyla
Family : Bovidae -- Genus : Ovis -- Species : O. aries

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