Jackson - Jacob Sheep
The Jacob Sheep is a very old breed.
They're considered a heritage breed and their status is threatened in the United States. The breed is estimated to have fewer than 1,000 annual registrations in the United States and a global population of less than 5,000. Preservation of the breed is very important.
They are an unimproved animal and never have been commercially exploited. Therefore they are very hardy, resistant to disease and parasites. Some people believe that the Jacob is a descendant of a sheep that was introduced by the Viking to the British Isles during the Middle Ages.
Jacobs were first imported into zoos of North America in the early 20th century. From there they began to become privately owned in the 1960s, with the The Jacob Sheep Breeders Association founded in 1989.
The most distinguishing features of the Jacob are their four horns, although some just have two and others can have six. They also do not have a strong flocking instinct like most sheep do.
Getting my Jacob Sheep
I had always had an interest in having Jacob Sheep, but it took me a long time to find one. They are splendid sheep, with a beautiful wooly coat and interestingly shaped curved horns. In Victorian times they were kept essentially as lawn ornaments, and there is something about them that is very Victorian and even romantic.
I found my Jacob Sheep at the perfect time. I was actively looking for a ram as a companion for my Mouflon ram, Octavian. My plan was to separate him at the end of the Fall breeding season and I didn't want him to be alone. Rams flock apart from the ewes at the end of rut and not giving him a companion would have been cruel, in my opinion.
I took a seven hour road trip to the very top of Arizona to get him. It was a long drive in the middle of winter, which included a tedious (and dangerous) pathway through and over an icy mountain road.
It was all worth it though.
Jackson the Jacob
After a 30 day quarantine period away from the rest of the herd, I introduced Jackson to Octavian. By the end of the day they were already eating and sleeping side-by-side.
Watch the video below to see Jackson's introduction to Octavian.