Daisy

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I had my first try at making cream cheese out of cows milk the other day. I was surprised at how easy it was and how great it turned out.

I would love to get goats again, but I very much doubt the shire would permit it on a town block... a sheep on the other hand, might get a pass as it is a sheep farm area and many people nurse orphan lambs in their homes. I have never tasted sheep milk or cheese and didn't even know sheep were good to milk. How much would you get a day from one? Is sheep milk as versatile as cows or best for cheese?
 

tortoise

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There's a sheep dairy in my region that sells cheese. I was talking to the farmer and she says the sheep dont really like being milked. I have tried to milk sheep and if the ewe doesnt want to be milked, its not happening! 🤣 but I bet it would work out fine with a single bottle-raised ewe that is trained to a milking stand early on. They are definitely easier to fence than goats! And a bottle raised ewe can be as tame as a dog! 😍 I adore my oldest ewe, she comes when called and is so sweet. (If you're not trying to milk her! 🤣). I believe they produce half gallon per day. Much more manageable amount for a family than what a cow would produce!
 

Mini Horses

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I believe sheep are pretty much happier with limited touching...beyond a couple scratches. Like most animals, they can be trained. Flip side, goats love being handled generally. So a little feed and they cooperate, if not one who was never handled, then some rodeoing. But even my less friendly ones have not been hard to milk once they kid. Once or twice milking and they usually get right with the program.
 

Daisy

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There's a sheep dairy in my region that sells cheese. I was talking to the farmer and she says the sheep dont really like being milked. I have tried to milk sheep and if the ewe doesnt want to be milked, its not happening! 🤣 but I bet it would work out fine with a single bottle-raised ewe that is trained to a milking stand early on. They are definitely easier to fence than goats! And a bottle raised ewe can be as tame as a dog! 😍 I adore my oldest ewe, she comes when called and is so sweet. (If you're not trying to milk her! 🤣). I believe they produce half gallon per day. Much more manageable amount for a family than what a cow would produce!


I did some net searching and found a sheep dairy near by to me too! Never knew it existed, but it looks like such a great idea, especially with how popular cheese is right now. I am going to look in the shop and see if they stock the cheese or milk so I can try it out. Otherwise I might order it online or see if I can drop by next year. Could be a good idea, down the track, if I like the stuff. As you say, they produce a much more manageable amount!
 

Lazy Gardener

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Just like with other dairy animals, certain breeds are better than others. @Beekissed has hair sheep, and will tell you that the meat from hair sheep is much tastier than that from wool sheep. I'm guessing their milk would be milder also. I believe she keeps Katahdins. I don't know if she intends to milk them.
 

tortoise

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Maybe someone with hair sheep can verify, but I believe any difference in flavor is that hair sheep grow faster and can be harvested younger than wool sheep.

I'm not sure how true that is. I know a shepherd in MO - a longer growing/pasture season than mine - who raises hair sheep on pasture and was struggling to get lambs to 100# by a year old. I have wool sheep and no problem getting 100# lambs, in 6 to 7 months. 100% pasture fed, little effort to try to rotate pasture. IDK. Is it genetics? Pasture quality? No idea. I benefit from decades of selective breeding by the farm I buy stock from. Maybe her hair sheep blodline is less refined? Or her pasture is limited? I wonder!

Milk flavor is more about what the ewe eats???

I'm no expert here...
 

Mini Horses

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With goats, some breeds are known for better milk than others. Some are knowñ for more cream, etc. Yes, what they eat can affect taste but, not always heavily. Cycling can affect taste and volume. There are sheep breeds for milking. Actually, Katahdins are good milkers....dual purpose.
 

baymule

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One of the differences in taste of meat between hair or wool sheep, is the lanolin in the wool. It gives the meat a more gamey taste. Hair sheep have very little lanolin, so the meat is not as gamey.

I have had small sheep, lambs that grow slowly and take too long to get to slaughter size. So I am culling out my flock and going to use the money from selling lambs and ewes in 2021, to buy better genetics from registered Katahdins. I can't be all grass fed because I don't have enough pasture and I have "gaps". There are gaps in the time that the summer grasses die back and winter grasses are ready to graze. There there are gaps between the winter grasses dying back and the summer grasses coming out. If I had plenty of pasture, I could stockpile grass for the in between time, but I don't. I don't even have enough grass to rotate pastures without having to dry lot them to let the grasses recover.

I currently have 2 lambs that I am creep feeding. They are looking good, it is definitely helping their growth. While I like the idea of 100% pasture, without enough pasture, it doesn't work for me, so I feed them.

I've kicked around the idea of milking some of my sheep, but so far have not been inspired enough to do so.
 

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