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819
SHEEP


found in certain ancient deposits in the S. of England; and the question arises whether the two breeds may not have been nearly related. Although there are no means of ascertaining whether the extinct pigmy British sheep.was clothed with hair or with wool, it is practically certain that some of the early European sheep retained hair like that of their wild ancestor; and there is accordingly no prima facie reason why the breed in question should not have been hairy. On the other hand, since the socalled peat-sheep of the prehistoric Swiss lake-dwellers appears to be represented by the existing Graubiinden (Grisons) breed, which is woolly and coloured something like a Southdown, it may be argued that the former was probably also woolly, and hence that the survival of a hairy breed in a neighbouring 'part of Europe would be unlikely. The latter part of the argument is not very convincing, and it is legitimate to surmise that in the small extinct sheep of the S. of England we may have a possible relative of the pigmy hairy sheep of W. Africa. Fat-rumped sheep, Ovis steotopyga, are common to Africa and Asia, and are piebald with rudimentary horns, and a short hairy coat, being bred entirely for their milk and flesh. In fat-tailed sheep, on the other hand, which have much the same distribution, the coat is woolly and generally piebald. Four-horned sheep are common in Iceland and the Hebrides; the small half-wild breed of Soa often showing this reduplication. There is another four horned breed, distinguished by its black (in place of brown) horns, whose home is probably S. Africa. In the unicorn sheep of Nepal or Tibet the two horns of the rams are completely welded together. In the Himalayan and Indian hunia sheep, the rams of which are specially trained for fighting, and have highly convex foreheads, the tail is short at birth. Most remarkable of all is the so-called Wallachian sheep, or 'Zackelschaf (Ovis strepsiceros), represented by several more or less distinct breeds in E. Europe, in which the long upright horns are spirally twisted like those of the mazkhor wild goat.

For the various breeds of wild sheep see R. Lydekker, Wild Oxen, Sheep and Goats (London, 1?8), and later papers in the Proceeding; of the Zoologzcal Socrety of ondon. Also Rowland Ward, Records of Big Game (5th ed., London, 1906). (R. L.*) Modern British Breeds of Sheep.~The sheep native to the British Isles may be classified as the lowland and the mountain breeds, and subdivided into- long wools and short wools-the latter including the Down breeds, sometimes termed black-faced. The longwool breeds are the Leicester, Border Leicester, Cotswold, Lincoln, Kent, Devon Longwool, South Devon, Wensleydale and Roscommon. The shorlwool breeds are the Oxford Down, Southdown, Shropshire, Hampshire Down, Suffolk, Ryeland, Dorset and Somerset Horn, Kerry Hill, Radnor and Clun Forest. The mountain breeds include the Cheviot, Scotch Black-face, Lonk, Rough Swaledale, Derbyshire Gritstone, Penistone, Limestone, Herdwick, Dartmoor, Exmoor and Welsh Mountain. These breeds are all English, except the Border Leicester, Cheviot and Scotch Black-face, which belong to Scotland; the Welsh Mountain, which belongs to Wales; and the Roscommon, which is Irish. The majority of the true mountain breeds are horned, the males only in the cases of Cheviot, Herdwick, Penistone and Welsh, though most Cheviot and many Herdwick rams are hornless. Of Derbyshire Gritstone neither sex has horns. In the other horned breeds, the Dorset and Somerset, Limestone, Exmoor, Old Norfolk, and-Western or Old Wiltshire, both sexes have horns. The remaining breeds are hornless. The white-faced breeds include the Leicester, Border Leicester, Lincoln, Kentish, Cheviot, Ryeland, Devon Longwool, South Devon, Dorset and Somerset Horn, Limestone, Penistone, Exrnoor and Roscommon.

