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Sheep Blog

All you need to know about milking sheep

Filtering by Tag: Sheep

Rearing Sheep - What Must You Do Before You Start Raising Sheep?

Rearing Sheep - What Must You Do Before You Start Raising Sheep?

Sheep are precarious animals if you do not know how to take care of them well enough but armed with the right information you will see that rearing sheep can be one of the most rewarding activities you can engage on as a young farmer-entrepreneur. Rearing sheep is good because there is a rising need for sheep products such as dairy, wool and mutton. It is said that in some parts of the world majority of cheese products are from sheep milk. Milk coming from sheep is superior to all kinds of milk out there as regards their nutritional value. Higher protein, calcium and fat is the mark of a sheep's milk. It is a preferred basic ingredient in ice cream and cheese like feta and ricotta.

Before you start rearing sheep choose the variety that best suits your goal or purpose, if you want to raise sheep for milk, the British Milk Sheep variety offers the most milk production capabilities. If you are for wool production Merinos which has a wool count of 60 to a little over 70 makes good fine wool. They started from Spain and are now abundant in Australia. Their wool is soft and fine. For meat production the Dorper is good. It is a cross between a Dorset Horn and a Blackhead Persian during the 1930s. It is good for meat production because they are easy to grow and maintain. It is considered a hardy breed that is able to withstand not so pleasant lands for grazing.

After choosing a breed of sheep to care, it is now time to invest on equipment and other implements in your sheep business. A good amount of land where pasture is abundant is necessary. If you intend to keep your sheep in a barn, a good building or housing for them is also essential. When they are grazing you can also create perimeter fence made up of portable electrical fences which you can buy online or from your local herding supply. A good halter to lead your sheep herd is a useful tool as well. When rearing sheep be conscientious about natural predators. A study has shown that wild coyotes account for half the number of sheep deaths in a year followed by wild dogs, bobcats, eagles and even bears. You can combine your sheep herd with other animals that serve as their guardians like donkeys, cattle, herd dog and even some types of Llama.

A good quality sheep does not come out of pure luck or genes alone. Giving them good nutrients composed of pasture, hay, silage and grains plus a supplementation of minerals and salts will help your sheep develop and avoid diseases that may plague you along the way. Rearing sheep takes time and a huge amount of commitment but the rewards can be enticing if you stick to it long enough.

Are you looking for more tips on rearing sheep? Separate yourself from the usual sheep owners who are prone to common mistakes. If you would like to learn more tips on caring for sheep and how to raise sheep correctly, please visit:

Don't forget to claim your FREE "12 Tip About Raising Sheep - What You Need To Know Before You Start" eReport!

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Related Sheep Milk Articles

Blue River Dairy - New Zealand Sheep Milk

Blue River Dairy - New Zealand Sheep Milk

Not my vid, just wanting to spread the word on NZ made curd. Blue River are awesome! Video Rating: 5 / 5 http Add us on facebook! This is a new spin on yogurt to bring your energy levels up when you need it most. Here we mix sheep's milk yogurt with chocolate whey protein, walnuts, cinnamon, and blueberries for an antioxidant and protein rich breakfast. Video Rating: 4 / 5

New Windsor farmers start 1st sheep dairy in Md.; will sell goods at ...

New Windsor farmers start 1st sheep dairy in Md.; will sell goods at ... NEW WINDSOR, Md. — Tucked on the outskirts of New Windsor, Shepherds Manor Creamery is the first sheep dairy in Maryland, making artisan cheeses and delicate soaps from their sheep's milk, which they sell at special events such as The Maryland Wine ... Read more on Washington Post

How To Choose Good Feta Cheese In 6 Easy Steps This white salty cheese produced from sheep's milk, or a combination of sheep and goat's milk, has become popular outside of Greece because of it's taste and versatility. Nutritionally, it has fewer calories than some other cheeses not because it is ... Read more on Huffington Post (blog)

Sheep milk cheese gets new followers High Weald Dairy churns its award-winning cheeses in a hi-tech dairy at Tremains Farm in Horsted Keynes, a few yards from where its own herd of cows graze the fields. It also uses organic milk from sheep herds and has now won a coverted Soil ... Read more on Mid Sussex Times

Our Edible Suburb - sheep

Our Edible Suburb presents sheep. This is a short clip on the East of Eden flock. We currently have two East Friesian dairy sheep, and one Katahdin hair sheep. We love these sweet animals and can't wait for our first babies in the winter of 2010. Check us out on the web for more information on our sheep or other Edible Suburb topics:

Milking Katahdin Sheep

Milking Katahdin Sheep

Raising sheep for meat is becoming more common in the US but it also becoming much more common for people to raise sheep for milk. Sheep milk is rich and delicious. It can be used to make a variety dairy products. New sheep dairies are springing up every year in the US and more hobby farmer's are looking into dairy sheep as an alternative or in addition to their dairy cows or goats. Large-scale sheep farmer's usually have access to dairy sheep breeds such as East Friesians and Lacaune's. These sheep have the longest lactation and highest daily production of any breed now in the US. A lot of the breeding stock for these breeds are found in area's where the large-scale sheep farms are located. This is generally around Wisconsin, New York and other parts of the North East. Unfortunately, the location of this breeding stock, is a bit too far for most of the hobby farmer's in the country, who are looking to add dairy sheep to their homestead. For people that can not find one of the still rare dairy breeds, it is possible for them to keep non-dairy breeds in order to milk them. Katahdins are one of the best non-dairy sheep breeds out there. They have many qualities that make them suitable for the small-scale or hobby farmer. So read on to find out why you may soon find yourself adding a few katahdins to your homestead.

