It all started when Diane offered me some of her Jacob Sheep and, it turned out, her friend was preparing to moved from San Diego County to just outside of Atlanta with all her animals. Diane was able to have Gabriella add to her haul the three sheep that are now pastured outside our front door. I built a crate, rented a cargo van, and made the trek to get the sheep. I used electro-net fencing (from Premier1) I already had, purchased an energizer, and setup a temporary fence more or less on our front lawn. The sheep have been in the fence for almost 24 hours, something about which I was having some anxieties, so it looks like they’ve learned to respect the fence…for now.
Jacob Sheep are named from the episode in Genesis where Jacob acquires all the spotted sheep from his father-in-law Laban, although they are not, in fact, ancient Near Eastern sheep. They are, however, primitive sheep, having retained a number of characteristics uncommon in many modern breeds. They are particularly valued for their fleece, which is apparently in demand among hand spinners, but also have good meat conformation. As Jacobs are polycerate (possessing multiple pairs of horns) among both males and females, I am hoping they will be particularly appropriate for a niche market I’d like to enter into in producing and selling horns for liturgical usage: to hold chrism for anointing at the sacrament of confirmation. Their spotted appearance, elaborate horns, and facial features make them particularly exotic looking.