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milking sheep

 
kadence blevins
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Location: SE Ohio
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hello everyone (: i would love if you all could share any info you have found on milking sheep.

i am hoping to get into sheep soon for meat and fiber. i am also hoping to do a little side experiment with sheep milk. i will be hand milking once a day. leaving moms and babies together all day and at night putting all the babies into a pen in the barn. then in the morning milking the moms. i do not plan on getting alot of milk from them and will not be buying into some crazy expensive milk breed sheep and driving all over the country for them. the milk will just be to add to my goat (and hopefully soon cow as well) milk for cheeses and butters.

i already have milk goats and know all about milking and all. i just havent found much on milking sheep. so if anyone has any info i would love to hear. feel free to post links.

(: thanks
 
Kris schulenburg
Posts: 112
Location: Henry County Ky Zone 6
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my favorite subject lately, although i don't know too much yet. i have 2 icelandic ewes (one should be giving birth in a week or 2) and a dairy ram. i also have a hair sheep ewe that i milked when i took her away from her babies. got 2 quarts a day at first then down to one but was trying to dry her up so she would breed to the ram. i liked the taste of the milk very much and it made great yogurt and butter. will try cheese when i have more to milk.
ATTRA and DSANA have good information as well as Sheep 101 and 102. i don't know how to set up links but you can google.

Big take away seem to be rotational grazing for parasite control, cobalt for B-12, high tannin plants like serica lespedisa for parasites and cedar. also google "lavender fleece" they have good info about apple cider vinegar.(most of this is some where on premies forums).
Happy milking
 
kadence blevins
Posts: 595
Location: SE Ohio
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thanks. i've looked at sheep 101 and 102. i guess i just wish there was more out there for people who want a small herd to milk.

would love to hear more on your yogurt and butter (: i make cheese and butter from my goat milk but never yogurt before.

curious how you milked them? like did you kneel next to them or have them on a stand, milk behind or beside?
haha sorry so many questions. just not many people who do it on a small scale to ask about this stuff (:
 
Kris schulenburg
Posts: 112
Location: Henry County Ky Zone 6
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just lost my first lamb this morning javascript:emoticon(''); Mama seems ok so i am very thankful! and i guess i will have milk even if i had hoped to share.

the ewe i was milking is a little wild so i would coax her into the duck house and get her eating against the wall. she was ok once i started milking.
kneel down beside her
and grease up the bottom half of her udders
massage for a minute
gently pinch of (like an O) the bottom 1/4 of the udder and pull down to the end of the teat
don"t know if that makes sense almost more like massaging

for yogurt, brought the milk up till it steamed (think it is supposed to be 180 to kill bacteria and emzimes that would interfere with yogurt culture) put in 2T of Danon plain and put in cooler of hot 110 degree water for 8 hours. it is very rich, can't wait to try ice cream and cheese

i think at some point sheep milking will catch on. they are such sweet critters, smell much better than cows (to me), no sloppy poo, if they step on your foot or paw you hardly notice and if you don't need a ton of milk you can have 3-4 sheep = half a cow. they are great finish mowers and fence row cleaners. have not had problems with them eating plants to the ground, i guess they have enough to choose from. also the literature says they have 2x the fat and solids of cows milk and supposedly better fat.

if you live any where near KY we could probably work out a lease arrangement on my dairy ram as he only has 3 ewes.
 
kadence blevins
Posts: 595
Location: SE Ohio
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aww sorry to hear about the lamb ):

no i think i understand what you mean about milking. here is a video of me milking my goats, i explain a bit how i milk. this same as you do?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P78J1fJJBYk

for the yogurt you just add 2 tablespoons of store yogurt? i thought it had to be certian kind for it to have the good bacteria for making it into yogurt?
thats good to know! itching to try it myself now!

i have a video i've made for making butter and cheese from goat milk. when i get the uploaded i'll link to them for you. the way i do it is really simple.
 
kadence blevins
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i'm a bit far from KY unfortunately. i'm about hour from pittsburgh PA, on the ohio side.
perhaps eventually i might be able to get a ram lamb from you one day (:
 
Ben Plummer
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Kadence, there are special starters but any plain yogurt that says "contains live cultures" will work. Edit: Remember to save some to start your next batch, no matter how yummy it is!
 
