|My first dairy cross ewe: |
31% Lacaune x 69% Katahdin
I really like the Lacaune breed. In the part of France I visited, all of the dairy sheep were Lacaune. All of their milk was made into the world famous Roquefort cheese. In fact, Roquefort cheese can only be made from milk that comes from Lacaune ewes. At the AI stud we visited, there were Lacaune rams that excelled in milk production, meat production, and reproduction (high reproductive rate). I would love to get my hands on some of their semen.
|Lacaune ewes in France|
I also like dairy goats. They produce more milk than sheep, but their milk is not as rich. Dairy goat milk is ideal for drinking, whereas sheep milk is better for making cheese. In the minimum, I'd like to have a dairy goat to produce milk for me to drink. If government regulations weren't so burdensome, I'd like to have a small ruminant dairy, with both sheep and goats. I'd prefer to sell milk, as a supplement to raising sheep and goats for meat. Cheese-making is a possibility, but I'd have a lot to learn and even more regulations to deal with. I could make soap. Then, I'd only have to register with the ATF.
|Dairy goats in China.|
I am also intrigued by the way most small ruminant dairy animals are raised. In most countries, they are raised mostly in confinement, especially goats. This appeals to me because I do not have a lot of land for grazing. I like intensive methods of animal production. It makes more sense to me to use the land to produce feed. On good quality land, livestock are very inefficient at harvesting forage. Animal production is more successful when everything is controlled, especially the diet. Plus, I like the health, welfare, and behavior of housed animals.
|Dairy goat facility in Fortaleza, Brazil.|
|Sannen does in Brazil.|