Would you like to know what's a Jacob Sheep?
A Jacob sheep is a primitive, domestic, multi-horned (polycerate), black or lilac (deep gray or blue/purple cast) sheep with white spots (piebald). The Jacob is an ancient breed, sometimes referred to as a primitive breed. They are small in stature, mature ewes being 80-120 pounds, the ram being 120-180 pounds. Seen from a distance or after shearing, observers often remark that Jacobs look like "goats". Both males (rams) and females (ewes) are horned, generally one or two pairs (two or four horns) with some rams and ewes having up to six horns.
The ram has larger and more striking horns. The two-horned ram has the classic more horizontal double curled horn; the four-horned ram has two vertical center horns, which may be up to two feet or more in length and two smaller side horns, which grow down along the sides of the ram's head. The horns on the ewe are smaller in diameter, shorter in length and appear more delicate than those of the ram. The horns and hooves should be black or black with white or yellow striations. An all white hoof is less in keeping with the historic Jacob. All white horns are not accepted by the breed associations.
Both rams and ewes exhibit the black markings some of which are breed specific and some are random. Breed specific markings occur as black patches on the muzzle, around the eyes, nape of the neck, ears, pasterns, knees and hocks. The desired Jacob face is often referred to as "Badger-faced" with black cheeks and muzzle with a white blaze down the front of the face. The skin around the eyes and nose should be black. Random spots occur on the rest of the body and legs. The color pattern is approximately 50% black to white, though a great variation in the amount of black occurs.
Each Jacob has distinctive markings which enables the shepherd to identify specific sheep at a distance. In addition to breed specific markings, there may be evidence of markings that are common in particular lines: large muzzle markings, lack of leg markings, lack of muzzle marking, etc. The Jacob fleece is open, soft and light with little grease (lanolin). The black wool grows out of black skin and the white wool grows out of white or pink skin, though mottling of the skin and freckling of the wool is common. Black wool may sun bleach to a spectrum of browns. The white and black wool may be blended at shearing to form various shades of gray and brown. The colors may also be separated at shearing time to produce various shades of yarn for an all natural colored fabric. The fleece generally weighs 3-6 pounds and varies in coloring, crimp, and fineness. Staple length is generally 3-5 inches and may be up to 7 inches.
The wool is considered to be a medium grade (Bradford count 46-54). Jacob sheep also have varying amounts of kemp (white, kinky, coarse wool) in their fleece and the "guard hair" often present on the neck at birth may be retained as hair for the life of the sheep. More primitive lines still have lambs that are born with hair that is shed out at 3-6 months. The hairy birth coat is protective against rain and cold.
Here some of my Needle felted wool