I may be a little off the ball on this post. We added two sheep to our farm over a month ago. Should have said something sooner. Must have slipped my mind. I don’t know how it could though.. they are baaing all the time.
Here is Molly. She can be identified by the poof of wool on her head. She’s also the ring leader and the more daring ewe.
and here is Fancy. Fancy is my girl. She’s more reserved, but enjoys a good scratch. She’ll lay her head on my lap and close her eyes during such times. It’s very endearing. Not that Molly won’t.
Susan loves our girls. Our girls love us.
We had contemplated whether or not we were going to do sheep or goats.. We have discussed goats with many goat owners, and have been told that they are invasive with gardens, They like to climb on top of cars (we have the turkeys for that!) and are just plain mischievous in comparison with sheep. We did want a goat for milk, but were informed that sheep can also be great in that department.
Sheep have been raised for milk for thousands of years and were milked before cows. The world’s commercial dairy sheep industry is concentrated in Europe and the countries on or near the Mediterranean Sea. The dairy sheep industry is in its infancy in the United States. There are approximately 100 dairy sheep farms in the U.S. They are found mostly in New England and the Upper Midwest. There are several large commercial sheep dairies in New York and California.
Sheep milk is highly nutritious, richer in vitamins A, B, and E, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium than cow’s milk. It contains a higher proportion of short- and medium-chain fatty acids, which have recognized health benefits. For example, short-chain fatty acids have little effect on cholesterol levels in people. They make milk easier to digest.
According to a German researcher, sheep milk has more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) than the milk from pigs, horses, goats, cattle, and humans. CLA is a cancer-fighting, fat-reducing fat. The fat globules in sheep milk are smaller than the fat globules in cow’s milk, making sheep milk more easily digested.
Sheep milk can be frozen and stored until a sufficient quantity of milk is available to sell or make cheese. Freezing does not affect the cheese-making qualities of the milk.
Sheep milk has a higher solids content than goat or cow milk. As a result, more cheese can be produced from a gallon (or liter) of sheep milk than a gallon (or liter) of goat or cow milk. Sheep milk yields 18 to 25 percent cheese, whereas goat and cow milk only yield 9 to 10 percent.
While sheep usually produce less milk than goats and much less than cows, sheep milk sells for a significantly higher price per pound, almost four times the price of cow milk.
Though I still long for a dwarf goat, the sheep will do for now. They are wooly sheep, so will need to be sheared come spring. That’s something I’m not looking forward to.
as I already have this lamb chop to take care of in that regards. Not a minor feat!