The Jacob sheep breed from American smaller sheep to produce a larger animal for meat. Kept for their picturesque fleece and horns by the landed gentry. This easily managed sheep can be found throughout the UK, either 2 or 4 horned in both sexes.
The Jacob sheep breed originated in the United Kingdom during the 17th century. They are named after the biblical figure Jacob because of their distinctive multi-horned appearance, reminiscent of the “Jacob’s Sheep” described in the Book of Genesis.
Jacob sheep have a unique appearance characterized by having two to six horns, although four horns are most common. The horns can be either male or female, and they grow in both sexes. They also have a piebald or spotted coat pattern, which can vary in color combinations such as black and white, brown and white, or sometimes even gray and white.
These sheep were primarily raised for their meat, wool, and hides. They have a reputation for producing flavorful meat, and their wool is highly valued for its softness and unique coloring. In the past, their hides were also used to create distinctive garments and rugs.
Jacob sheep were popular in the UK until the 19th century when the breed’s numbers dwindled due to changes in agriculture and the introduction of more specialized sheep breeds. However, dedicated breeders worked to preserve the Jacob sheep, and today they can still be found in various countries around the world, including the United Kingdom and the United States.
The Jacob sheep breed is known for its hardiness, adaptability, and ease of care. They are considered a heritage breed and are appreciated for their historical significance and unique appearance.