Four Horn Sheep also go by the name Jacob Sheep. They have long been popular in England and began to be imported to the United States in the mid-1900s. Although their exact origins still remain unknown, there is some speculation that they originated in Syria some three-thousand years ago. They got the name “Jacob” sheep from the Biblical figure that is thought to have bred this type of sheep. There’s much to be learned about four horn sheep eating habits and habitat. Understanding this, and more, about these majestic creatures makes for a better hunt.
The sheep’s four horns are what make them especially attractive to hunters, specifically those looking for trophy hunts. Four Horn Sheep are mainly grown for their wool, meat, hides, and for hunting. Their appearance is what primarily led them to be brought into the United States and Canada. They began to be imported into the United States in the mid-1900s.
Four Horn Sheep Habitat
A fun fact about sheep in general is that they were the first animal to be domesticated. Four Horn Sheep are raised around the world, living in North America, Asia, the Middle East, and Central Europe.
They are mainly found in mountainous areas and do need to seek shelter when it gets extremely hot. That’s why they can be found in Texas where there are mountainous areas.
Four Horn Sheep Eating Habits
Jacob sheep are herbivores that typically eat grains, alfalfa, and vegetables. They are known to be excellent foragers. Four horn sheep eating habits drive them to prefer the leafier plants but they will also eat grass and hay if those types of plants are scarce.
Sheep like grass that is typically 2-3 inches high. Many sheep can also be fed hay. But, it needs to be sweet smelling with no dust or mold. When eating hay, Jacob Sheep tend to prefer the softer variety over hard hay.
An interesting fact about sheep and hay is that they will not eat it if it is on the ground alone because the hay can become tainted. It needs to be placed on a rack that is either galvanized or home-made out of welded mesh panels. The racks also need to be covered to keep the hay dry. As long as sheep have enough hay or grass and a place for shelter from extreme temperatures they tend to do just fine.
Four Horn Sheep Eating Habits and Breeding
It is very important that the female Jacob sheep get enough to eat, as they are excellent breeders. Since they tend to give birth to multiples, they need to have enough nutrition to take care of themselves and their babies. Undernourished ewes may suffer from pregnancy disorders and lower lamb birth weights. Since grass can be scarce in the winter, those who breed sheep sometimes store grass to feed their sheep during this time.
Jacob Sheep also need a source of clean water daily. They need fresh water in order to thrive. The amount of water sheep need will depend on their age and condition.
More Details about Four Horn Sheep Eating Habits
In general, sheep tend to consume anywhere from two to nearly five pounds of food a day! They are known to graze as long as seven hours a day. Talk about a big appetite! They prefer to eat in the cooler hours in the morning and late afternoon. They don’t typically eat when it gets dark. It’s unclear whether the Jacob Sheep breed follows these same exact patterns as other types of sheep breeds.
Jacob Sheep have a four-chambered digestive system that helps them break down what they eat. Like many animals they are ruminants meaning that they eat the raw food, spit some of it out and then eat what they’ve regurgitated, known as cud.
Sheep switch between grazing and resting to ruminate throughout their day.
At Squaw Mountain Ranch, the habitat and availability of food to graze is beneficial to the Four Horn Sheep. The herd of Jacob Sheep at Squaw Mountain Ranch has excellent genetics which produces amazing Four Horn Sheep each and every year.
Since there are no seasonal restrictions on hunting Four Horn Sheep in Texas, it is a year-round activity. Visit Squaw Mountain Ranch to see the availability of Four Horn Sheep for your next trophy hunt.