Author Topic: sheep  (Read 384 times)

Socrates

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sheep
« on: August 31, 2017, 12:17:17 AM »
In modern time sheep have become something of an oddity; where do they fit in?
- milk? not really
- meat? 'no, thanks' [how popular is mutton?]
- wool? "I'll grant you that"...

Practically speaking, we're talking ruminants that flock and eat grass [much like cattle] but can be [thinking Ouessant / Ushant and other small breeds] used for both meat and milk [though not good milk for cheese]. (As a side note i'd like to add that sheep meat is my favorite; i lived with a Moroccan woman for many years and have come to appreciate it very much.)

This vid on keeping sheep just inspired me to remind everyone of the unique characteristics and advantages of keeping sheep.
As long as one stears clear of the large breeds, they do not require vast space to keep [like cattle]. In fact, breeds like Ouessant can survive on quite small areas of grass; also, they're hardy and easy. Now, how does that compare to cattle...?
Sheep are, in fact, like giant guinea pigs in that they live off of mainly grass. (This is very different from, say, goats or rabbits, that eat all kinds of greens and do not fare well on grass alone.) In this way one might say: "Why don't i just keep loads of guinea pigs?" But guinea pigs don't offer wool or milk.

Cattle give better milk [much better for making cheese and butter with] but they are much larger still than sheep [even the smaller breeds]. So in the end sheep are this wonderful-size ruminant that's very much appropriate for small homesteads. Guinea pigs and rabbits are great for survival situations, but sheep would elevate survival to surtrival toute suite; they would be worth saving (if one but had the resources to do so).
« Last Edit: August 31, 2017, 12:57:44 AM by Socrates »
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Socrates

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Re: sheep
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2017, 08:21:52 AM »
About 14 min. into this vid Practical Farmers of Ontario mention a few very interesting things about sheep.
1. do not disturb new mothers [ewes]; they abandon their lambs which kills these.
2. sheep move around a lot, contrary to cattle, which is excellent for creating good soil. Contrarily, cattle tend to focus both their eating and defecating, which can create local disturbances [which chickens can then help eleviate, but what if you can't use/have chickens?].
Practical Farmers of Ontario suggests that sheep and cattle complement each other beautifully.
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Yowbarb

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Re: sheep
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2017, 09:47:45 AM »
In modern time sheep have become something of an oddity; where do they fit in?
- milk? not really
- meat? 'no, thanks' [how popular is mutton?]
- wool? "I'll grant you that"...

Practically speaking, we're talking ruminants that flock and eat grass [much like cattle] but can be [thinking Ouessant / Ushant and other small breeds] used for both meat and milk [though not good milk for cheese]. (As a side note i'd like to add that sheep meat is my favorite; i lived with a Moroccan woman for many years and have come to appreciate it very much.)

This vid on keeping sheep just inspired me to remind everyone of the unique characteristics and advantages of keeping sheep.
As long as one stears clear of the large breeds, they do not require vast space to keep [like cattle]. In fact, breeds like Ouessant can survive on quite small areas of grass; also, they're hardy and easy. Now, how does that compare to cattle...?
Sheep are, in fact, like giant guinea pigs in that they live off of mainly grass. (This is very different from, say, goats or rabbits, that eat all kinds of greens and do not fare well on grass alone.) In this way one might say: "Why don't i just keep loads of guinea pigs?" But guinea pigs don't offer wool or milk.

Cattle give better milk [much better for making cheese and butter with] but they are much larger still than sheep [even the smaller breeds]. So in the end sheep are this wonderful-size ruminant that's very much appropriate for small homesteads. Guinea pigs and rabbits are great for survival situations, but sheep would elevate survival to surtrival toute suite; they would be worth saving (if one but had the resources to do so).

Yowbarb note: Hi Socrates, not being an expert on sheep milk and cheese, by any means., I am just sharing a few things I've learned. Sheep milk definitely is for human consumption and cheese can be made of it...
One caution, [although sheep milk is highly nutritious,] "Sheep milk is also higher in lactose than cow and goat milk and is therefore not recommended for lactose-intolerant individuals."  [yogurt and hard cheese from sheep milk not likely to cause a problem, see farther below.]

