Sheep Dairying in Missouri
Hi: Have you wondered how it is that you have heard that you can Milk Cows and Goats
but have never heard of Milking Sheep !!
#1. Sheeps Milk has more Vitamins and Minerals than any other Milk.
#2. Sheep normally eat grass and hay like a cow so their Milk has no off taste from eating weeds.
#3. Sheeps Milk is very high in Butterfat and solids.
#4. If you are Lactose Intolerant than you more than likely can have Sheep's Milk products.
Sheep Milking 101 set-up
To get started in Milking Sheep we recommend using the EAST FRIESIAN: The East Friesian is a breed of dairy sheep originating from East Frisia in northern Germany. It is either the best or one of the best sheep breeds in terms of milk yield per ewe. The East Friesian produces roughly 300-600 litres of milk, over a 200- to 300-day lactation.
Dairy Sheep breed but if they are too expensive for a startup than
look at either the DORSET or the St. Croix breeds as they are more affordable
than the East Friesians.They do not produce as much milk but hey,
if you really are not sure this is what you want to do than buy the
cheaper model and if it is your bag than buy the more expensive
model later when you are sure!!
The East Friesian are the Holstein of the Dairy Sheep.
They out produce all Sheep,they are gentle sheep and good mothers.
The dairy Sheep being a special breed can get expensive
but in the long run the Milk volume is there.
Your Milking Situation !!
The area to be milked in should be a serious consideration
as here you will spend a lot of time.
It should be out of the weather, cement floor,lighted,heated
and draft free as you do not want particles floating into the milk.
The method of milking is usually with what is called a vacuum system.
This means you use a small vacuum to help draw the milk out of the ewe.
A small vacuum pump can be found at farm auctions or you can
put ads looking for them. You can use an electric unit
on wheels that can be purchased from suppliers.
This unit is complete and is a very good buy as if you just buy
the vacuum unit you still need to purchase the tanks that will hold the milk.
You need to purchase what is called the claw assembly
which is the unit that you put onto the ewe to get the
milk out unless you want to hand milk her which can be very trying to say the least.
Now after milking you need to do something with the milk which I mean it needs
to be filtered to get out any bits of dirt that may have gotten into the milk.
After this you need to either make a product from it,
sell the milk fresh(you can get $8.00/gal of milk) or you can Freeze the milk.
Yes,I said you freeze it.Unlike cows milk which will separate when you thaw it out,
Sheep's Milk retains its form when thawed out so you can either use it or drink it .
You need to use freezer bags when freezing so the bags will not
break when laid on top of another.The methods used in freezing are basically very easy.
You need to make a filter holder like a funnel,get round milk filters
from supply area,use a gallon plastic container and measure 1/2 gal into a dag,seal it ,
put date and amount that is in it and than put into freezer ,laying flat to take up less space.
OK now we will go thru a Milking Run:
Before milking all equipment to be used for milking needs to be sanitized.
It should be dipped into a water
and bleach solution (about 1/4 cup in 10 gal of water.
You dip the equipment than take out to dry .
They must dry for 15 minutes before using for milking to make sure the bleach is gone.
Now you put equipment together and continue to number 1.
#1. First do you have an area to hold the sheep in while you milk them?
You should have what is called a head gate
whereby you can lock the head in so the sheep is not moving around.
It is a good idea to put a small amount of grain
into a dish,and this is on the other side of the head gate so that the ewe will go to eat
and you can lock her in with out too much fighting.
Believe me this really will make a difference.
#2. If you have the sheep locked in you need to get a small bucket (1-2 gal)
and put a small amount of dish soap in it and an 1/8 cup of bleach in it.
This is used to wipe off the teats of the sheep before
milking to remove dirt so you do not suck it into the milk hoses.
#3. After washing the teats dry them off with a paper towel.
This is so the solution does not get into the milk
and also you can double check that all dirt is off the teats now.
#4. Depending on the equipment you are now ready to get some milk.
You can prestrip the teats,that means squirt out some to remove any in
the end that might have dirt or bacteria.
Now,take and start up the equipment,check vacuum pressure (12# )
and make sure the claw assembly is pulsing (clicking )in and out.
This action simulates the sucking of the lamb and if it is too fast
or too slow the ewe may not milk good.
#5. Gentle apply the teat cup to the teat on the sheep , one at a time,
The unit will click softly and milk
will start if you have it on right.If no milk comes out almost right away
take unit off and see it you get milk
by doing it with you fingers.If it works than try the machine again.
It might have gotten on crooked
and now this time make sure teat enters holder and drops to bottom.
#6. The milk should be going into the milk bucket now from the ewe.
It will only take about 2 minutes
to get all the milk out.Watch the teats and when the milk stops or has
very little coming out take the claw off the
ewe.You should see the bag decrease in size when milking and you can
feel that it is almost empty now.
#7. Ok,the hard part is done and the joy of seeing all that Pure WHITE
milk is really an experience you will not forget,ever!!
Now,you should have what is called teat dip which is a
solution you buy for milking.
It is sprayed onto the teats after milking ( do not use the kind you dip the teat in as you can spread disease from one ewe to another )
to reduce the chances of dirt and bacteria getting into the ends
of the teats when the sheep go back outside to eat.
Congrats you have done it !!!
Feels good doesn't it knowing you just received a pure gift ,
A Gift Of Pure Milk !!
#8. Put the sheep out doors,clean up the milking area.
#9. Now that you are done Milking take the milk and filter it,
than either use it,drink it or freeze it.
GREAT JOB, WELL DONE !!
Hi: Have you wondered how it is that you have heard that you can
Milk Cows and Goats but have never heard of Milking Sheep !!
Well,it's like this !The USA Milks alot of Cows and some Goat Dairies are
known but we just never thought Sheep were for anything other than
WOOL and MEAT, Right ! Well it has been a little know secret I guess,
But ,HEY They Do Milk Sheep and there are a lot of Dairies out there.
The biggest is out in New York (yes,this is right) and they have about
1000 head of Sheep,there own Cheese Making operation and other things
that help draw people out to this Dairy. They are very well know and have
been in business a long, long time.So now that I have totally freaked you
outlet me give you some more info to digest.
#1. Sheep Milk has more Vitamins and Minerals than any other Milk.
#2. Sheep normally eat grass and hay like a cow so their Milk has
no off taste from eating weeds.
#3. Sheep Milk is very high in Butterfat and solids.
#4. If you are Lactose Intolerant than you more than likely can have
Sheep's Milk products.
#5. The Milk almost tastes like cows milk except it is Thicker,Creamy,
little sweeter and with all the high Vitamins and Minerals
in it we call it the Gatorade of All Milk for good reason.
#6. Now you know that raw cows milk needs a large cooler to be kept
in,but did you know that Sheep's Milk can be frozen
without harm to the Milk.
#7. When you thaw out cows milk the liquid separates into a mess but
with Sheep's Milk it stays together so it can be drank or made into
products when ever you need to as it won't spoil right away.
#8. It takes about 9 gallon of cows Milk to make 1# of Cheese but
11gallon of Sheep's Milk will make about 16# of Cheese.
9. Sheep will produce 1qt., per Milking and you Milk 2x a day.
Now cows produce a Lot more Milk but with Sheep's Milk you get More Product out of the Milk.
#10. It seems that more and more people want Clean ,Fresh and Pure
Raw Milk and this is the Future!
No more Spoiling Milk because you can freeze unused Milk.
We Milked for over 15 years in the Great World of Sheep Milking.
Go to your search engine and type in Sheep Dairy
and see what you find on this great product !