The Jacob sheep may very well be one of the oldest sheep on the planet. They are virtually unimproved, too, which means they are hardy, forage well, subsist on marginal feeds, have easy lambing, raise twins on a regular basis with no issues, and are naturally pest resistant. No sheep is truly pest resistant, but they can manage their pests without human intervention for the most part, IF they are given the proper growing room and feed. Sheep are ruminants and were never meant to eat grain. Primitive sheep, like the Jacobs, do just fine on grass hay and pasture with no supplemental feeding and certainly no need for grain.
I have not eaten a Jacob, though their meat is reported very delicious. This fall, if the 75% Jacob ram lamb has not sold, I may get my first chance though. He is never going to be a true Jacob, though he looks just like one with his black and white coat and body build. His mother is Karakul/Jacob and his father was a purebred Jacob. Even when bred 'up' that is continually bred to a Jacob so the offspring percentages increase, the sheep are never considered Jacobs.
Some people have been buying the Jacob sheep and exporting them out of Canada to the middle east. They believe that is where they belong because they are mentioned in the bible..Jacob's black and white sheep. But that is leaving Canada with a very shallow gene pool and with the US border being closed to importing sheep at this time, the exporting of the Jacobs is detrimental to the breed here. So I have acquired two new Jacobs, little ewe lambs from the BC interior. I now have 4 purebred Jacob ewes and 2 purebred Jacob rams. There is a slight possibility that I may get 1 or 2 ewe lambs from Ontario later this summer, too. The man who purchased my Karakuls has Jacobs and if the timing works, may be able to bring along two little ewe lambs when he comes to pick the Karakuls up.
Then I will breed all the Jacobs to one ram and the offspring to the other. By then, hopefully, I can acquire a third Jacob ram and breed the third generation to him, while still breeding the first and second generation to the original rams respectively and increasing the Jacob flock considerably. There is a market for the sheep and as they become scarcer, that market will improve even more so. In the meantime, I am delighted with the new arrivals. They are pretty cute, right?