Sunday, February 7, 2010

Practical Sheep Dairying

Practical Sheep Dairying. The Care and milking of the Dairy Ewe by Olivia Mills.

This is the " Bible " for sheep dairy enthusiasts. I've been wanting to get my hands on a copy for about a year and a half now. Ever since I conceived of the notion to milk a couple sheep in hopes of making sheep's milk cheese. Right now there is 1 used copy available on Amazon for $150.

I requested this book through interlibrary loan, and lo and behold they actually were able to scrounge up a tattered, fragile 1982 edition! Oh, sweet joy!

If anyone ever sees this book for a decent price let me know. It really is good. I've been pacing myself so that I wouldn't read it all in one night.

Naturally, I decide to take it with me to work out. In typical Jessika fashion, I get comfy on the stationary bike and settle in for a good workout and a rousing read. I'm just reading about " tupping " or breeding. ( That's a new name for it ) When Zoie and her friend rush up all in a dither, " Mom, drop the sheep book! Her Mom is coming! " I try to nonchalantly stash my sheep dairy book beside the bike and act normal. I guess it isn't " cool " to meet your daughter's new friend while voraciously reading about " tupping " in a book with an astonished looking sheep on the cover not to mention a pic of the aforementioned sheep's bare udder in all its glory.
By the way, those are my new glasses. Like 'em?


  1. Jessika, try AbeBooks, they have good prices and some really hard to find books.

  2. The new glasses look great!

    Yes, my eye was immediately drawn to the bare udder (from a distance it looks like a hairless bum) on the book's cover. But I for one think it is the epitome of 'cool' to be reading a book about breeding and milking sheep. I think my boys would side with Zoie, however, on that point.

  3. I like the new glasses!
    Funny looking udders, are they shaved? My momma use to raise sheep (never looked at their udder tho, lol) and they were so nervous. Do they calm down a lot trained as milkers? Wish I lived closer, I love manchengo (sp?) cheese!

  4. Thanks, Trapper. I'll try Abebooks.
    I'm with you Jo, milking sheep is " da bomb !" if you know what I mean.
    I took a wild, 5-6 yr old island sheep and tamed her to hand milking last May. I think she probably had the right temperament for it, but a little grain didn't hurt either, LOL! She is still very tame and wears a dog collar. The book recommends bottle feeding your original ewe lambs to get a starter flock of tame, milkable sheep.
    Something about that udder just seems a bit indecent doesn't it? They must have shaved it...

  5. Oh my gosh....laughing so hard! Too funny, Jessika! My daughter gets embarassed if I have pictures of cow's udders and backsides up on the computer and tells me it's cow porn! That looks like an awesome book! I am glad the library was able to get it for you! I like your new glasses and your hair cut short. You look great!


  6. And still a never dull moment here!!!!
    I met a woman on Saturday that is in the Hudson Valley area of NYS that is making sheep's milk cheese. They were milking a few of their own sheep but are now buying the milk from a neighbor. She is thinking of getting a cow to mix the milk. I think I you two should chat!!!!

    On the excercise note.. I think I should buddy up with you for your bike ride training, but now I need an indoor bike for a few months, working on that! But then with only a few inches of pitiful snow I guess I can dig out my bike for outdoor riding in Feb.......

  7. Aww, Zoie just hasn't developed 'her' passion, if she had she wouldn't care about yours. Although I don't know, that sheep's udder does have weird/porno sort of look to it.


  8. Zoie is very passionate about animals in general.
    I must have gotten started a bit late with her though, we moved to the farm when she was 3. Now the trio of " little girls ", Veda, Ayla, and Ida, think everyone's Mommy goes out to milk her moo cows! I love it!
    As I read further in the book, I don't think that obscene udder was shaved. Olivia speaks of how true dairy sheep have pliable and wooless udders. I can tell you my sheep, Uvi, had a wooly little udder last year!

  9. Sheep porn.................You shameless hussy!!!!!!!! ;-)

  10. Jess, the best search engine for used books is, which trolls all the used book outlets. The cheapest I can find your book in the 1989 edition is, with shipping, $53.20. I think you will probably have to fork that over unless you are willing to wait for it to turn up at a yard sale. Yes, many sheep have hairless udders. I am slowly switching my flock from Corriedale/Romney/Lincoln mutt girls to Clun Forests. My Cluns have hairless udders and it is a joy at lambing time!

  11. Wow, thanks Selden! $53.20 is not bad at all, compared to $150. I LOVE your Clun Forests, Olivia Mills actually mentioned them as a breed for milking. Wherever did you find them? They seem quite hard to come by.