I have seen sheep milk cheese in some of the large ethnically diverse markets. (There was a big market  near where I lived in Eagle Rock, CA, part of the L.A. area. There were lots of foods from the Middle east, eastern Europe, the Mediterranean, Israel etc.)  Posting a link and an image...

One excerpt: Benefits of Sheep Milk
Sheep milk has proven to be a better alternative to cow milk because of its benefits. It reduces the chances of being affected by cancer because of the high amounts of nucleotides it contains. It boosts the immune system because of the large amounts of Vitamins A and E which acts as antioxidants. Sheep milk has low cholesterol compared to cow milk. The high protein in sheep milk boosts growth and development. Sheep milk improves the chances of a safe delivery in females and a generally healthier reproductive health because it balances hormonal activities.


http://www.worldatlas.com/articles/the-top-sheep-milk-producing-countries-in-the-world.html

ALSO: https://www.livestrong.com/article/474796-health-benefits-of-raw-organic-sheeps-milk/

Yowbarb

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Re: sheep
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2017, 09:50:36 AM »
PS  "Even if people are severely lactose intolerant, the lactose will have been converted into lactic acid if they take their sheep milk in the form of yoghurt and much of the lactose goes out with the whey in hard cheese making."

http://www.sheepcentre.co.uk/sheep_milk_facts.htm  Seven Sisters Sheep Centre, UK

Sheep Milk - The Facts

FACT 1

Calcium and minerals like zinc. These are high in sheep milk compared with other milks (see table) and remember that Lacto-calcium is much more easily absorbed than Calcium carbonate which is, after all, marble. Together with lactose and Vitamin D, (almost twice as much as cows milk) the calcium in sheep milk is vital in the fight against Osteoporosis, the scourge in both the UK and USA. Bone density is laid down in adolescence and it is vitally important for children going on into their teens to drink milk.

Most soft drinks, so popular among the young, actually destroy bone density. Calcium is also needed after any debilitating illness. Zinc is essential for the maintenance of healthy skin and is much recommended for many more things besides a good sex life including anorexia. Also for those who understand these things the calcium : phosphorus ratio is as nearly perfect as possible, i.e. the one cannot be digested without the other.

FACT 2
The Vitamins, mainly the B complex as well as A, D and E are all essential to good health and are most often recommended to be taken as a supplement. Why bother, when they are all in sheep milk. The milk is particularly well endowed with both Folic acid and B 12 both sold as expensive supplements in every chemist and Health food shop.

FACT 3
The Fats. Pople are often put off by the high fat level quoted for sheep milk. There are a number of things to understand before condemning the milk to be skimmed to be acceptable. Remember that the so called "fats" are three fat soluble vitamins, i.e. incorporated within the fat, without which you could be very ill if not dead. These are A, D and E. Sheep milk contains considerably more of these three vitamins than cow or goat milk. The vitamin D load is 0.18 g/ 100g against summer cow milk at 0.04 g/ 100g (British Nutritional Foundation). Sheep milk also contains a higher proportion of medium/short chain saturated fatty acids and it is believed that this leads to a higher lactose absorption of benefit to the mildly lactose intolerant. The other point is that sheep milk is not as high in saturated fatty acids as other milks, 45% of the fatty acids are either Mono or Polyunsaturated. Another thing is if you or any of your friends ever go on another binge, like the one most of us went on over the New Year,
called "the longest party season in history" then drink a glass of high fat sheep milk three hours before you go out and it will line your stomach. Even such notorious drinkers as Keith Floyd recommend drinking "lassi" before going out on the town and that is just yoghurt and water mixed and tastes much better than the much vaunted olive oil remedy. The thing is to prevent the hangover rather than having to cure it.

FACT 4

The whey proteins, are the really easily digested form of protein found in milk which does not get incorporated in cheese, but slips out in the whey. Sheep milk is three times higher in this form of protein than cow or goat milk making the whole milk easier to digest.

FACT 5

The proteins. These come last because little work has really been done on them in sheep. Lamb is often the most recommended meat for people with intolerance's to meat and without a sheep cheese, made of the main protein, casein, is acceptable to almost all who cannot tolerate cow or goat milk products.

