Jacob sheep are a rare, majestic, heritage breed. The first mention of them is found in the Bible (Genesis 30) where Jacob acquired his flock of spotted sheep 3,000 years ago from his father-in-law. There are also records of spotted or pied sheep in Syria, which date more than 1,000+ years ago. There are pictorial evidences of movement of these sheep through North Africa, Sicily, Spain and on to England where they more recently found prominence in gracing large estates and country homes with their beauty.
The Jacobs are a hearty breed and are resistant to parasites and foot problems. The ewes generally are great mothers and have easy lambing. Both ram and ewe have multiple horns (one that carries the polycerate gene). They usually have 2-4 but can have 6. (The ram growing much larger horns then the ewe) Jacobs grow medium fine fleece with no outer coat. The fleece can be black & white or lilac & white. The lilac ranges in degrees of lilac grays to brown. It is soft, open, light in grease with a staple length of 4-7 inches and is highly sought after by hand-spinners & felters. Jacobs have a more primitive body shape, are slender boned and provide a flavorful, lean meat with little external fat. The carcass yield from hanging weight to freezer is high. We personally eat a plant based diet but have been told by many that Jacob sheep have the best flavor. Thus for fleece or meat they make a good choice.
Here at Happy-Nest Farms we are breeding to preserve this heritage breed while promoting their health, genetics, fleece quality, temperament and beauty. Every lamb season brings an exciting anticipation as we see what the breeding combinations have brought. Each one is truly loveable, with their own special personality. Being an old world breed makes it double the fun because no two lambs look exactly alike.