Katahdins were developed as a hardy and prolific meat breed. This makes them an excellent substitute for a dairy sheep breed because they are easy to care for and they regularly lamb with twins and sometimes triplets. They are well-known for being able to feed all of these lambs without help from the farmer. If they have enough milk for their lambs, then they certainly have enough for you. A katahdin ewe, milked once a day, can produce between a pint and a quart of milk per day. With this breed, milk production depends on the ewe, some are just milkier than others. There is a variation in production as milk production hasn't been bred for specifically in this breed. However, a small-scale farmer starting with a small herd of katahdin sheep, can select only the milkier ewes when breeding for next year's lambs and after a few generations, one can produce a herd that produces more milk, more consistently.

Katahdins also make an excellent dairy breed for the hobby farmer because they are a hair sheep. This means they do not produce wool like many of their sheep counterparts. Instead, they are covered in hair which becomes very thick during the winter months and falls out quite cleanly for the spring. When this breed sheds, it looks as if it has been shorn. This makes them very low maintenance and this is part of the reason they were developed. Their growing popularity as a meat breed has a lot to do with the declining wool prices. It is no longer as lucrative for farmers to pay to have their sheep sheared regularly because the demand for wool has been slowly decreasing and therefore so have the prices. If this is true for larger-scale formers, then it is certainly true for the hobby farmers. Unless you would like to learn to shear your own sheep or you can find a shearer to shear just a few sheep for a reasonable price, then it is best just to go with hair sheep.

Another added bonus of raising Katahdin sheep for milk, is raising them for their true purpose which is meat. Sometimes those raising sheep for meat won't even consider milking them, the same goes for those raising sheep for milk, some won't consider them for meat, but this breed can easily be dual-purpose. As stated above,they are prolific and will regularly produce twins or triplets at lambing. Single lambs are actual quite uncommon for this breed. These lambs grow quickly due to all that rich milk the ewes produce for them. They continue to grow quickly when weaned to grass and grain. A katahdin lamb can easily reach 100lbs or more at 9 to 10 months of age. There is no affect on the growth rate of the lamb if the mother is milked once a day. In this scenario, the lambs are locked up away from their mothers at night. The ewes are milked in the morning and lambs are let out to spend the day with their mom. If one is looking to meet a certain weight by a certain time, the lambs can be creep fed like any other lamb.

Care for Katahdin sheep is similar to any other sheep breed. They require good forage but it doesn't have to be incredibly high quality, this breed isn't generally that picky. They need access to a good quality hay such as an orchard grass mix. They can be fed grain when dry but they require it when lactating. It is important to feed them well while they are lactating. Their daily milk production is directly related to their diet. it becomes evident whether or not they ate well the night before, come morning milking time. They can be given sweet feed, crushed alfalfa cubes and/pellets and beet pulp to increase their milk production. They also require free-choice minerals or minerals mixed their feed just like all other livestock but it cannot have copper in it,m as this is toxic to all sheep breeds.

A few Katahdin sheep, could provide you with rich milk, delicious cheese, sweet yogurt and fragrant soaps, so why not try adding a few to your homestead?

For more information about raising sheep for milk please visit

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Sheep Cheese: Ancient Heritage Dairy

For more Stories, Food News, and Cooking Fresh videos, visit: Sheep cheese tastes distinctive, characteristically strong, and very different from cow or goat cheese. On this family sheep farm, the making of cheese reflects a slower pace of life along with a direct connection to the land. Consuming this cheese requires a careful eating pace. To see more stories, get recipes, and links to additional resources, go to Video Rating: 4 / 5

how to milk a sheep. Video Rating: 4 / 5

Sheep Farming - Choose The Type of Sheep Breeds That Will Be Most Suitable For You

Sheep Farming - Choose The Type of Sheep Breeds That Will Be Most Suitable For You

Sheep farming is an activity that must come into careful thinking if you plan to engage in it. Ask yourself the questions necessary to get you started. Why raise sheep? Sheep are gregarious animals, they like to flock in a common group and can range from 50 lbs to 500 lbs. Also, you need to be sure of the reasons why you would subject yourself to sheep farming from day one in order to be firm on what you decide to do with this venture. A simple review of the different breeds used for sheep farming will save you time in the long run. They are as follows:

1) East freisian, and Lacaune - this are traditional sheep breeds that are used in the United States for milk production

2) Awassi - a sheep breed common in SouthWest Asia like Iraq and Syrian Arab Republic is about 92 lbs on the average and is a fat-tailed breed.

3) Assaf - this is a synthetic breed originating from Israel in the 1950's with an average of 611 litres of milk production in a standard lactation of about seven months.

