Spanish Merino Sheep
Alpacas
Alpacas


HoneyBees
Bees


Bison
Bison


Buffalo
Buffalo


Camels
Camels


Cattle
Cattle


Chickens
Chickens


Crocodiles & Alligators
Crocs
& Gators

Deer
Deer


Donkeys
Donkeys


Ducks
Ducks


Emus
Emus


Geese
Geese


Goats
Goats


GuineaFowl
GuineaFowl
Horses
Horses
Llamas
Llamas
MuskOx
Musk Ox
Ostriches
Ostriches
Pheasants
Pheasants
Pigeons
Pigeons
Pigs
Pigs
Emus
Quail
Rabbits
Rabbits
Sheep
Sheep
Snails
Snails
Turkeys
Turkeys
Yaks
Yaks

About Spanish Merino SheepAbout Spanish Merino Sheep



A number of sheep breeding nations, including Phoenicia, Italy, and Spain, are believed to have played a part in the development of the Merino sheep. However, it is generally agreed upon that the Moors, who dominated Spain through the eighth to thirteenth centuries, were primarily responsible for selectively breeding the animals to such an extent that the wool they produced became superior to that of all other sheep.

Indeed, the word Merino may be of Moorish origin, possibly evolving from their word for a judge that settled disagreements about flocks between shepherds. By the eighteenth century, Merino wool was considered so luxurious and valuable only the sovereign of Spain was permitted to send Merino sheep out of the country, which he occasionally conveyed as gifts.

Merino fleece sits at the top of the grading charts for fineness; they are the standard against which all others are measured. Merino sheep are also noted for their hardiness and their herding instincts and have been used as parents of several other breeds, notably the Rambouillet of France.