swallow lane

Getting started

Farm & Fiberworks


Part 3
Finding a breeder

markncathie2.jpg (15550 bytes)When you're ready to buy, you'll need to locate breeders. Talk to breeders in your area and elsewhere. Jacob breeders love to talk about their sheep and rarely get a chance to do so. Call or email some of the folks listed on the Web or in the JSBA directory.

ask what stock they have available for sale
determine their breeding objectives - this is critical, as you want sheep to match your objectives. You'll be disappointed if you want good fleeces and you buy sheep breed for color or horn structure, but not for fleeces.
think about their willingness to explain things to you. Be sure you buy from someone willing to provide "after-sale support" to answer those questions that can only be answered by another Jacob breeder. Every breeder has their own style, so be sure you buy from someone you feel comfortable talking to.
ask about bloodlines. Consider how closely related the sheep are, and whether you want your flock to be that closely related. Regions seem to be dominated by a few major breeders, and many sheep in that region are descended from that major breeders stock. Consider distancing yourself from those bloodlines by bringing in different bloodlines. You'll be preserving Jacob diversity and producing a more marketable product later.
don't limit yourself to local breeders. Jacobs are often shipped across the country, so you aren't limited to stock near your location. Lambs can be shipped air-freight, and adults are driven across the country by some of the major breeders. Breeders have an interest in selling their stock outside of their local area, so they may consider sharing some of the shipping cost.

Before you shop .|. Setting up your facilities .|. Finding a breeder .|. Picking out a Jacob


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