Sheep  3

Merino Sheep

Sheep are one of the most important livestock animals. They provide meat and wool as well as byproducts such as glue, tallow, soap, cosmetics, and fertilizer. By most historical accounts, Merino sheep originated in Spain. The introduction of Spanish Merino sheep changed the wool industry in the United States because Merino wool became prized for its softness and fine quality. By 1860, demand for wool skyrocketed in America and California became one of the leading wool producers. A large part of Miguel Leonis’s financial success was due to land acquisition and his ability to raise sheep and cattle on his land.

The average life expectancy of sheep is about 10-12 years. Females are called ewes and males are rams. The gestation period for ewes is approximately five months; a healthy ewe can give birth to six or more lambs in two years. Sheep have no incisors or cutting teeth in the front part of their upper jaw but are still excellent grazers. Merino sheep are strong and hardy and can adapt to many climates. Because their wool does not stop growing, they need to be shorn at least once a year.

Leonis Adobe Museum Historic Home and Ranch
  1. The Leonis Adobe House
  2. Miguel Leonis, The Big Basque
  3. Espiritu Chijulla Leonis
  4. Marcelina Leonis
  5. Juan Menendez
  6. Living Room
  7. Corner Cabinets
  8. Piano
  9. Dining Room
  10. Kitchen
  11. Cellar and Pantry
  12. Upper Rear Hallway
  13. Menendez Room
  14. Espiritu's Bedroom
  15. Sewing Room
  16. Front Upstairs Veranda
  17. Outdoor Oven or Horno
  18. Oak Tree
  19. Poultry and Doves
  20. Guinea Hens
  21. Turkeys
  22. Barn and Blacksmith Shop
  23. Carriages and Buggies
  24. Miguel's Land and Property Map
  25. Bath House
  26. Laundry Area
  27. Well and Windmill
  28. Tank House and Water Tank
  29. Orsua Room
  30. Vineyard
  31. Fruit Trees
  32. Vegetable Garden
  33. Longhorn Cattle
  34. Merino Sheep
  35. Nubian and Angora Goats
  36. Percheron Draft Horses
  37. Farm Implements
  38. Wagons
  39. Outhouses
  40. The Plummer House