Tuesday, June 9, 2009
What I Wish I Could Ask A Jacob Sheep
Do those big horns hurt? That's what I want to know. My head hurts if my ponytail is too heavy. These sheep are carrying a lot more weight than hair. Not only are Jacob Sheep famous for their spotty, multi-colored wool, but also for their horns. This guy has four. It is not unknown for a Jacob Sheep to have six!
Jacob Sheep are a very old breed, probably originating at least 3000 years ago in the region of modern-day Syria. They are an "Old World" sheep and haven't been cross-bred like so many modern sheep, so their body type and shape is closer to the first domesticated sheep than Romneys or Merinos. When I saw my first Jacob Sheep at a fiber fair I was surprised at their small, compact size. I was also amazed by the horns!
Jacob Sheep are named for the spotted, striped, and black sheep that were bred by Jacob in the Old Testament story. Unlike other ancient breeds of sheep, Jacob Sheep have a medium fleece and no outer coat.