Barking Rock Farm ~ Jacob Sheep
The Jacob sheep derives its name from the biblical story about Jacob. There is no evidence of direct ancestry to Biblical times or to the Middle East, but it is known that spotted ancestors of Jacob sheep existed in Britain in the 17th century. The multihorn characteristic likely traces to Viking animal lines. Jacob sheep were first imported into North America in the early 1900's.
The Jacob sheep is a white sheep with black markings. These markings occur as both random spotting and as breed specific markings. Breed specific markings appear as black patches on the muzzle, around the eyes, as a cape over the neck and shoulders, and on the feet, knees, and hocks. The random spots which occur throughout the body should not obscure the breed specific markings. Jacob sheep have both black and white wool. These different colored patches of wool should be clear and distinct in color. Spots should NEVER fade to the point where they become obscured. While many Jacob sheep breeders consider a black:white ratio of 40:60 to be "ideal", there is a great deal of acceptable variation from this ratio.
Body conformation of the Jacob sheep is frequently described as "goat-like", with a small, fine-boned appearance. The ears are small and not pendulous, and the legs and face forward of the horns are free of wool.
The Jacob sheep is ALWAYS horned, carrying 2 or more black or striped horns. An even number of horns well-spaced and attractive is preferred, but animals with less-than-perfect horns patterns are perfectly normal and acceptable.
A good Jacob sheep fleece should be free from kemp, or nearly so, and
of uniform crimp throughout. Unfortunately,
many Jacob fleeces are undesirably hairy, which renders them
unsuitable for handspinning use or sales.
Barking Rock's Jacob sheep flock is one of the first registered progeny-tested flocks in North America. All of our Jacob Sheep are the offspring of progeny-tested, registered rams and ewes, and are registered with the American Jacob Sheep Registry.
Interested in fleeces for handspinning?
©2009 Barking Rock Farm - All Rights Reserved - This page updated 09/09/09.