Farm animals, now and in the past, are mid-way between production and household consumption. They can be a resource of meet and secondary products (milk, butter, cheese, eggs, honey, wax), or an investment in productivity (draught animals) and manure. They could be young, strong specimens or, conversely, old and weaker ones, which could be acquire in the second hand market for a lower price.

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In this two-day seminar, a number of scholars from Spain, Italy, France and England will share evidence of these phenomena in the light of the current debates of the rural economic and social history of the later middle ages in their respective areas under exploration. Here they will discuss the very reasons behind the possession of such animals, the economic logic behind their acquisition and its relation with the current debates about the relevance of markets and self-sufficiency for the rural economy.