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The Country Enterprise Handbook
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Keeping sheep
...Slaughter practicality
>..Jacobs crosses
...Ram management
...- Feeding
...- Castration & strike
...Summer & autumn

Jacobs are very attractive, give excellent coloured wool, usually drop twins and provide superb lamb and mutton.

As with most unusual things, a lot was said against Jacob meat in the early days. The main complaint concerned the smallness of the joints but it has to be said that as the bones are particularly light, they carry a higher proportion of meat than most other breeds and that is after all what we eat. The meat is absolutely lean and quite delicious; even Jacob mutton has a fine texture.

We have sold the meat widely and customers always come back for more. Last year we ran a Dorset Horn ram with some of our ewes. This has fattened our lambs and made the joints larger; this increases our profit but in fact we still prefer the Jacob meat ourselves.

The ewe lambs from this cross were most attractive mainly chocolate brown with a white tail and white face markings. The ram lambs were somewhat mottled and their curly Dorset horns look quite odd on the speckled coat. We have run our Jacob rams with white sheep mainly Kents. The resulting lambs are black and heavier than the Jacobs; they seem to inherit the forwardness of the Jacobs and are more inquisitive than their mothers.

Jacob rams tend to be very enthusiastic and as they possess considerable jumping powers they can be a problem. We had a neighbour whose Jacob ram leapt a vast fence to join some glamorous white ewes one Autumn. The ram was there all night before he was discovered. We all waited with baited breath for the following Spring the neighbour in fear of a massive paternity suit, the farmer imagining a holiday in the Bahamas on the proceeds. We built even higher fences around our rams. Spring came and there was not a single black lamb. Presumably the Jacob ram had been too exhausted by his leap to accomplish anything more.