Jacob sheep: The one from the biblical story

Jacob sheep raised mainly for wool, meat, skins, and ornament. Jacob sheep are originated from the United Kingdom.   The Jacob sheep are multi-horned which is called polycerate. Some of the other polycerate breeds include the Icelandic, Hebridean, the Navajo-Churro, and Manx Loaghtan. The Jacob sheep is also a piebald which means having colored patches. Some of the other piebalds are the Finnsheep and the West African Dwarf.

Jacob sheep breed information

Jacob sheep a medium-sized with white-colored spots.

The mature Jacob sheep ram weighs 70 kg (160 lb)  and ewe weighs 50 kg (100 lb).

Jacob’s has two to four horns. Sometimes even six. The rams have larger horns. The horns on ewe are smaller and shorter. Horns are black in color but sometimes white and black stripes.

Jacob sheep are very hardy and show high resistance to hoof problems and parasites.

Breed require shelter during high temperatures.

Jacob sheep requires minimal maintenance as they are a good forager.

The breed is a seasonal breeder where ewes come to cycle during the Autumn season. usually, bear single lamb at first lambing cycle, later they produce two to three lambs for every cycle.

Ewes have no lambing problems, the weaning period is 4 months of age. Mothers protect the lamb and very attentive.

The fleece weight is around 2 to 2.5 kg with a staple length of 8 to 15 cm and a fiber diameter of 32 to 34 microns.

The fleece is dense, long and coarse. The black wool grows longer or shorter than white wool.

The birth coat is shed at 3 to 6 months. 

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Things to know

It is believed that the Biblical story of Jacob who bred spotted sheep.

An “Unimproved” or “heirloom” breed which has survived themselves without any human intervention. Left to mate themselves for centuries without any selective breeding.

In 2017  the Rare Breeds Survival Trust listed Jacob in the watchlist, which means only around 3k breeding ewes are registered.

breed society was formed in 1969, and a flock book was published from 1972.

Brief characteristics of Jacob sheep

Breed NameJacob sheep 
Other Name 
Country/Place of OriginUnited Kingdom
Breed Purposeamericameat
Breed Sizemedium
70 kg (160 lb)
Ewe(Female)50 kg (100 lb)
Kiddingsingle or twins 
Good for Stall Fedopen grazing 
Climate Toleranceall conditions

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