Breeds with highest percent butterfat?

barefoot_bast

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Depending on what land we end up getting, I am trying to decide whether goats or sheep would better fit my dairy (and other) needs. Can anyone recommend a breed of sheep with high percentage butterfat in their milk? I specifically want to make butter.
Bonus points if that breed does well on foraging / pasture.

I really love Katahdins, but I don't know that they would be the best choice.
 

mysunwolf

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East Friesians have some of the lowest % butterfat, but some of the highest volume and longest lactation. Lacaune have high volume, long lactation, and medium % butterfat. Icelandics have a pretty high % butterfat. I am not sure about Katahdins, but as a rule butterfat and volume are inversely proportional, just like in cattle with regards to Jerseys and Holsteins. Long story short, what are your dairy needs, aside from butter? What amount of butter are you talking about? Both goats and sheep will require a cream separator in order to make butter as the milk is naturally homogenized.
 

barefoot_bast

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I'm looking for enough butter for two people. I like to use that and lard for cooking.
Any milk, cheese, yogurt that I could also get from milking would be a bonus.

I'm imagining 3-5 ewes would be enough? (Ignoring the ram issue for the moment). I know they are in milk a much shorter period than goats or cattle.
 

Alaskan

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How much butter do you go through in a week?

And... if butter is your main desire... butter freezes just fine, so length of lactation should be too much of a trouble for you....in that you could get a huge amount if butter over a 4 month lactation... freeze it all... and you are set for the year.
 

barefoot_bast

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How much butter do you go through in a week?

And... if butter is your main desire... butter freezes just fine, so length of lactation should be too much of a trouble for you....in that you could get a huge amount if butter over a 4 month lactation... freeze it all... and you are set for the year.

We go through half a pound to a pound of butter a week, on average. Less some times in the year, more during holidays.

Freezing excess butter would be my plan, absolutely.
 

Mini Horses

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Here I am with dairy goats and I have a cream separator. Let me ask...have you ever.. had sheep or goat butter? It is not the same taste as fresh cow cream butter. But, good if you let the cream ripen first. It's also white. Well you can color it with annatto.

You can drink the milk after separating. I make cheese. Plus you need a lot of milk to get enough cream for a lb of butter. Never kept sheep but, katahdin are larger and can be milked. I have Saanen and Nubians. You can cold store milk until enough to spin but you need to warm it before. The separators need full assembly before and disassemble/cleaning after use, so a lot of trouble for a quart of milk. I'm usually working with 3 gal plus and don't make butter that often. Yep, I buy most. A lot of cheese though. 👍

Just some things to consider. It's exciting thought and good amount of work. BTDT.
 

barefoot_bast

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Here I am with dairy goats and I have a cream separator. Let me ask...have you ever.. had sheep or goat butter? It is not the same taste as fresh cow cream butter. But, good if you let the cream ripen first. It's also white. Well you can color it with annatto.

Lol, yes, I have had goat and sheep milk, butter, and cheese. I'm a fan. :)
 

Nommie Bringeruvda Noms

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I have Nigora goats, a mix between Nigerian Dwarf (avg 9% butterfat)& Angora. Exactly what I wanted for both dairy& fiber. We don't have a cream separator, but I can vouch for the high fat content. The yogurt, kefir, cheese, & ice cream are incredibly rich and sweet, and left in the fridge overnight, there's enough separation that I could collect it for a few days(I'm only milking one, at the moment, and I've only separated her from her 10wk old buckling, this week (the above info is based on previous dairy play with her milk). My hands are wimpy from arthritis, cts, & trigger fingers & thumbs, these days, so I've no doubt she would easily produce more than the pint per day I'm getting. Based on what I am getting rising to the top over night, I'd estimate her butterfat at about 7 or 8%.
 

Mini Horses

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Yes, some separation occurs. I've done this with mine when I only wanted the smaller amounts.😊. But amount of butter barefoot mentions needs a good amount. I actually considered bringing in an ND just for cream :lol: then I realized I just needed to milk more does that I already have. 🤷😂 Smacked myself! I've never had sheep but do appreciate my goats.
 

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