Looking for information on Jacob's sheep

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by savinggrace, Dec 18, 2005.

  1. savinggrace

    savinggrace COO of manure management

    Oct 27, 2005

    I am looking for information on Jacob's sheep. Ideally, I am looking for a good 'beginners' breed, easy to manage and relitively hardy. Jacobs seem to fit the bill in that regard.

    A friend has two ewes which are 2 years old, raised around her children, they are pets who have been very well cared for.

    I havn't found much info on them; I know they are an ancient breed, have good wool for spinning, and are somewhat small compared to commercial breeds.

    How are they regarding suitability for milking? Are the lambs good for meat?

    Thank you for any and all information!
  2. Snomama

    Snomama Well-Known Member

    Jul 27, 2004
    Haven't been on here in awhile, but we raise Jacob Sheep and really love them.

    We haven't tried to milk them, the ones we have do not have large udders but supply plenty of milk for twins.

    We have butchered a few lambs and the meat has been really tasty.

    We are only 3 years into this, but so far we have found them to be a hardy breed and very easy to care for. You *do* want to make yourself familiar with the breeding policy of horned/no horned b/c if you keep breeding the 4 horned rams to horned ewes over and over you will get eye problems, not the normal ones, but where they don't have an upper eyelid at all. Can't remember what this is called?

    We have just begun learning how to spin our wool and plan on learning all of it, the weaving, knitting, felting.....the woman teaching us to spin said our wool was wonderful, she is taking it in exchange for spinning lessons anyway :)

    Feel free to ask any specific questions you have. We like the fact that they are a smaller breed b/c they are easy for even our children to help with when do things like shearing and clipping hooves. We don't need something big that can only be man-handled b/c often my girls and I do most of the actual working with the animals.

    One of our FAVORITE things about them is, you never know what the lambs are gonna look like and they are ever so CUTE in their different little spotted and speckled coats :) That is SUCH fun!

  3. jersey girl

    jersey girl Well-Known Member Supporter

    Nov 21, 2005
    We also raise Jacobs. We first got them as show animals for our daughters breeding project for 4-H. They are great animals, very hardy and fun to be around. Of course, like any animal, watch the rams.
    I have a spinning wheel but am not very good with it. I just think I need more time to practice.
    The only thing that bothers me is that most people swear they are goats because of the horns I guess.
  4. Patty0315

    Patty0315 Well-Known Member

    Feb 1, 2004
    I have only had Jacobs for about 6 months , so far no problems. The woman I bought them from was a spinner and loved them. I to have a wheel but am not very good yet. They seem hardy enough , not real big and my ram is well mannered.
  5. Polly in NNY

    Polly in NNY Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    I've had Jacobs now for years. They are a primitive breed so very hardy and self-sufficient. We've never had to pull a lamb or assist in lambing in any way. Ewes raise their lambs without help, usually twins, however we do jug them for a couple of days and offer creep to the lambs. Sizes are smaller than developed breeds so in my opinion much easier to handle. Horns have never been an issue for us. Animals have horns for a reason, for protection. We also have Texas Longhorns and have never had any problem with their horns either, although stray dogs and coyotes have.
    Their fleeces are beautiful, wonderful range of color including black, gray, lilac, ecru, and whiter.
    As mentioned in a previous post please be careful breeding as inverted eyelids and deformed horns can be a problem. Know your stock and who you buy from.
    Our girls and boys are both two horned and four horned. Personally I prefer the look and feel of the 2 horned although our oldest son likes to breed for 4 horns.
    There are two associations that you can get a wealth of information from as well as an online digest.
    I would highly recommend this breed, they are independent, but personable and curious. I currently have some Dorsets as well, and have raised Hamps and Suffolks in the past. Although I love my all my sheep my Jacobs are certainly special.
    Lambing time is always awaited with much anticipation, the combinations and placement of colors and spots is never duplicated from lamb to lamb.