Lambs at play

Hillside is the farm name and flock registration prefix for Jacob Sheep bred by Gary and Dianne Anderson of Sparta, Michigan. We have bred and raised Jacob Sheep for more than 25 years. We selected "Hillside" as our flock prefix when we lived in the flat, hill-less Central Valley of California. Hillside was selected with a particular site in mind where we intended to retire someday; "someday" is here, and in March 2007 we retired from the University of California and moved from California to Michigan. Today our flock grazes on the rolling hills of western Lower Michigan. Our house and barn were built on the side of a hill on a 20-acre parcel that was part of Gary's family's farm.

Gary retired as Distinguished Professor of Animal Science and Physiology at the University of California, Davis. Dianne retired as Associate Director of Service at the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory in the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis.

In 2009 we added registered Shetland Sheep to Hillside Farm, but during downsizing in 2018 we dispersed our Shetland flock to focus on our long-time effort to conserve Jacob Sheep.

Jacob Sheep are black and white spotted and typically have either two or four horns. Some Jacobs express a recessive color allele that produces brown or gray, instead of black, in pigmented areas. We chose the breed for its magnificent beauty and need for conservation. In addition to personal satisfaction from contributing to humankind through rare breed conservation, Jacob Sheep are 'easy-keepers' and can fit almost anyone's lifestyle. They are hardy and require infrequent veterinary intervention, they lamb with few complications, ewes are attentive mothers, and newborn lambs are vigorous.

Our Jacob Sheep are registered through the Jacob Sheep Breeders Association (JSBA). You can learn more about Jacob Sheep through the JSBA website (http://www.jsba.org).

We have Jacob Sheep for sale at modest prices ideal for anyone who wishes to establish a high-quality flock at an affordable cost. The Livestock Conservancy lists Jacobs among breeds that require conservation to prevent their loss from the U.S. landscape. We are particularly pleased to help new breeders, 4-Hers and others get started in the breed; we consider helping new breeders establish their flocks to be a significant contribution toward breed conservation.

Outstanding wool quality has been included among the goals of our breeding program. You will be highly satisfied with both the quality and prices of our Jacob Sheep. For more information, please call us at (616)514-9343 or send an e-mail message to gbanderson@ucdavis.edu. We look forward to hearing from you.

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