Genesis 30:32, How To Breed Spotted Goats

Let me go through all your flocks today and remove from them every speckled or spotted sheep, every dark-colored lamb and every spotted or speckled goat. They will be my wages.

//Here’s the story. Jacob is discussing the proper wages for his service to Laban. He and Laban agree that Jacob will keep all the speckled animals of the flock.

But Jacob has a trick up his sleeve. He has figured out how to make speckled animals.

He cuts off the branches of trees, and peels the bark back to make white strips on the branches. When the animals are in heat, he places the sticks in the watering troughs so that when they come to drink, they will see spots of dark and white. There, with spots in their eyes, they mate and produce speckled offspring.

This works very well. In fact too well. All of the animals are getting speckled. So Jacob watches to see whether the females in heat are strong or weak. He puts spots in front of the eyes of the strong animals only, and leaves the weak ones for Laban.

Thus Jacob “grew exceedingly prosperous and came to own large flocks, and maidservants and menservants, and camels and donkeys.”


  1. I do love that story. I’m almost ready to re-release my Genesis People on Createspace (and Amazon… YAY!). Just another couple of proof-reading rounds I expect, then my spotted goats can wander the internet too.

  2. Sheila! You found my new blog! It’s not live yet, I was just testing…

    Anyway, when you go on Amazon, let me know and we’ll repost our review there.

  3. Richard N Hutchinson, Jr

    This is a poor explanation of what happened. Lacking understanding in sheep and goat production, animal nutrition, Mendelian genetics (recessive genes) and mating habits of sheep and goats, one can never fully explain what Jacob learned (under God’s tutelage) in 14 years of shepherding of Laban’s flocks. Solid white sheep is a dominant trait, and among most goat breeds black is dominant. Jacob had observed over 14 years that black male sheep paired with speckled or spotted ewes in Laban’s flock produced spotted and speckled or sometimes black offspring. Today we know that as Mendel genetics, or recessive genes masked by dominant ones. White in sheep and black in goats are dominant traits, and Jacob, with God’s help, had figured out the formula to change the flock’s color over time. He employed methods of selective breeding, including using certain saplings with beneficial properties that brought the ewes into heat healthier and stronger, then separating the flocks by color and health during mating. The properties in poplar, almond and plane tree bark and sap are just being discovered in today’s modern animal husbandry, yet Jacob learned them with God’s help to build a strong, productive flock. Look up an Answers in Genesis article that shows this research. This was science before science was even known, yet God knew it because He created all things.

Leave a Reply to Richard N Hutchinson, Jr Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>