Jacob sheep are an old-world breed dating back several thousand years, and are named after the biblical figure Jacob (Genesis 30). Their exact heritage is unknown. However, piebald and spotted sheep have been mentioned in historic accounts for several centuries. Jacob sheep most recently appeared in England, where they graced the estates of the nobility.Wool:
Jacobs are the only sheep breed to produce spotted lambs that retain their spotted pattern for life. The fleece is a medium grade of 44s to 56s (24-33 microns in diameter) with a demi-luster, an open character, a soft springy handle and little or no kemp or britch. The staple length ranges from 3"-7" and fleeces weigh between 3-6 pounds with little grease and high yield. Each fleece consists of several colors including white, black, and various shades of brown.Body:
Jacobs are a small to medium sized sheep with ewes weighing from 80 to 120 pounds, and rams from 120 to 180 pounds. The polycerate gene promotes multiple horns and both rams and ewes are horned.Rare Breed:
Jacob sheep had become so rare in England by 1970 that the Jacob Sheep Society was formed in order to help preserve the breed. The number of Jacob sheep has increased dramatically in Great Britain due largely to the Society's efforts. These sheep have been imported in small numbers into North America since the early 1900s. In 1988 the Jacob Sheep Breeders Association (JSBA) was formed in the US. The JSBA seeks to ensure the conservation of this breed through inspection, registration, and education. The American Jacob is still considered a rare breed by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy (ALBC).www.albc-usa.org
: The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy is a nonprofit membership organization working to protect nearly 100 breeds of cattle, goats, horses, asses, sheep, swine and poultry from extinction.