Milking katahdins

SageHill

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You all keep talking of milking ewes --- well, I've got one who has a big udder - my goat neighbor said I should milk her and that was last time around. I think she would be a good candidate.
Soooo if I were to milk her what do I do once I've got the milk???? When I've milked for the lambs there's extraneous "extras" in with it. Nothing I'd want to drink or make into cheese 🤢
And - does that throw off the breeding cycle (thinking it would)? Not saying I'm going to do it, but it would be good to have that info floating around in the grey matter before I decide to fish or cut bait on this, this time around.
 

halfacrehomesteader

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I'm interested in that 😉 don't think most will handle milking as long a dairy sheep or goat. But some I've seen have tremendous udders. 👍 Taste? I do goats Saanen & Nubian but, would like to work with a katahdin out of curiosity.
I have never tasted sheep milk before so I'm excited to try it. I have heard mixed reviews. Some people say it tastes like cows milk only creamier but then I have heard some people say it tastes "sheepy". I have also heard it depends on what you feed them and if you feed only grass the milk will have a sweeter milder taste.
 

halfacrehomesteader

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You all keep talking of milking ewes --- well, I've got one who has a big udder - my goat neighbor said I should milk her and that was last time around. I think she would be a good candidate.
Soooo if I were to milk her what do I do once I've got the milk???? When I've milked for the lambs there's extraneous "extras" in with it. Nothing I'd want to drink or make into cheese 🤢
And - does that throw off the breeding cycle (thinking it would)? Not saying I'm going to do it, but it would be good to have that info floating around in the grey matter before I decide to fish or cut bait on this, this time around.
I have heard the sheep milk is great for yogurt and cheese. Some people even drink it like you would cows milk. It's supposed to extremely nutritious and easier to digest than cows milk. Not sure about the extras 😬. I haven't milked a sheep so it will be new to me but I have watched people do it on YouTube. Most put a little cheese cloth type thing over a container and milk into that. Now I'm scared though 😂.
 

Mini Horses

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Do you mean tidbits of hair or hay in the milk?? 😂.

Well -- first off, you need to take a couple minutes to brush off that loose stuff, then wash the udder, squirt first couple squeezes to ground, then catch the milk. Inside the house, you strain the milk -- you buy paper strainers but a coffee filter works -- a paper inside a regular strainer. Then quickly chill the milk. (Personally, I use paper in stainless steel strainers, glass jars or stainless bucket, food grade hoses.)

Machines help greatly as the cup fits onto the teat, milk goes thru tube directly into container, so nothing extra lands in your milk👍 machine can be a hand pump design or electric/battery powered and a cost of $100-$2000+. Depends on your needs, your $, your time, dedication & numbers milked.

If your animal is pretty hairy, occasional clipping around rear legs, belly, etc. is helpful. Sooo -- that's a simplified version of basics.

No, milking does not interrupt estrus but, estrus days will usually give a little less milk. Cream % depends on animal. The milk tastes depend on individual goat/sheep as well as their feed -- and the handling. Chill fast. I use oats/barley/alfalfa feed on milk stand. I've had no off flavors in the milk. Milk is 100-105* at udder. I take to house & set in freezer for quick chill, then to frig.
 
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Baymule

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I raise Katahdin sheep. I have some with udders that make the goat people jealous. LOL @Mini Horses has been after me to milk some, but I’m not inclined. Even my “pets” get real offended if I start squeezing on their udders. Maybe I should handle a few lambs ALL over and get them used to the idea!

Reminds me of a mare I had one time. She would ask for a booby rub. She’d come to me, walk past me, stopping with her flank in front of me, for me to reach under her to massage her udder. Dont ask me how she and I figured that out, honestly I don’t know.

Make a milking thread when you start milking your sheep. Take lots of pictures!
 

mysunwolf

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When we milked our Katahdins and/or St. Croix crosses (crossed with dairy breeds or other random breeds), they milked for about 2 months anything that was worth milking, they peaked at about a quart a day. After that, it seemed ridiculous to milk twice a day for 0.5-1 cup a day. They did not milk share well, but also didn't do well pulling babies off as they dried up fast without a live baby on them to help with "extra" milk. They are also more difficult to get to let down and will hold onto the milk more than most dairy breeds.

The East Friesian girls would milk for 4+ months up to 1 gallon a day at peak, closer to a quart as we finished up lactation. The serious dairy folks will weigh their milk and report that instead of volume!
 

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