Friday, March 5, 2010

Influence of Migration and Conquest

Another factor in the formation of breeds was the conquest of one country by another, whereby a new mixture generally resulted from the cattle introduced by the invaders. In early historical times whole peoples migrated at times for long distances, taking their cattle with them. For example, the Simmenthaler breed in Switzerland reveals the same characteristics of skull as found among the original cattle of Sweden, from which localities the Burgundian tribes are supposed to have migrated about 400 A.D.
Next to these two factors already mentioned come conditions of environment, such as climate, food, and topography (physical features) of the country. In early times, with no organized means of transportation, little exchange of animals took place from one locality to another except as in the cases mentioned, when a whole people migrated or conquerors brought in a new type of animal. In these times there was little if any attempt at improvement. The effects of natural conditions were allowed to work out almost undisturbed by the selection of man. Breeds formed by such means may be called natural breeds.


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