Farming forum: Keeping milch sheep

Views: 491, Replies: 18 » Jump to the end
Name: Arturo Tarak
Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentin
hampartsum
Aug 4, 2015 5:01 AM CST
Hello here at our small farm we keep a flock of East Friesians. In the S. Hemisphere, it is mid winter and we are getting ready for lambing. A month later I start milking them by hand. At present we have 12 ewes plus a yearling and a couple of rams. If anyone has a similar flock please let me know. Thanks. Arturo
[Last edited by hampartsum - Oct 31, 2015 4:28 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #920207 (1)
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Aug 4, 2015 6:48 AM CST
Welcome to All Things Plants! We need more farmers here and will all be glad to hear about your flock.
Porkpal
Name: Deb

Charter ATP Member Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Dog Lover Region: Illinois
I helped beta test the first seed swap
Image
Windigo
Aug 6, 2015 6:38 AM CST
We like to see pictures, too!! Welcome!
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Hummingbirder
Image
Newyorkrita
Aug 8, 2015 9:48 AM CST
Welcome! Welcome! Welcome!

Welcome to ATP. Yes, we love to see pictures!
Name: Arturo Tarak
Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentin
hampartsum
Sep 20, 2015 11:00 AM CST
Thumb of 2015-09-20/hampartsum/3f503e For those wishing to see photographs, I've posted today's addition to our farm community. Mrs 21 ( two year old east Friesian milch sheep has just lambed a male; quite vigorous has already suckled.


Thumb of 2015-09-20/hampartsum/cbe9b6 The ladies, when advised on time, have their lambs in their individual lambing pens. Spring has asrrived with already 5 of the 12 ewes having lambed. I eventually try out better pictures with a borrowed camera instead of my cell phone. Meanwhile, I hope that it will help satisfying natural curiosity.


Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Hummingbirder
Image
Newyorkrita
Sep 20, 2015 12:06 PM CST
So nice to have little ones!
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Sep 20, 2015 2:39 PM CST
Thanks for the photos. I have no experience with milking sheep. How much milk does each ewe yield?
Porkpal
Name: Arturo Tarak
Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentin
hampartsum
Sep 22, 2015 3:20 AM CST
Hello Porkpal, Each ewe on the average yields slightly more than a quart a day. Some great producers reach up to two. However I'm only milking them once a day around mid day, so that if I were to split it into twice a day ( normal procedure) I would be collecting perhaps 50% more. That requires reorganizing my time schedule. Eventually we'll move towards mechanical milking, then definitely I will milk them twice. Our small scale operation is mainly focused on providing the household needs and only ocasionally selling surplus in the form of yoghurt, mozarella, ricotta or harder cheeses. I play with the milk trying out new cheese making recipes ( true Rocquefort is made from sheep's milk). My buisiness developmental strategy has been first produce on a self reliance scale; get the bugs out of the system and then find out what our customers care for, then scale up. Once I settle onto a set of manufacturing procedures in relation of what our customer's might want then I can focus in improving efficiency and expand the flock. The economy of the farm is based on organic vegetable production and the milch sheep operation is part of the overall operation. They feed on the post harvest leftovers, as well as the bedding litter is transformed into a very valuable compost that we generate in a part of a greenhouse trench where everything organic is left for a year under a layer of topsoil. We use anaerobic composting. This will provide natural bottom heating to the plants grown on top. This method of composting is called the hot bed system and was developed by french vegetable gardeners around Paris using horse manure and litter that was collected in large quantities from the city stables . After all our sheep is just part of our lifestyle and they are very amicable and easy to care.
Thumb of 2015-09-22/hampartsum/86051b The greenhouse next to the concrete building is the hot bed trench; the concrete building is the barn where we keep our laying chickens and our flock of sheep. In the distance is the N.Huapi lake and part of the southern Andes. ( my little patch of paradise)