FACT 6
The lactose. Even if people are severely lactose intolerant, the lactose will have been converted into lactic acid if they take their sheep milk in the form of yoghurt and much of the lactose goes out with the whey in hard cheese making. There is also evidence that the lactose in sheep milk is more tolerated than from other milk and certainly worth a try.
Remember that any illness or any cause for the use of antibiotics reduces your immune system, however wonderful antibiotics may be, they usually kill the good bugs along with the bad. Yoghurt, especially Acidolphus yoghurt, helps to redress this and restore the gut flora back to its original load, all working to prevent.
Copyright: Seven Sisters Sheep Centre 2015

ilinda

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Re: sheep
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2017, 05:32:28 PM »
Many very good points were made and thanks for posting.

Just a friendly reminder, though, for anyone contemplating raising sheep--they are extremely timid animals and are easily taken down by predators--even more timid than goats.  But most people have guard animals, so that is not a problem for them.  OTOH, in a dire situation, if the guard animal(s) are removed from the scene, someone will have to be with them almost every moment they are out browsing, unless your fencing is really dyn-a-mite.

Socrates

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Re: sheepmilk
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2017, 10:34:10 PM »
I noticed Turkey is the second-largest sheep milk producing country in the world; well, i happend to be in Turkey in '87 and was 'out in the country'. I had fresh [tepid] sheep milk and enjoyed the white cheese [peynir] the people there all made at home [and everyone's peynir tasted differently].
Reading about the vast array of benetifs offered by sheep's milk, therefore, doesn't surprise me in the least.

Yeah, guardian dogs are a big deal, but you're gonna be needing one anyway, regardless of whether you have animals or not.
Thinking animals, (small breeds of) sheep are something beginning homesteaders might give more thought to. I know goats are a popular 'beginner species', but they are actually quite destructive and don't do well on (just) grazing, unlike sheep. So unless one has a forest to browse through [...], you're better off with sheep than goats.
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ilinda

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Re: sheepmilk
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2017, 04:13:21 PM »
I noticed Turkey is the second-largest sheep milk producing country in the world; well, i happend to be in Turkey in '87 and was 'out in the country'. I had fresh [tepid] sheep milk and enjoyed the white cheese [peynir] the people there all made at home [and everyone's peynir tasted differently].
Reading about the vast array of benetifs offered by sheep's milk, therefore, doesn't surprise me in the least.

Yeah, guardian dogs are a big deal, but you're gonna be needing one anyway, regardless of whether you have animals or not.
Thinking animals, (small breeds of) sheep are something beginning homesteaders might give more thought to. I know goats are a popular 'beginner species', but they are actually quite destructive and don't do well on (just) grazing, unlike sheep. So unless one has a forest to browse through [...], you're better off with sheep than goats.

Another good tidbit to know is that sheep  don't need as much copper as some other animals, such as goats.   And even though sheep and goats share some of the same appetites and parasites, their copper needs are different.  Maybe that's why goats need about 60% brush in their diet, whereas sheep do eat more shallow-rooted grass.

Good to know if one is stockpiling livestock salt for future use--find some specifically for sheep.

Yowbarb

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Re: sheep
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2017, 05:03:38 PM »
Many very good points were made and thanks for posting.

Just a friendly reminder, though, for anyone contemplating raising sheep--they are extremely timid animals and are easily taken down by predators--even more timid than goats.  But most people have guard animals, so that is not a problem for them.  OTOH, in a dire situation, if the guard animal(s) are removed from the scene, someone will have to be with them almost every moment they are out browsing, unless your fencing is really dyn-a-mite.

Thanks! For those of us without a lot of practical experience, these tips are so important!

Yowbarb

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Re: sheepmilk
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2017, 05:05:09 PM »
I noticed Turkey is the second-largest sheep milk producing country in the world; well, i happend to be in Turkey in '87 and was 'out in the country'. I had fresh [tepid] sheep milk and enjoyed the white cheese [peynir] the people there all made at home [and everyone's peynir tasted differently].
Reading about the vast array of benetifs offered by sheep's milk, therefore, doesn't surprise me in the least.



Socrates, that is so great that you experienced firsthand the fresh sheep milk and cheese.
I have bought sheep milk from a store.
:)