A Six-legged Sheep? A Two-headed Sheep?

Today’s story isn’t about the sheep industry, but once in awhile a little tidbit of news is printed from times past that just needs to be retold. It also goes along with a picture sent to me by a sheep family of yesteryear, the Thudes.

If you had been around in 1881 and ventured to visit P.T. Barnum’s Grand Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Caravan and Hippodrome you just might have seen this six-legged sheep. Barnum was known for his museum of freaks and a six-legged sheep would have just fit in with his theme.  By 1881 Barnum had merged with James Bailey and James L. Hutchinson and the show was shortened to Barnum & Bailey’s.

But what about that six-legged sheep? Well, the sheep had two legs in front and four in the back. The sheep was a double-bodied beast, but simply had two fore feet. It only used two of its four back feet.  It was estimated to be about a year and a half old. It would come when called and its name was Jose.  It was very gentle.

The owner of the animal had hopes of selling the animal to Barnum for a whopping $500, a lot of money for 1881. It will take further research to determine if the man departed with his sheep and gained $500!

And just for those who are curious that $500 in 1881 would be worth $2,530.54 today!

And the two-headed sheep….

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