Hard-earned 1890 tax dollars went to this. . .

I am doing a project involving data from the 1890 agricultural census. One of the variables I won’t be using:

LAMBSKIL NUMBER OF LAMBS KILLED BY DOGS, 1889
Type: numeric Number of lambs killed by dogs, 1889.
U.S. Bureau of the Census [1895b], Table 8.

This data is provided by county. In my home county of Monroe, New York State, there were apparently 402 lambs killed by dogs in 1889.

In Humboldt County, CA, where Eureka is, there were over 8,000 sheep killed by dogs that year.

I can’t believe they were collecting this kind of thing.

Is there some badass research question hiding in this data about sheep and dogs? Any aspiring Steven Levitts are invited to chime in.