Re: Livestock breeds
- --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "chinook_meadows" <adelheid2@...>
>Recognizable types is closer to what they had. For example, in horses,
> I am wondering if European farmers during the middle ages had certain
> breeds of livestock. There probably weren't any official breeds, but
> how about recognizeable types?
there were palfreys (nice paced riding horse), destriers (war or
jousting), cart horses etc. There are mentions of "Spanish horses",
which suggests that the spanish type was distinct from the local. The
distinction tended to be on a functionality basis rather than colour or
Genetic isolation of groups would tend to produce a distinctive type
There are, IIRC, mentions of new types of animals brought in by trade -
we had a discussion on Medieval Farming about hens, and a new variety
of chicken was apparently introduced in the 12th/13th C.
If you can follow genetics, this site (pdf file) has a short study on
the genetic history of goats and sheep:
Basically it identifies groups of breeds that are more closely related.
those that are less related to other groups have been more isolated for
longer, and might be worth checking out, eg. the Austrian
Tauernschecken is one of these.
Depending on where you are basing your portrayal, you might want to
check out European vs Mediterranean goat characteristics.
I am especially interested in
> integrating dairy goats into my reenactment study.I am not a goat expert. I suspect most European goats were what we
would call dual purpose - meat and milk.
Here is an extract from a medival bestiary on goats:
I expect dairy goats would have been short-haired, ie. not like angora
or cashmere, but that's a guess. The hair they shed did get used though.