Milking and Training Questions

greenbean

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Hey guys, so I have some questions and wasn't quite sure where to post them.

How hard is it to halter train sheep?
Do I train them to use a milk stand (like a goats milk stand) or ?
If so, how do I train them to a milk stand?
Is the udder care the same or similar to that of a goat? (Like washing, teat dip, etc.)
How soon after lambing do I start milking? Can I start the day of, that way I can save some colostrum or should I wait and just let the lamb(s) have all of it?
Is there anything I should test the milk for? (I won't be pasturizing.)

Anything else anyone would like to add would be great. :)
 

purplequeenvt

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greenbean said:
Hey guys, so I have some questions and wasn't quite sure where to post them.

How hard is it to halter train sheep?
Not hard. I assume you've halter trained your cows before? Same idea.

Do I train them to use a milk stand (like a goats milk stand) or ?
That would be easiest for milking and general care like foot trimming.

If so, how do I train them to a milk stand?
We have 2 different kinds of stands. One is a fitting stand that we have to lift them onto or they have to jump up, most will after a few times of us lifting them up. The other is a milking stand that has a ramp.

Is the udder care the same or similar to that of a goat? (Like washing, teat dip, etc.)
I would assume so. I don't know of anything different.

How soon after lambing do I start milking? Can I start the day of, that way I can save some colostrum or should I wait and just let the lamb(s) have all of it?
Is there anything I should test the milk for? (I won't be pasturizing.)
^ These 2, I don't know.

Anything else anyone would like to add would be great. :)
 

thestewarts

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The guy down the road from me puts a bucket of feed down and ties her to a post, strattles her and milks her backwards if that makes sence. We have not tried to milk our sheep yet because she is so timid... but she is warming up to us so we will try something soon. We dont have a stand yet but I do have plans for making one with reclaimed pallets and we just found a weekly source of free pallets so we will be experimenting soon!
 

Jes

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I'm just curious: what breed(s) do you milk? :pop
 

thestewarts

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We just started out awith Icelandic sheep. There are breeds specifically for milk though.
 

SheepGirl

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You can milk any breed of sheep. However the ones that are bred for milk production (dairy sheep) are East Friesians, Lacaunes, some Dorsets, and Rideau Arcotts.
 

greenbean

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Thanks guys :)
 

eweinHiscare

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I am a new sheep milker this year, just now learning a few things I wish I'd known a few months ago, so I'll post about it.

I brought home a long pallet along with other free pallets and put together what is working so far, see the pic.

The long pallet already had spaces where I could simply drop a board into and create instant headlock, no nails needed.

The end pieces are pallets attached with baling twine for stability. This is just prototype, I could build this better now that I know it works.

I can lock two sheep into it, easy, with the drop-in-place boards as soon as they go for their grain in the buckets.

They go in voluntarily, no chasing or struggling. So rig up something where you can just routinely feed your sheep well before you

are ready to actually to milk them and they will be used to it...less stressful.

To milk the sheep I sit behind them on a cinder block and milk into a 6 qt. stainless steel stock pot which I hold between my knees.

There was a video on youtube where I learned that.

The sheep will try to dance about a bit at first but mine seem to have become calmer already and they were never milked before.

My sheep are part East Friesian which hopefully will mean their lactations will last longer than Katahdins.

Really good milk, great in coffee and for making yogurt, ice cream, etc.
 

eweinHiscare

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To answer a couple of your questions, the udder of a sheep will have that greasy lanolin so washing it would be helpful. I use wet wipes.

I would say you could start milking her when the lamb is about 6 weeks old and can be separated from the ewe for 12 hours.
That way there will be some milk for you.

They can be safely 100% weaned at 3 months but some people wean them earlier.

I also have goats that I milk and their udders are different from the sheep's udder and the technique required is quite different.

Search for handmilking sheep on youtube, there were a few very informative demonstrations.

Here's another pic of my sheep milking stanchion, with one of the ewes' little lamb in "training", learning that she has to put her head through to get to the bucket.
She should be easy to milk when she grows up since I am already handling her and she is calm about it all already.

 

mustang

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I'm not sure, I have the same question.
 

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