[Jacob-list] Primitive trait list/Unimproved
Jacobflock at aol.com
Jacobflock at aol.com
Fri Jul 20 12:21:51 EDT 2001
I recall an email from Edd in 1998 in which he proposed the Jacob appelation
"primitive" was a positive spin on the phenotype characteristics of the Jacob
that made them less desirable when compared to other breeds...narrow, thin
conformation, thrifty, and perhaps more directly comparing these
characterisitcs within or between Jacob flocks. Perhaps a search for
"primitive" is actually a description of "unimproved"; that is, something of
a "landrace" type rather than "wild" characteristics.
If "primitive" is associated (at least in my head) with something between
feral and landrace breed, might "unimproved" be easier to describe if it is
associated with a type that is between landrace and managed?
In March I did some reading on parasite resistance and tolerance and the
Jacob and other breeds. This trail of reading led to the Gulf Coast
Native...and its original parasite resistance and tolerance, frredom from
foot rot (swamp life tolerant). The Gulf Coast Assoc began developing a
breed standard and spent a ot of time on phenotype issues...color, horns or
no, etc... and departed from the genotype issues which might have been a "two
item breed standard" (1) put a pick-up truck of worms in the pen (2) keep the
pen marshy for six months. Those that survive are Gulf Coast sheep; it was a
feral or landrace breed that "survived" and provided meat and fleece. Many
Gulf Coasts are crossed to try to put parasite resistance in another breed...
rather unsuccessfully. My example is a gross over simplification but the
point is to focus on conserving the breed's unique character.
What if the term "primitive" were to be avoided and the term "unimproved" was
more commonly used; just a simple recognition that the Jacob has not been
crossed as a flock management method to meet a commercial market. Is it
enough to say the Jacob "survives" with low or medium management inputs, that
it has a usable fleece, has a tasty flavor, and is ideal for the small farm?
Or are the terms "primitive" and "unimproved" in the context of the Jacob
breed the same?
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