Sunday, February 27, 2011

East Friesian

One of worlds best dairy sheep is the East Friesian. It is like a Holstein cow, when it is kept under good conditions it can produce lots of milk. However it will not thrive when it receives low quality feed and is not properly looked after. Few sheep of this breed can be found in Slovakia where most sheep are kept rather extensively.

We would like to have a flock of these beautiful animals but it is hard to get them in Slovakia. Dolly and Molly and hopefully 2 or 3 more lambs will be the beginning of a larger flock. Dolly and Molly are doing very well, they gained 1.5 kg each within one week. With the goats and their kids outside, they got a larger stable and more space to run and play.

The East Friesian is considered to be the heaviest milking breed of sheep in the world, analogous to the Holstein cow. In fact, The East Friesian was developed in the same region as the Holstein, the Friesland area of Germany and Holland. The average milk production of the East Friesian can exceed 1,000 lbs. of milk during a 220 to 240-day lactation. East Friesians are efficient lamb producers. Mature ewes average more than two lambs per lambing. Even yearling ewes are capable of producing 200 percent lamb crops. East Friesians are docile and adapt well to intensive parlor milking systems. They are a higher maintenance breed. Source: Sheep 201

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