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Jacob Sheep

Order:

Artiodactyla

Family:

Bovidae

Group:

Ovis

Male:

Ram or Tup

Female:

Ewe

Young:

Lamb

Lifespan:

10 to 12 years

Gestation:

147 days

Distribution:

Worldwide

Habitat:

Domestic environments

Diet:

Herbivorous - grasses and vegetation

Conservation Status:

Threatened
Facts

The Jacobs Sheep Ovis aires is a distinctive breed of domestic sheep with black and white markings and between two and six horns. Both the males and females have the horns although the males are larger. The origin of the Jacobs Sheep is unclear, but it is thought they may be of Mediterranean descent and one of the oldest breeds of domestic sheep, with accounts of them as far back as 1800BC.

Sheep tend to live in large groups, or flocks, but Jacobs are less social than most sheep breeds, and although they will form a flock they do not stay tightly together. 

Jacobs sheep will communicate with a range of vocalisations, at varying pitches and patterns, usually referred to as bleeting. These calls are very important to communicate with the rest of the flock to alert them of danger, however as they are much more independent than other sheep breeds, and do not rely on the safety of a flock as much. Vocalisation also plays an important part in mother and young bonding, the young sheep, or lambs, will recognise their mother by her call alone.

 

Did you know?

They are often referred to as the ‘badger faced sheep’ due to the patterns of black and white on their face.