- click here for home page

The Country Enterprise Handbook
Analysing your assets|Land use|Vegetables|Soft fruit|Flower & herb growing|Orchard & vineyard|Woodlands Sheep|Beef|Pigs|Rabbits|Hens|Ducks|Geese|Dairying|Kitchen|Bees|Wool|Water|Home|Contact us

Keeping sheep
...Slaughter practicality
...Jacobs crosses
...Ram management
...- Feeding
...- Castration & strike
...Summer & autumn

Jacobs are such a popular breed for keeping on a small scale that they deserve a special mention.

They are often advertised for sale in local papers and Jacob rams are often available for loan during the breeding season. Some years ago they were in danger of extinction but now, due mainly to the efforts of the Jacob Sheep Society, they are our most widely available 'exotic' sheep.

We have kept Jacobs for ten years and ours have descended down to great, great . . . grandaughters. We have greatly enjoyed watching the inherited characteristics pass on. Our first lead sheep was an aged ewe called Frosty. Her fleece was a most beautiful mixture of soft greys and browns. Her legs were immaculately striped like football socks and she held her aristocratic head obstinately high. She was an expert at removing herself and her flock from wherever you had put them. She treated electric fencing with utter disdain and she and her followers cavorted high in the air over it. We never did the trick of holding her sensitive mouth around the wire so that she would get a strong shock. Our feelings were governed by a mixture of sympathy with her and conviction that as she jumped it clear every time it would make no difference anyway. No doubt there are many who remember the hills and valleys of Kent echoing to plaintive cries of 'No, Frosty, no'.

Those days are now gone and Frosty remains only in our memory. It is quite an anticlimax when our present flock trots off happily where we send them; there are, however, still a sprinkling of football socks among the youngsters.