KidZooU, at the Philadelphia Zoo, is home to two new baby Jacob Sheep!
Born to mom, ‘Cambria’, both lambs are strong, healthy, and bonding well with their mother. The pair were standing, walking, and nursing within an hour of birth.
The Jacob Sheep is a rare breed of small, multi-horned sheep. Mature rams weigh about 54 to 82 kg (120 to 180 lb), while adult ewes weigh about 36 to 54 kg (80 to 120 lb). They may have anywhere from two to six horns, but they typically have four. Both sexes grow horns, but females exhibit smaller, shorter, and more delicate horns than rams. They are ‘piebald’ (colored with white spots), and their most common coloring is black-and-white.
The Jacob Sheep is considered an ‘heirloom’ breed and is descended from ancient Old World breeds, but their exact origins remain uncertain.
In the United States, the Jacob Sheep was first identified as ‘Endangered’, beginning in 1985. As of 2009, the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy (ALBC) of North America began listing the breed as ‘Threatened’. The breed is estimated to have fewer than 1,000 annual registrations in the United States and a global population of less than 5,000.