A rare, but very distinctive sheep, the most common colour for a sheep is black and white (known as piebald) and they can have anywhere from two to six horns (known as polycerate, meaning multi-horned). The body frame is long, with a straight back and a rump that slopes down towards the base of the tail.
Descending from an Old World breed of sheep, although its exact origin remains unclear, some accounts of ancient spotted sheep have been included in the story of Jacob from the first book of the Hebrew Bible, called the Old Testament where it was believed that Jacob took every speckled sheep from his father-in-law’s flock and bred them. However it was not until the 20th century when the breed acquired the name “Jacob Sheep”.
Nowadays the Jacob are raised for their wool, meat and hides. Typically a mature ram can weigh from 54kgs to 84kgs and the ewe is smaller weighing from 36kgs to 54kgs. They provide a lean carcass with little external fat, with a high yield of meat compared to more improved breeds.
Jacobs are typically hardy, low-maintenance animals with a naturally high resistance to parasites and hoof problems. They tend to thrive in extremes of heat and cold and have excellent foraging capabilities.