The Leicester, though now not numerous, is of high interest. It was the breed which Robert Bakewell took in hand in the 18th century, and greatly improved by the exercise of his skill and judgment. Bakewell lived at Dishley Grange, Leicestershire, and in France the Leicester sheep are still called Dishleys. In past times Leicester blood was extensively employed in the improvement or establishment of other longwool breeds of sheep. The Leicester, as seen now, has at white wedge-shaped face, the forehead covered with wool; thin mobile ears; neck full towards the tru-nk, short and level with the -baclr; width over the shoulders and through the heart; a full broad* breast.; fine clean legs standing well apart; deep round barrel and great depth of carcass; firm flesh, springy pelt, and pink skin, covered with ine, curly, lustrous wool. The breed is maintained pure upon the rich pastures of Leicestershire, E. and N. Yorkshire, Cheshire, Cumberland and Durham, but its chief value is for crossing, when it is found to promote maturity and to improve the fattening propensity. ~ .

The Border Leicesler originated after the death in 1795 of Bakewell, when the Leicester breed, as it then existed, diverged into two branches. The one is represented by the breed still known in England as the Leicester. The other, bred on the Scottish Borders, with an early admixture of Cheviot blood, acquired the name of Border Leicester. The distinguishing characteristics of the latter' are: that it is an upstanding animal of gay appearance with light ofial; and has a long though strong neck carrying a long, lean, clean head covered with white, hard, but not wiry hair, free from- wool, long highset ears and a black muzzle; back broad and muscular, belly well covered with wool; legs clean, and a fleece of long white wavy wool, arranged in characteristic locks or pirls. .

The Blue-faced Wensleydales take their name from the Yorkshire dale of which Thirsk is the centre. They are longwool sheep, derived from the old Teeswater breedby crossing with Leicester rams. They have a 'tuft of wool on the forehead. The skin of the body is sometimes blue, whilst the wool has a bright lustre, is curled in small distinct pirls, and is of uniform staple. The rams are in much favour in Scotland and the N. of England for crossing with ewes of the various black-faced horned mountain breeds to produce mutton of superior quality and to use the cross-ewes to breed to a pure longwool or sometimes a Down ram. The Cotswold is an old-established breed of the Gloucestershire hills, extending thence into 'Oxfordshire It was but slightly crossed for improvement by the Dishley Leicesters and has retained its characteristic type for generations. They are big, handsome sheep, with hnely-arched necks and graceful carriage. With their broad, straight backs, curved ribs; and capacious quarters, they carry a great weight of carcass upon strong, wide-standing legs. The fine white fleece of long wavy wool gives the Cotswold an attractive appearance, which is enhanced by its topknot or forelock. The mutton of the Cotswoldsis not of high quality except at an early age, but the sheep are, useful for crossing purposes to impart size, and because they are exceptionally hardy. »

The Lincolns are descended from the old native breed of Lincolnshire, improved by the use of Leicester blood. They are hardy and prolific, but do not quite equal the Cotswolds in size. They have larger, bolder heads than the Leicesters. 'Breeders of Lincoln rams like best a darkish face, with a few black spots on the ears; and white legs. The wool has a broad staple, and is denser and longer, and the fleece heavier, than in any other British breed. For this reason it has been the breed most in favour with breeders in all parts of the world for mating with Merino ewes and their crosses. The progeny is a good 'general purpose sheep, giving a large fleece of wool but only a medium quality of mutton. With a greater proportion of Lincoln blood in the mixed flocks of the world there is a' growing tendency to produce finer mutton by using Down rams, but 'at the sacrifice of part of the yield of wool. In r9o6 Henry Dudding; of. Riby Grove, Lincolnshire, obtained at auction the sunrof rqigoguineas for a'Lincoln ram' bred by him, -the highest price paid for a sheep in the United Kingdom. In the same year Robert and William Wright, of Nocton Heath, Lincoln, sold their flock of 950 animals to'Senor Manuel Cobo, -Buenos Aires, for. £30,000. The Devon Longwool is a breedllocally' developed' in the valleys of W. Somerset, N. and E. Devon, and .partsiof Cornwalli It originated in a strong infusion of Leicester blood amongst the old Bampton stock of 'Devonshirei ThefDevon Longwool is"not unlike the Lincoln, but is"-coarser. It is white-faced, with a lock of wool 'on the forehead. "

The South Devon or South' Dum are, like the cattle of that