4) British Milk Sheep - the name itself would suggest that it is a high producer of milk. Originally introduced by by Lawrence Alderson in Wiltshire and Northumberland and is now popular in United Kingdom as well as Canada. It is also known for producing more twins and triplets than other breeds.

5) Dorset Horn/Poll Dorset - known for high fat content in milk production as well as an alternative for out of season milk production.

6) Friesland - "Holstein of sheep breeds" They are a pure dairy sheep breed in the United kingdom. It has a long bald tail and naturally polled. Its ewe can weigh anywhere from 50 to 55 kilos and the rams about 75 kilos. Its fleece is also of high quality and has a Bradford Count of 48 to 52.

As can be gleaned from this short list, you can choose among which type of sheep breeds will be most suitable for you in sheep farming. Be aware that after choosing the right kind of breed you must also consider the nutritional requirements of sheep. Sheep that are for wool or milk production require a stiffer nutritional needs than sheep for mutton. Grass is staple food of sheep but sometimes you have to provide as supplements, the grains that are suited for them to provide their mineral and salts requirements. A good and constant supply of clean water should also be accessible for your herd.

Are you looking for more tips on sheep farming? Separate yourself from the usual sheep owners who are prone to common mistakes. If you would like to learn more tips on caring for sheep and how to raise sheep correctly, please visit:

Don't forget to claim your FREE "12 Tip About Raising Sheep - What You Need To Know Before You Start" eReport!

Article Source:

A weekend visit to Rinconada Dairy in Santa Margarita, CA during lambing season. Video Rating: 5 / 5

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Raising Sheep - A Profitable Grass Based Model

Raising Sheep - A Profitable Grass Based Model

When it comes to raising sheep many people have the notion of sheep being livestock animals which require significant care and work. We imagine them in softly lit barns with multiple plump little lambs at their side. All content.

Yet raising sheep does not need to be nearly as much work as people make it out to be. Sheep are versatile creatures and they can do very well without all the assistance afforded them in high labor, barn raised operations. So if you have often thought about sheep but are not enticed by the notion of living in your barn during lambing time there is an option for you.

The rancher with an eye on grass can do well with the right type of sheep. With the right type of sheep it is possible to run sheep on pasture year round therefore cutting overhead expenses, time and labor costs. Controlling these costs gives a rancher the ability to control his own profit.

But before you take the leap and buy sheep or switch your existing flock to a pasture system consider these tips. Not all breeds of sheep are created equal. The prolific breeds of sheep are less likely to thrive in a grass based set up. The dairy sheep will need more attention, and some of the hair breeds may not fair as well on a year round basis in colder and harsher climates

Have an idea of what a production year will feel like on your ranch. Are you really aiming for a grass based flock? Will your flock be out 365 days a year, will you be lambing on pasture, how will you manage through your winter season?

Consider what traits in the various sheep breeds are most important in order to work in your production year. Is lambing on pasture what you are after or prolific ewes who can produce multiple lambs? Rank all your traits in order of importance if you need to. Also consider what each trait will cost or save you.

Consider the climate in your area and what your ranch has to offer. What are the disadvantages? Having an idea of what will work in your favour and what may work against will save you some headaches and surprise expenses.

Next ranchers who are interested in raising sheep on grass will want to keep a few selection criteria in mind:

The right type of sheep is one who is of medium size, efficient on feed, lambs without assistance, does not produce litters of lambs (non-efficient), raises vigorous lambs and keeps good body condition on grass without the need for grains and other supplemental feeds.

Typically medium sized ewes will be efficient on grass and feed resources. Larger ewes (above 180 pounds) often require more food to maintain good condition yet they do not raise any more pounds of lamb. Ewes need to be hardy. Sheep are relatively easy to maintain during the grass season however the main concept of a grass based flock is feeding the ewes out on pasture during the winter season as well.

Ewes should be good milkers (not heavy milkers) with tidy udders who can raise lambs without needing extra feed stuffs. Focus on heavy milkers is not ideal in a grass flock as heavy milkers are not efficient animals. Good milkers will raise a hefty lamb without trouble.

Ewes being raised on pasture need to lamb without assistance and have excellent mothering skills. More often than not members of the flock will lamb when you are not there so it is best if they can manage on their own. The ewes mothering skills will assist with lambs getting to their feet after birth.

You may also want to pay attention to the members of the flock that are capable of finding shelter from storms. This is a learned survival behavior that needs to be passed onto lambs. And select for strong flocking instinct. Safety in numbers is one way sheep are able to protect themselves from predators. But if they do not flock together this criteria is lost.

When raising sheep for a living the selection of rams should receive equal consideration. Having a ram from a grass based background is important. The rams should have been allowed time to reach maturity on grass, not pushed on grain.

Being allowed to reach sexual maturity at a natural rate is highly important to the hormonal development of the animal. If the rams can grow up and flesh out on grass you know they will be okay for your grass flock.

The rams should not be so large the prove to be inefficient feeders or throw lambs too big for easy birthing by the ewe.

From here the grass based rancher will be able to develop a flock of animals that are prime candidates for thriving in a natural grass based system and move onto the goal of developing those grass genetics.

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