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History of Animals   


called on by name by the shepherd, he takes the lead of the flock: and
to this duty the creature is trained from its earliest years. Sheep in
Ethiopia live for twelve or thirteen years, goats for ten or eleven.
In the case of the sheep and the goat the two sexes have intercourse
all their lives long.
Twins with sheep and goats may be due to richness of
pasturage, or to the fact that either the ram or the he-goat is a
twin-begetter or that the ewe or the she-goat is a twin-bearer. Of
these animals some give birth to males and others to females; and
the difference in this respect depends on the waters they drink and
also on the sires. And if they submit to the male when north winds are
blowing, they are apt to bear males; if when south winds are
blowing, females. Such as bear females may get to bear males, due
regard being paid to their looking northwards when put to the male.
Ewes accustomed to be put to the ram early will refuse him if he
attempt to mount them late. Lambs are born white and black according
as white or black veins are under the ram's tongue; the lambs are
white if the veins are white, and black if the veins are black, and
white and black if the veins are white and black; and red if the veins
are red. The females that drink salted waters are the first to take
the male; the water should be salted before and after parturition, and
again in the springtime. With goats the shepherds appoint no
bell-wether, as the animal is not capable of repose but frisky and apt
to ramble. If at the appointed season the elders of the flock are
eager for intercourse, the shepherds say that it bodes well for the
flock; if the younger ones, that the flock is going to be bad.
20

Of dogs there are several breeds. Of these the Laconian hound of
either sex is fit for breeding purposes when eight months old: at
about the same age some dogs lift the leg when voiding urine. The
bitch conceives with one lining; this is clearly seen in the case
where a dog contrives to line a bitch by stealth, as they impregnate
after mounting only once. The Laconian bitch carries her young the
sixth part of a year or sixty days: or more by one, two, or three,
or less by one; the pups are blind for twelve days after birth.
After pupping, the bitch gets in heat again in six months, but not
before. Some bitches carry their young for the fifth part of the
year or for seventy-two days; and their pups are blind for fourteen
days. Other bitches carry their young for a quarter of a year or for
three whole months; and the whelps of these are blind for seventeen
days. The bitch appears go in heat for the same length of time.
Menstruation continues for seven days, and a swelling of the genital
organ occurs simultaneously; it is not during this period that the
bitch is disposed to submit to the dog, but in the seven days that
follow. The bitch as a rule goes in heat for fourteen days, but
occasionally for sixteen. The birth-discharge occurs simultaneously
with the delivery of the whelps, and the substance of it is thick
and mucous. (The falling-off in bulk on the part of the mother is
not so great as might have been inferred from the size of her
frame.) The bitch is usually supplied with milk five days before
parturition; some seven days previously, some four; and the milk is
serviceable immediately after birth. The Laconian bitch is supplied
with milk thirty days after lining. The milk at first is thickish, but
gets thinner by degrees; with the bitch the milk is thicker than
with the female of any other animal excepting the sow and the hare.
When the bitch arrives at full growth an indication is given of her
capacity for the male; that is to say, just as occurs in the female of
the human species, a swelling takes place in the teats of the breasts,
and the breasts take on gristle. This incident, however, it is
difficult for any but an expert to detect, as the part that gives
the indication is inconsiderable. The preceding statements relate to
the female, and not one of them to the male. The male as a rule
lifts his leg to void urine when six months old; some at a later

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