The origin of the Jacob is uncertain. Evidence suggests that spotted, or pied, sheep may have originated 3000 years ago in Mesopotamia. Joseph’s “coat of many colors” is thought to have been made from Jacob sheep wool. Movements through North Africa, Sicily, Spain, and England are traceable. There are separate strains of two-, four-, and six-horned, as well as a hornless strain.
Jacob sheep produce a medium to high quality wool in two distinct colors – white and dark brown/black. There is considerable difference between individual sheep in the amount of dark wool compared to light wool. Fleeces range from almost all-dark brown/black to nearly all white. Some Jacobs are brown/brown and white, called “lilac”. Wool is in great demand, as the natural colors of dark brown/black, gray (overlapping areas on the sheep), and white can be obtained from one fleece. Fleece weight averages 4-5.5lbs/2-2.5kg with staple length measuring 3-6.5 in/8-17cm. Micron count generally from 28-35.