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Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Ziggy, Jun 22, 2013.
Looking to hear what breeds, and thoughts on them?
Btw I meant DAIRY Sheep not Diary
Sheep have a different mentality than goats. I have Finnsheep, which are a little different than most sheep, but they do still do sheepy things sometimes. Finn's are not technically bred specifically as milk sheep, but they are great producers and many people do milk them. Their claim to fame is "lambing in litters", and they have big batches of babies...so they make lots of milk to feed them. If you get the right ones, they can feed as many as 4 at a time, so should be plenty good for milking. They have a great fleece that comes in many colors and is in demand by handspinners. I have milked mine a bit, and I liked the milk. It is pretty much like goat milk, but with a bit more "flavor" (not sheepy or lanolin flavor, just bolder, I guess). Only issue with milking Finn's is that they haven't been bred specifically for milking, so a lot of them have small teats that are far to the outside (though not as bad as some breeds). Many have extra teats, but they don't really get in the way of milking or anything, they are just there. If I was really serious about sheep milking, I might consider a Finn x East Fresian (the main sheep dairy breed), as I think that would be a great cross! Also keep in mind the different mineral requirements of sheep, as you can kill them with copper overdose on the goat minerals. Other than that, they can be fed similarly to goats, though they usually don't need as much grain, and mine enjoy the pasture much more than the goats.
Thanks Nancy - we had Katahdins years ago before deciding to focus exclusively on the goats but I am thinking of getting some East Friesians for milk variety.
Nancy, your comments have made me want to try sheep milk. The only sheep cheese I ever had tasted like death, but surely it usually tastes better?
The only sheep milk I have ever tasted was East Friesan - very good and very creamy!
Michelle-I haven't made cheese. I was milking this ewe because she wouldn't accept her lambs (I think one of my goats stole them-she was in labor when the ewe lambed). Anyway, I figured she might as well help feed my babies. Once she was in milk a couple weeks, I decided to give the milk a taste for the heck of it, and it was good. At the time I was overwhelmed with goats kidding and goats to milk, so I let her dry up after that; kind of wish I hadn't...want to try making some cheese!
Is sheep milk what Parmesan is traditionally made from? I have heard yes and no. I've always wanted to try sheep milk.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parmigiano-Reggiano Here is talking about how it is made. It is traditionally made from 1/2 whole cow milk and 1/2 skimmed cow milk. There is one similar to parmesian that is made from sheep's milk called Peccorino or Peccorino Romano. Another popular sheep's milk cheese is Roquefort, a bleu cheese. In some countries, feta is required to be made out of sheep's milk by law. They usually also allow up to a certain amount of goat milk, but no cow milk. In the US, feta is usually made from cow milk.
I love manchego.
I just bought some 100% sheep manchego from the grocery store but I am afraid to try it because of how goat cheese from the regular grocer tastes so bad. I don't want to ruin my taste for manchego forever! LOL
If you look up Laura Sluder on FB, she has a sheep dairy just south of me. Believe most of her stock are East Friesans.