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About Jacobs

Farm & Fiberworks


This general information about Jacob sheep was provided by the  Jacob Sheep Breeders Association.
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Size. The Jacob is a small to medium size breed. Adult ewes range from 80 to 140 pounds, while rams will occasionally obtain weights approaching 200 pounds.

Coloration. Coloring is basically white with black or lilac spots randomly distributed on the body. At least 15% of each color must be present.

bock.jpg (28379 bytes)Horns. Jacob sheep produce 2, 4, or 6 horns in both ewes and rams. Ram horns can reach 30 inches or more.

Fleeces. The fleeces from Jacobs are a delight for handspinners and for the connoisseur of natural color. They are light and open, weighing between 3 and 6 pounds and having a stable length of 4 to 7 inches. They part easily, exposing a soft, medium wool with healthy luster and sheen. The average micron size is 34 and ranges on the Bradford scale from 48 to 54. Due to the spotting of these animals, the wool can be spun into a complete spectrum from white through gray/lilac to black.

fiona_small.jpg (5042 bytes)Origin. Jacob Sheep are a very ancient breed that probably originated in Syria some 3000 years ago. Pictorial evidence traces the breed's movement through North Africa, Sicily, Spain, and on to England. Jacob sheep were imported into the U.S. for game parks and zoos around the turn of the century. Additional imports from Britain in the 1950s and 60s enhanced the genetic pool, at the time the breed was dwindling. Active preservation efforts saved what was left of the breed and established a healthy genetic pool which assures the breed's survival.

valerie.jpg (8754 bytes)Summary. Handsome and hardy, the Jacob is ideal for the small flock owner or the large breeder. They are a small and efficient breed, allowing more sheep per acre. They are easily handled, rarely need veterinarian care, and show a greater resistance to foot-related problems and internal parasites. Ewes lamb easily and the lambs are up and nursing quickly. Carcasses are lean and flavorful, with minimal waste. Tanned hides and horn buttons are additional unique products from these sheep.



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