HABITAT AND RANGE
They have been raised in England for more than 350 years but their origin is not known. They were imported to North America from England in the mid-1900s. They are a primitive breed.
They are small, multi-horned, spotted sheep. Their fleece can be any combination of white, grey, lilac, or black. On their face, they have distinctive black marks on their eyes and their nose. The rams (males) weigh between 120-180 pounds and the ewes (females) weigh between 80-120 pounds. The two horned ram has the horizontal double curled horn. The four horned ram has two vertical center horns (2 feet in length) and two smaller side horns (grow down along the sides of his head). The horns of the ewe are smaller in diameter, shorted in length, and more delicate than those of the ram.
They are herbivores and feed on grain, alfalfa, and vegetables.
REPRODUCTION AND LIFESPAN
Their lifespan in captivity is 15-20 years. They usually have 1 or 2 lambs, and twins are common. The ewes usually cycle in the cooler months of the fall. They begin to cycle during the first fall following their birth and most often the ewe’s first lamb is a single.
Both rams and ewes have up to six horns. The Biblical story of Jacob, who bred spotted sheep, is whom this breed is named after. The irregular spotted fleece acts as camouflage. By the early 1900s, Jacob sheep were an ornamental breed called ‘park sheep’ because most of them were located in the public parks of England. The wool is open, soft, and light, with little grease (lanolin); it is great for hand spinning. They are resistant to parasites and foot problems.