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A dairy ewe can be milked for 8 months, versus 3 months for a non-dairy breed.

Dairy sheep produce an average of 3 to 4 pounds of milk per day, equal to gallon.

Primary U.S. dairy sheep breeds include the East Friesian and the Lacaune.

Cheese is lactose issue friendly! Easier to digest than cows milk cheese, is rich in protein and high in nutrients.

Sheep milk contains 6.5% fat and 5.5% protein, twice as rich as cow or goat milk.

Sheep cheese yield is twice as high as cow and goat milk cheeses.

Sheep are milked on a milking stand or in a parlor, similar to dairy cows and dairy goats.

One sheep can produce enough wool to make one sweater.

All sheep with wool are shorn once per year by hand.

Lambs weigh 5 to 10 pounds at birth.

Ewes typically give birth to 1 to 4 lambs the record is 7 lambs!


Raising sheep for dairy production is a small but growing industry, centered in the upper Midwest and northeastern United States and southeastern Canada, that serves an increased demand for sheep milk cheese production.

Guide to Raising Dairy Sheep [PDF]

While the United States has a long history of producing sheep for meat and wool, the dairy sheep industry is relatively new to this country. In Wisconsin, dairy sheep flocks weren't introduced until the late 1980s.This industry remains a small but growing segment of overall domestic sheep production: by 2009, the number of farms in North America reached 150, with the majority located in Wisconsin, the northeastern U.S., and southeastern Canada.

Consumers are showing a growing interest in sheep's milk cheese. In 2007, the U.S. imported over 73 million pounds of sheep milk cheese, such as Roquefort (France), Manchego (Spain), and Pecorino Romano (Italy), which is almost twice the 37 million pounds that was imported in 1985.

Domestically, the market for sheep milk is growing as cheese makers explore the potential of producing unique sheep milk and mixed milk cheeses. In 2009, over 1 million pounds of milk was produced in Wisconsin, an increase of 40% from 2004.

[Please note that we do not sell raw milk under any circumstances. Thank you.]



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