Author Topic: How to milk sheep after lambing  (Read 5499 times)

Offline Erkki Juusto

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Re: How to milk sheep after lambing
« Reply #15 on: April 01, 2012, 08:47:46 AM »
Hello Frotte la Tomme,

She does have milk. Lamb is taking part of it, but there is more than one lamb can take. Teets are nice size - 3 to 4 inches. I can get a cup of milk twice per day.  She is just holding in the milk. Is this largely due to the fact and I am not a substitute for a lamb?


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Frotte La Tomme

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Re: How to milk sheep after lambing
« Reply #16 on: April 02, 2012, 01:18:56 PM »
If you hear the intestine gurgle when you milk, she is letting it loose.  Try milking while tickling her underside with and then with out her lamb.  One cup sounds small.  Are you a steady hand at hand milking?  good luck

Offline elkato

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Re: How to milk sheep after lambing
« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2012, 11:19:15 AM »
Hello Erkki, I think you could have a case of mastitis known as "hard bags" I don't know much about it but I am looking at everything I can read because I have an ewe with the same problem. If you notice that the udder gets warmer or the animal seems ill it is time to start antibiotic treatment to save the ewe. I had one ewe that died when her Quadruplets didn't suckle enough milk and the udders became very hard. in your case maybe the one lamb could not get all the milk out. I hope I am wrong!

Offline Erkki Juusto

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Re: How to milk sheep after lambing
« Reply #18 on: April 03, 2012, 12:45:02 PM »
Dear Frotte la Tomme and Elkato,

Thank you for input and concern. I have now managed to get all 3 ewes into milking stand. Yeah! Sheep are so funny as now they will go in even if I am standing in the way! I have managed to milk from all three ewes. Both East Friesian/Icelandic X hold very still and Barbados ewe is like trying to milk a tickly monkey. I milk East Friesian Xs from the back and Barbados with E-Z milker type (Equine med syringe converted to a milker. We use it with our goats).  All their udders are soft and almost empty. No heat or sign of mastitis.  I think their lambs are cleaning them out. We are planning to sell their lambs and then we should see and increase in yield.  How much milk would you think I should expect from our ewes per day? What do you recommend for a feed for a milking ewe?

Frotte La Tomme

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Re: How to milk sheep after lambing
« Reply #19 on: April 03, 2012, 01:19:51 PM »
dairy animals are not as forgiving as meat or wool.  They need some grain to help with milk production.  Try a little barley, corn, and alfalfa if you have it.  Some people give whey to there animals.  A good milker should give you a liter, more in the after the lambs are gone.  For the kickers, using a low voice, they like that.


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Offline Erkki Juusto

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Re: How to milk sheep after lambing
« Reply #20 on: April 05, 2012, 12:48:37 PM »
Hey Frotte la Tomme,

Thanks for the feed suggestion. The whey is a very interesting idea. How much would you give per day per milking ewe?  Does the feed flavor sheep milk in any way? I've noticed with our dairy goats that the milk flavor is closely tied to what they eat. I have not noticed that with our dairy cows. I,however, don't know how feed affects sheep milk flavor. 

Frotte La Tomme

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Re: How to milk sheep after lambing
« Reply #21 on: April 06, 2012, 07:41:53 AM »
a good ration is based on the amount of milk taken.  If you can milk around 3 liters you would have to feed accordingly.  If you feed for 3liters but take 1, you will give the herd a diet way too rich, they will fatten and get sick.  And perhaps stop making milk.  This is the difference between dairy and wool or meat.  Taste in the milk could come from using onions or cabbage for feed.  Corn silage will change the taste of milk as well.  Thats in gerneral for all milk.  Grass taste changes with location; species variety, rain, soil acidity, etc, so milk is afected by that as well.  Example; feed your animals garlic for a couple days, and your milk will become garlicky tasting.  Not great for developing yeasts nor bacteria.  Or milkshakes.
the rundown: correctly feeding is very complex, try 500g per day in equal portions to begin, but not all at once, progressively.

Offline Erkki Juusto

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Re: How to milk sheep after lambing
« Reply #22 on: April 28, 2012, 07:15:20 PM »
Hello again,
Took awhile to get back. Spring is making us real busy again. Thank you for the input for the feed. I have recently been able to get brewer's spent grain to up the protein (35%), I am also giving alpha alpha, and three way with molasses. Milking goes now real easy. It takes 2-5 min to milk a sheep by hand. I do not get more than a pint/day per ewe. We will put them on pasture soon and hopefully this increase the yield. I must say that I love the taste of sheep milk!