kadence blevins
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i like this stand. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVyZD5WceVs

not too far from how my goat stand is. probably build a new one though as mine is wearing out and a goat or sheep with horns wouldnt be able to get their head in it. but on that stand i would still have my stool. i dont like milkin from the back. other then being awkward to milk, i think so anyways, i've had the goats fart while i'm milkin and beside them is close enough to that end! hahaha
 
kadence blevins
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and since we are talking about yogurt i found this really cool video. some other really good ones on youtube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgX01ncM3r8
 
kadence blevins
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Bill Kerans wrote:Kadence, there are special starters but any plain yogurt that says "contains live cultures" will work. Edit: Remember to save some to start your next batch, no matter how yummy it is!


good idea!

my younger sister just got her tonsils out (she's 16) and we have about half container of yogurt... *eyeballs container with mischeivious grin*
so of course i'm about to take a small jar and do a test run of goat milk yogurt hahaha the floor can be swept later
 
Kris schulenburg
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Location: Henry County Ky Zone 6
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Hi Kadence,
good video-goats have much bigger teets than sheep so milking them is a little different, more up and down than squeeze it looks like. My other ewe had a ewe lamb i will try to load a picture, she is a mix of Freisian, Laucune, Icelandic and Cottswald.
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Joseph Fields
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Location: Berea, Kentucky
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Kris schulenburg wrote:just lost my first lamb this morning javascript:emoticon(''); Mama seems ok so i am very thankful! and i guess i will have milk even if i had hoped to share.

the ewe i was milking is a little wild so i would coax her into the duck house and get her eating against the wall. she was ok once i started milking.
kneel down beside her
and grease up the bottom half of her udders
massage for a minute
gently pinch of (like an O) the bottom 1/4 of the udder and pull down to the end of the teat
don"t know if that makes sense almost more like massaging

for yogurt, brought the milk up till it steamed (think it is supposed to be 180 to kill bacteria and emzimes that would interfere with yogurt culture) put in 2T of Danon plain and put in cooler of hot 110 degree water for 8 hours. it is very rich, can't wait to try ice cream and cheese

i think at some point sheep milking will catch on. they are such sweet critters, smell much better than cows (to me), no sloppy poo, if they step on your foot or paw you hardly notice and if you don't need a ton of milk you can have 3-4 sheep = half a cow. they are great finish mowers and fence row cleaners. have not had problems with them eating plants to the ground, i guess they have enough to choose from. also the literature says they have 2x the fat and solids of cows milk and supposedly better fat.

if you live any where near KY we could probably work out a lease arrangement on my dairy ram as he only has 3 ewes.
I agree with you sheep catching on. I love mine to death. They are saving me tons of money on lawnmower gas. I'll gladly trade hoof trimming every three months for hours and hours of mowing every week.
 
Kris schulenburg
Posts: 112
Location: Henry County Ky Zone 6
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Hi Joseph,
would you or anyone be interested if a free lease on my dairy ram? My husband wants me to get rid of him but i would like to breed my ewe to him again. and he is too nice a guy (a little pushy though) to put in the freezer.
 
kadence blevins
Posts: 595
Location: SE Ohio
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Kris schulenburg wrote:Hi Joseph,
would you or anyone be interested if a free lease on my dairy ram? My husband wants me to get rid of him but i would like to breed my ewe to him again. and he is too nice a guy (a little pushy though) to put in the freezer.


oh how i wish i could take him! but alas its too far for me to KY ):

but on the bright side someone i found on a facebook sheep group knows of a dorset herd not quite an hour from me and they often have triplets and not all can be cared for by the ewes. so she is going to let me know about any bottle lambs i might be able to get cheap or free :D so fingers crossed. their lambing just started up.
 
Joseph Fields
Posts: 170
Location: Berea, Kentucky
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Kris schulenburg wrote:Hi Joseph,
would you or anyone be interested if a free lease on my dairy ram? My husband wants me to get rid of him but i would like to breed my ewe to him again. and he is too nice a guy (a little pushy though) to put in the freezer.
I would , but I got hair sheep. I got a kathadin that I can milk if I were so inclined. She was still nursing her lamb at almost 5 months and 57 pounds.
 
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