Sheep milk

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Lacaune dairy sheep in rotary parlour, Aveyron, France.

Sheep's milk (or ewes' milk) is the milk of domestic sheep. It is commonly used to make cultured dairy products.

Sheep breeds[edit]

A minority of sheep breeds are primarily kept 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 prolific dairy sheep breeds include the Lacaune, the East Friesian, the Sardinian and the Awassi.

Milk production period[edit]

Female sheep (ewes) do not produce milk constantly. Rather, they produce milk during the 80-100 days after the weaning of lambs.[1]

Products made from sheep milk[edit]

Sheep milk cheeses include the feta of Greece, the Roquefort of France, the Manchego of Spain; the Pecorino Romano (the Italian word for sheep is pecora), the Pecorino Sardo, and the ricotta of Italy; and the Ġbejna of Malta. Yogurts, especially some forms of strained yogurt, may also be made from sheep's milk. Though sheep produce a far smaller volume of milk than cows do, it is richer in fat, solids, and minerals. This makes it ideal for making cheese.

Nutrition by comparison[edit]

Milk composition analysis, per 100 grams:[2]

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
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
Fatty Acids:

See also[edit]


External links[edit]