Best dairy sheep breed?

mysunwolf

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What do y'all think about Lacaune or Awassi? I hear they have the highest butterfat percentage. But I could only find one source for the percentages so I don't know how true they are. I read Lacaune: 7.5% and Awassi 13%. I also read that east friesian have a very low butterfat but I also couldn't verify that because I heard from one source they have a 8% and 3% from another. Hard to find good information on sheep breeds I guess 😂

It varies a LOT based on the lines of the stock. Higher yield for a longer period of time often means lower butterfat, hence why the highest producing East Friesians have lower BF (think Holstein/Friesian cattle, since they were developed in the same area).

Awassi is supposed to raise butterfat and hardiness of the EF. A lot of producers out west swear by them. I can't stand the way they can't tolerate wet conditions, nor those fat tails! And don't feel they add much.

Lacaune also raises butterfat without reducing yield, so that's why they're so popular in France. A shame we don't have many here.

I agree with @misfitmorgan, you should purchase sheep that are used to being milked. And you should purchase from lines that are going to be similar to what YOU personally want in your product.
 

GoateeMcfee

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It varies a LOT based on the lines of the stock. Higher yield for a longer period of time often means lower butterfat, hence why the highest producing East Friesians have lower BF (think Holstein/Friesian cattle, since they were developed in the same area).

Awassi is supposed to raise butterfat and hardiness of the EF. A lot of producers out west swear by them. I can't stand the way they can't tolerate wet conditions, nor those fat tails! And don't feel they add much.

Lacaune also raises butterfat without reducing yield, so that's why they're so popular in France. A shame we don't have many here.

I agree with @misfitmorgan, you should purchase sheep that are used to being milked. And you should purchase from lines that are going to be similar to what YOU personally want in your product.
Okay thank you! Yeah if Awassi can't handle wet conditions then they won't work out over here 😂. Western Washington isn't exactly known to be dry😂😂😂
 

misfitmorgan

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What do y'all think about Lacaune or Awassi? I hear they have the highest butterfat percentage. But I could only find one source for the percentages so I don't know how true they are. I read Lacaune: 7.5% and Awassi 13%. I also read that east friesian have a very low butterfat but I also couldn't verify that because I heard from one source they have a 8% and 3% from another. Hard to find good information on sheep breeds I guess 😂

Holstein Cows have 3.7% butterfat and jersey cows have 4.9% butterfat, 10 pounds of milk makes 1 pound of cheese even at that low of a rate so you likely dont need that high of a butterfat to get what you want out of them. If you are going with the average of 2 quarts a day per sheep and know you need at least 2 sheep thats a gallon of milk a day.

East Freisian sheep are reported to have 4.5%-10% butterfat depending on...a lot of things but even at the lowest possible rate you are still getting enough milk for over a pound of cheese a day. Sheep milk is 6pounds of milk per pound of cheese, 1 gallon is 8.6 lbs.

On the lowest end 2 sheep make 2.4gallons/week which is 3.5lbs/week of cheese give or take, on the highest end 2 sheep give 4 gallons a week which is 5.8 pounds of cheese a week. When you have dairy animals you pretty quickly get over taken by a need for milk storage/use unless you have a very large family or really like diary products. Realistically it is not possible for most people to use all the milk they get every week.
 

Baymule

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We have two freezers, also packed. I have another bag of chicken leg quarters to can for the dogs, think I'll get out the "old" bags of various vegetables and toss in the jars. Also have beef heart and a hog head, skinned and sawed in two. Dogs love that stuff on their kibble.
 

GoateeMcfee

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Holstein Cows have 3.7% butterfat and jersey cows have 4.9% butterfat, 10 pounds of milk makes 1 pound of cheese even at that low of a rate so you likely dont need that high of a butterfat to get what you want out of them. If you are going with the average of 2 quarts a day per sheep and know you need at least 2 sheep thats a gallon of milk a day.

East Freisian sheep are reported to have 4.5%-10% butterfat depending on...a lot of things but even at the lowest possible rate you are still getting enough milk for over a pound of cheese a day. Sheep milk is 6pounds of milk per pound of cheese, 1 gallon is 8.6 lbs.

On the lowest end 2 sheep make 2.4gallons/week which is 3.5lbs/week of cheese give or take, on the highest end 2 sheep give 4 gallons a week which is 5.8 pounds of cheese a week. When you have dairy animals you pretty quickly get over taken by a need for milk storage/use unless you have a very large family or really like diary products. Realistically it is not possible for most people to use all the milk they get every week.
Oh wow! Thank you so much! This definitely helps.
 
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