21 April 2008

Queen Sheep

As promised, here is a better photograph of Dot and her new lamb:
Saturday was shearing day here on the farm, which made for a hectic weekend. But with temps now in the seventies, Dot and the rest of the flock are much more comfortable without their heavy winter coats.

Homeschooled Farm Girl and I figured that because Dot had only one lamb, and her udder is larger than that of any other ewe in the flock, it might be interesting to try milking her. It took a bit of cajoling, but we managed to get Dot secured in one of the goat stanchions yesterday. We quickly discovered that milking a sheep is quite different from milking a goat. The teats are much smaller, and it was hard to get a good milk flow going. I found that if I squeezed half of her udder gently with my left hand, elongating it to resemble a football (with the teat at the bottom), I could wrap my right thumb and fingers around the teat and get the milk coming out fairly well. I managed to get about two or three cups from her, and was careful to leave plenty for her lamb.

I don't think we'll be going back for more of this stuff. It was barely tolerable on my cereal this morning, and is so thick and creamy it really ought to be saved for cheese. But since we only have one ewe we can milk, and getting her into the stanchion is such a production, it's not really worth the effort. But it was a fun little Sunday project, and HFG and I got some quality Daddy-Daughter time out of it.

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