2 + 2 = 4

2 horns on the left +  2 horns on the right = 4 horns


As Captain, Hektor, and Pilsner are happy to demonstrate.

Except when 2 + 2 =2


Belton is an evenly fused four horned ram. He looked like a two horned ram when he was born. As his horns grew, the seam became visible and is apparent in this photo.  His horns are taking a very wide sweep as often happens with evenly fused four horned sheep.


Patrick is also a fused four horned, but his horns were separate at birth and are just now becoming fully fused. It seems that when horns fuse later, the direction is not always as wideswept as when they are fused at birth. One horn (usually the top) tends to pull the lateral in whatever direction it’s heading, rather than the two horns pulling evenly as when they are fused at birth. When the horns begin to fuse seems to play a part.  This is just a bit of speculation/observation/WAG  (not SWAG, as there is no science in my guess).


And then we have an easy one – 1 + 1 = 2. Hickory is a solid two horned.


Sometimes 2 + 3 = 3.  Cindra is fused on one side. She appears 3 horned, but is actually 5  horned.


Sometimes experience contrives to turn 2 + 2 into 1? 1 1/2?  1 1/8? Elsa managed to tear off both laterals when she was gone by getting caught in a hay rack. I take responsibility for breaking the right top 😦  At nine years old, she still shows some horn regrowth.


But she won’t ever have the horns she had as yearling –
when 2 plus 2 equaled 4.




About patchworkfibers

Registered Jacob Sheep
This entry was posted in Jacob Sheep. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to 2 + 2 = 4

  1. hrleven says:

    How interesting – and amusing/adorable! Thanks for posting.

  2. Lisa Douglas says:

    Linda, thanks for this post about horns. I would love a workshop at AGM that evaluated rams, specifically, for horns and fleece, markings etc. AGM usually offers only the best examples of our sheep, but I am wondering if some of us close to the site would be able to bring a few ram lambs that do not show the best of the standards. the borderline examples where both shepherds and inspectors shift from foot to foot trying to make the final judgment of in or out of the registry. and does an outstanding fleece offer grace to sub optimal horns or markings??? It would help Jacob breeders make their own pasture evaluations. or can we do this via photographs of past rams that have been rejected and notes as to why? without the need to identify whose ram it was! Lisa

  3. Robin says:

    Good post Linda. Do you think those lower horns on the lambs in the top photo are going to sweep down and forward? I have a lot that sweep back towards the neck. I’d like to change that.

    • The middle ram has a right lateral (which you can’t see in the photo) that is taking a turn back. The other five laterals on these boys are still growing more outward than backward, so I have hopes they will stay away from the necks. You know how fast they can change, though!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s