Sheep milk

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Lacaune dairy sheep in rotary parlour, Aveyron, France.

Sheep milk (or ewe's milk) is the milk of domestic sheep. Though not widely drunk in any modern culture, sheep's milk is commonly used to make cultured dairy products. Cheeses made from sheep milk include the feta of Greece, Roquefort of France, Manchego from Spain, the Pecorino Romano (the Italian word for sheep is pecora), the Pecorino Sardo and Ricotta of Italy, and the Ġbejna from Malta. Yogurts, especially some forms of strained yogurt, may also be made from sheep milk. Though sheep produce a far smaller volume of milk than cows, it is richer in fat, solids, and minerals. This makes it ideal for the cheese-making process.

A minority of sheep breeds are kept primarily for dairy purposes, but these few have been selectively bred for milk production, and thus produce a higher volume than most other sheep. The most common and prolific dairy sheep breeds include the Lacaune, the East Friesian, the Sardinian and Awassi.

Nutrition by comparison[edit]

Milk composition analysis, per 100 grams:[1]

Mechanical sheep milker, South Island, NZ.
Constituents unit Cow Goat Water Buffalo Sheep
Water g 87.8 88.9 81.1 83.0
Protein g 3.2 3.1 4.5 5.4
Fat g 3.9 3.5 8.0 6.0
Carbohydrate g 4.8 4.4 4.9 5.1
Energy kcal 66 60 110 95
kJ 275 253 463 396
Sugars (Lactose) g 4.8 4.4 5.1 4.9
Fatty Acids:
Saturated g 2.4 2.3 4.2 3.8
Mono-unsaturated g 1.1 0.8 1.7 1.5
Polyunsaturated g 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.3
Cholesterol mg 14 10 8 11
Calcium IU 120 100 195 170

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