4 things to know about milk­ing sheep

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Farm House Kitchen -

The milk­ing sea­son for sheep is short, usu­ally Au­gust to April and the yield isn’t huge. A short milk­ing sea­son can work well for peo­ple who do not want to be tied to the milk­ing sta­tion all year but still want to en­joy hav­ing a milk­ing an­i­mal.

When you’re not mak­ing cheese, the work doesn’t stop. There is still lamb­ing and shear­ing and all the other chores in­volved with hav­ing sheep.

The milk can be suc­cess­fully frozen and de­frosted to make great cheese, used in cook­ing or soap mak­ing, or in fact any­thing that re­quires milk.

Se­lect your milk­ing an­i­mals care­fully. A friend was dev­as­tated to find many of her milk­ing goats had CAE (a highly con­ta­gious, non-treat­able vi­ral disease) and she had to re­move them from her prop­erty. Dif­fer­ent dis­eases are an is­sue for dif­fer­ent live­stock so check be­fore you be­gin, and ask for tests where pos­si­ble.

If you are think­ing of get­ting any an­i­mal for milk­ing, make a list of what you want and what you can pro­vide and get ad­vice from some­one with ex­pe­ri­ence. Think about your spe­cific con­di­tions too, in­clud­ing your fam­ily, your land, your life­style, and in­fra­struc­ture, such as fenc­ing.

Rod Clarke milk­ing the flock.

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