My Sheep...

I have East Friesian Sheep and Gotland Sheep. The East Friesians are one of, if not the, best dairy sheep. They are friendly and calm, curious and a bonus is they have nice, versatile fleeces.

I love to make soap and cheese and raw milk mocha cappuccinos so naturally the East Friesians -

Gotland are also milky and have wonderful fleeces, prized by the fiber arts crowd. The ancient breed, a descendent of Gute landrace sheep, traces back to the Isle of Gotland off the coast of Sweden. The Gotland pelt is prized for its unique metallic silver grey color, soft curling locks ("purling") and high luster. It is the only known truly grey fleeced breed.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Why Raise Dairy Sheep?

Why Raise Dairy Sheep?

When looking for a Dairy animal in the US, many people immediately
think of a cow, or
 increasingly, people have been choosing goats for small scale milk
production. So why should 
one choose a dairy sheep if a cow or goat will do? Well there are quite
 a few reasons.
1. They're small and easy to handle When comparing dairy sheep
 to dairy cows, the most 
obvious thing is that sheep are much smaller than cows. So they will
eat less and cause less 
damage to pasture than a cow might. They also require less space
and smaller housing. 
Dairy sheep and dairy goats are actually similar in this regard but
there are a few positive 
aspects that set dairy sheep apart from dairy goats.
2. They are incredibly practical - Sheep are a truly triple purpose
 animal depending on the breed. They can be used for wool, meat and milk.
Depending on how self-sufficient you are, a 
herd of dairy sheep can provide you with clothing from wool, meat such
as lamb or sausage, milk, cheese, yogurt and even soap. No one goat breed
offers these same benefits.
3. They won't destroy your landscaping - When it comes to ease of care,
 sheep are the winners. Sheep are much easier to contain than goats. They are
 much less mischievous. Sheep are also grazers so they prefer things that are
growing close to the grown like grass and herbs. 
Whereas goats are mainly browsers and prefer trees and shrubs to grass. Sheep
will also nibble on trees but if you are worried about your fruit trees and rose
bushes, sheep will tend to leave those alone whereas goats will actively seek them
out and devour them.
4. Their milk is better for cheese - The nutrient properties of sheep milk
are different than those of cow and goat milk. Sheep's milk is typically higher
in fat and protein than goat and cow milk. This makes sheep milk an excellent
 milk for cheesemaking. More cow and goat milk is required than the amount
of sheep's milk to make the equivalent amount of cheese. So you need 
less of it to make cheese and the cheese typically has a stronger flavor than any
cheese made from cow milk, similar to goat milk cheeses.

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