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slimy72 02-15-2013 10:00 AM

Milk Sheep?
I unexpectedly have myself a milk sheep. We've been milking her out morning and night and freezing the milk incase we have an orphaned lamb later (MIL always has some she usually gives us- my ewes rarely abandon their babies or die). So, my mom wants to make sheep milk cheese. She's had it and loves it. So far I'm only familiar with milk goats. So we're following the same protocol for milking and handling the milk as we would for a goat. Any one had a milk sheep or know anything that has to be done differently? She was giving two quarts a milking when she first came in milk. But then she leveled out to 1 quart a milking. She dipped a few days ago to 1/2 quart a milking but one we changed up the protein amount in her grain and gave her heated water she went back up to a quart. Well, now she's dropping again and I really want to get her back to the quart a milking mark so I can get enough milk for my mom to use. Anything else I can do? We feed our animals well but have really never tried purposely to increase milk supply mainly because we were never measuring it before. So anyone out there have a milk sheep?
So I wash the udder, and dry, and teat dip after. Then we're immediately pasturizing the milk and cooling rapidly and freezing until we get enough built up. That's what I've done with goat milk so I"m hoping sheep milk is the same.

debcita429 02-15-2013 07:25 PM

Re: Milk Sheep?
I wish I had some wisdom for you. I just thought I'd chime in that I really like sheep cheese. I cannot eat most of the cow cheese they sell in the stores (unless it is raw) but find goat cheese too gamey. Sheep cheese is certainly fatty, but it's good stuff.

slimy72 02-15-2013 10:21 PM

Re: Milk Sheep?
Well good to know someone other than my mom likes it. LOL. I haven't ever had it, but I don't really care for goats cheese much. Now if only I knew how to make it.

raisingcropsandbabies 02-16-2013 06:39 AM

Re: Milk Sheep?
I've never had sheep milk, but have heard that sheep milk cheese is amazing... like it definitely rivals goat cheese. I forget where I learned that. And also that it's hard to find in the states.

Can I ask you a totally different question? How do you wash the raw fleeces to card and then spin them? I am starting to learn in hopes of getting better prices for selling yarn from our sheep's wool rather than selling the raw wool to the place we normally do. Any tips or book suggestions? I have 4 from the library now.

slimy72 02-16-2013 09:21 AM

Re: Milk Sheep?
I sort and skirt it. Then I divide the fleece into sections based on wool grades (you can get a wool grading kit from USDA to learn on or I sell a cute little portable roll up kit that is super handy). Then I put it in mesh bags and wash it in the washer (top load traditional only.) Fill washer and turn off. Put in bags and soak. When done spin water out and repeat. I usually use dawn and soda ash (washing soda) to wash. Then lay it out on skirting table to dry. I have a good set of directions written up some where, but my basement flooded and everything is packed up in the garage right now, so no telling when I'll find my stuff.

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