How much milk can a sheep produce

Milking sheep yourself for beginners

Farm animals guide

Fresh sheep's milk is very digestible and delicious. It even contains more vitamins than cow's milk and is wonderful for drinking or for making cheese and yoghurt. People who are close to nature like to buy sheep to cover their milk needs with these friendly animals, because milking sheep is not difficult.

Let the sheep cover

How much milk a sheep gives depends on several factors.

Before we can start, the future ewe must be covered. If the lamb is to be raised as naturally as possible, it is important that it at least be eight weeks to leave with his mother. After lambing, the udder should be carefully examined every day. Sometimes lambs are impetuous when suckling and cause injuries to the mother. These are at a control detected in good time and can be treated. So can be serious Inflammation avoid.

Milk production

The dairy sheep produces per lactation approx. 350-500 kg milk. Sheep lactating for the first time produce less milk than ewes that have had lambs for the second or third time. Most milk is allowed from sheep in the fourth and fifth lactation expect. How much milk a sheep actually produces depends on a number of factors: Genetic predisposition plays a role, as does feeding, milking technique and milking frequency. Can be milked in the mornings and the evenings. If less milk is required, milking in the morning is sufficient. The amount of milk is then reduced accordingly by 35% to 50%.

Create a stress-free atmosphere

Sheep like routine processes and appreciate them quiet atmosphere. Before the actual milking, the udder should be gently wiped with a cloth and lukewarm water. On the one hand, this ensures cleanliness, and on the other hand, it stimulates the flow of milk. It is imperative to ensure that the animal no stress is exposed. The milk is bound to the tissue and only shoots into the milk ducts as a result of suitable stimulation of the udder. The hormone oxytocin is responsible for this. Restlessness, stress and noise during the milking process lead to the release of adrenaline. However, this stress hormone inhibits the effect of oxytocin. You can do that with much rest counteract. Ideally, one should solid, quiet place to get voted. If the milking parlor is raised, the milker can sit comfortably on a stool next to the sheep and does not have to bend down. If you feed it during the milking process, it will stand still.

The actual milking process

A small milking system can also be used.

Milking is easiest if the sheep has large teats. You grasp the teat at the root by forming a ring with your thumb and forefinger. This causes the teat to fill with milk. Then you close your fingers sequentially, starting from the middle finger to the ring finger to the little finger to the fist, and thus squeezes the milk out. It is caught in a metal bucket. If the teats are small, the milking process is a little more demanding. Often it is not possible to milk with the whole hand. You can also just use your thumb and forefinger for this. However, that requires exercise. At the end of milking you can easily nudge the udder. This is what lambs do to get more milk. This ensures that the milk is removed down to the last residue. That prevents painful inflammation of the udder and ensures that the animal stays healthy.

Alternative milking machine

Those who do not trust themselves traditionally milking by hand can rely on one Small milking system resort to sheep. This can be used mobile. There are devices for a small number of animals that are aimed specifically at self-sufficient people and hobbyists. Be there Teat cup placed around each teat. The machine massages the udder and sucks the teats every second. This method causes in the animal no painif the machine is set correctly. The teat cups pulsate at the same time. This avoids infections in the individual udder areas and the milk can be completely milked out.


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Image 1: © Budimir Jevtic /
Image 2: © LAFORET Aurélien /