[Last edited by hampartsum - Oct 31, 2015 4:29 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #956388 (8)
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Sep 22, 2015 6:41 AM CST
Very interesting. It sounds like you have a very scientific approach to your enterprise. Best of luck!
Porkpal
Name: Arturo Tarak
Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentin
hampartsum
Sep 22, 2015 8:38 AM CST
Hello porkpal, I went to graduate school in the US first visiting Rockefeller U in Manhattan and then settling in SUNY Stony Brook, NYS. This happened over 4 decades ago. It obviously has had a long term effect! I went back to the land later on. First I spent about 14 years working as conservation manager at the National Parks headquarters in B.Aires. Then I quit the big city and each stage has had its challenges and rewards. With the exception of having widowed, I can say that I've reached my late sixties very satisfied with what we've accomplished and look forward for a few more decades of effort. My father died not so long ago having reached his 100th birthday! He always referred what would have been a great great aunt that reached 102! This in the early 20 's. Farming is definitely a long time endeavor and I hope to induce more people to go back to the land, only if it were for self-reliance. Perhaps mankind should rethink if it was such a great idea to pile up zillions of "citi"zens in non-human pigeon roost like artificial structures called modern cities. Thus the large megalopolis have reached unmanageable sizes following all on Peter's principles! I'll keep you posted sharing our dayly chores
Name: Anna Z.
Monroe, WI
Charter ATP Member Greenhouse Cat Lover Raises cows Region: Wisconsin
Image
AnnaZ
Oct 30, 2015 8:32 PM CST
Interesting, Arturo. Best of luck with your venture. We have some goat farmers in my area of Wisconsin, but it is still dairy cows for the most part. We sold our livestock 5 years ago and now the Spousal Unit and I do relief milking and chores for farmers that want to get away for a few milkings. There is good money in doing that, if you are reliable and do a good job. Hubby and I are both. In fact, there was one guy that asked us for 2 different times when they wanted to go away for a few days; we were booked with other jobs both of those times. When I asked his wife the next time I saw her if they got someone to milk she said "we didn't go, because you couldn't come". I guess that's a vote of confidence.
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
tveguy3
Oct 31, 2015 8:59 AM CST
Not just anyone can step into a farm and do a good job milking and tending to things. That's a huge investment that they are trusting to someone, so they have to have a reliable, and knowledgeable person like you guys to keep things from turning ugly. Smiling
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Anna Z.
Monroe, WI
Charter ATP Member Greenhouse Cat Lover Raises cows Region: Wisconsin
Image
AnnaZ
Oct 31, 2015 9:40 AM CST
My Mom said to me "I don't know how you can go into someone else's barn and not have it worry you". I told her "when I walk in there I assume it is MINE and do things accordingly, just like I did when we had cows". When I told our vet that we were going to do it, I said to him "Milking is NOT one of my favorite things to do, but the reason I hated it so much when WE had our own was the fact that I NEVER got out of the barn. With doing relief milking, I know there will be an end and when it is. Besides, even tho it isn't my favorite job, I'm damn good at it". He said "Yes, you are".

In fact, I even travel to milk..............3 years in a row I had a gig in New York. She flew me out (and back the first year, the 2nd year my SU drove out and went to the NASCAR race at Watkins Glen, then came to the farm afterwards and helped me, then we drove home). I stayed in her house and house-sat; I had a vehicle to drive till the SU got there. All I had to do was milk and we mowed yard. I baked for her and filled one big shelf in her feezer. She paid me cash!
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
tveguy3
Oct 31, 2015 11:59 AM CST
I used to love milking cows, and did the milking for my neighbors when they would be gone when I was in High School.
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Anna Z.
Monroe, WI
Charter ATP Member Greenhouse Cat Lover Raises cows Region: Wisconsin
Image
AnnaZ
Oct 31, 2015 4:08 PM CST
2 or 3 days is a lot different than 20 or 30 years.................... Sticking tongue out
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Hummingbirder
Image
Newyorkrita
Oct 31, 2015 4:38 PM CST
AnnaZ said:2 or 3 days is a lot different than 20 or 30 years.................... Sticking tongue out


I can't imagine the commitment it takes to keep on milking day after day and year after year. I sure would want a break. Heck, I wouldn't want to do it even for a few days.
Name: Anna Z.
Monroe, WI
Charter ATP Member Greenhouse Cat Lover Raises cows Region: Wisconsin
Image
AnnaZ
Oct 31, 2015 5:29 PM CST
Like I have said, there is good money in it if you are good at it and are responsible. We can usually make $100/day.
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Oct 31, 2015 5:42 PM CST
There is no harder work than a dairy farm.
Porkpal
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
tveguy3
Nov 2, 2015 3:59 AM CST
A friend of mine has 400 head of dairy cows that they milk 3 times a day. Of course he has several full time employees to help with the work, so they can get away every once in a while.
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Farming forum
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Today's site banner is by nativeplantlover and is called "Bumble Veronica Pink"