Sheep breed par excellence
Spain is the birthplace of the Merino, the country where it originated and from where it spread to the whole world. The Merino breed has been the quintessential sheep breed in our history. From the Middle Ages to the beginning of the 19th century, the kings of Castilla y León first, and later those of Spain, cared for and ensured the conservation and development of a breed that, by producing the best wool in the world, constituted a very important national wealth. . Thus, the export of animals of the Merino breed was punished even with the death penalty.
Thanks to the Merino breed, in Spain, for the first time in Europe, and therefore in the world, the first genetic selection towards a specific objective was carried out: the fineness of the wool. In this process they managed to reduce the diameter of the wool fiber to a quarter and substantially increase the weight of the fleece. All this in a rustic and resistant breed, capable of traveling 30 km a day. In this way, the first industrial race had been achieved in our country, which would later have a worldwide expansion.
So appreciated was the Merino sheep that the first herds that left Spain did so as royal gifts. Thus came the later famous herd of Rambouillet, or the one owned by the Elector of Saxony. In the 19th century, the war of independence first, and later, due to economic liberalism, gave rise to a massive outflow of troops from the Merino breed, thus losing the monopoly that Spain had had in the production of Merino wool.