- More sheep were milked world-wide than cows in 1989
- Each year sheep cheeses valued at more than 10 million dollars are imported, mainly from France and Italy, to North America.
- Some of the world's most famous cheeses, such as Roquefort, Feta, Ricotta and Pecorino Romano were originally made from sheep's milk.
- 16,000 tonnes of Roquefort is made in France each year from 1 million dairy ewes. Less than 10% is exported.
- 560,000 tonnes of ewes' milk is produced each year in Greece. End products include yoghurt, feta cheese and butter.
- 16 million ewes are milked each year in Morocco.
- Ewes' milk is very important in Israel where the hardy Awassi, a fat-tailed sheep, or the Assaf, an East Friesian Awassi cross, are milked. These sheep flourish where cows can not survive.
- Sheep's milk and milk products are delicious, nutritious and digestible.
- Some of the oldest people in the world today are shepherds in Eastern Europe who subsist mainly on sheep products.
- Most productive dairy sheep breed in the world
- Origin - province of Lower Saxony in Germany
- In 1530 East Friesians are mentioned in the Vatican Archives as larger than other sheep and able to raise up to 5 lambs.
- White or black wool of medium texture, 30-37 micron count, 52-54 Bradford count, 12 lb (5.5 kg) wool/ewe/yr
- Clear of wool around the face, legs and under the tail
- Black wooled East Friesians are reputed to be hardier
- Polled with long, forward pointing woolless ears, long, thin bare tail
- Large framed with better than average carcass characteristics
- Very lean meat
- Mature ewe weight - 187 lb average (85 kg)
- Ewes have wide, well separated udder with downward directed teats
- Calm disposition - easy to work with
- Prolific - average lambing percentage 230%
- Breed out of season
- Weight gains to 100 days (average) - 0.73 lb/day (0.33 kg/day)
- Milk production (average animal) - 160 gallons (600 liters)/220-230 day lactation. Exceptional animals may produce 396 gallons (1500 liters)/lactation.
- Average milk fat - 6%
- Average total solids - 18%
- Suggested reading: Practical Sheep Dairying by Olivia Mills, Thorsons Publishers Limited, England, 1989, 320 pages, ISBN 0-7225-1880-3
- A recent report by a New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture consultant indicated that introduction of East Friesian genetics into the New Zealand flock could increase net sheep farming profits by 70%.
- Purebreds and crosses have thrived in New Zealand on grass alone
- In New Zealand, 2-yr-old East Friesian ewes averaged 470 lb in their lactation (ON GRASS) compared to 220 lb for other breeds (Border Leicester and Romney).
- In their current lactation (1996), East Friesian ewes have milked 170 liters in 116 days and are still producing 1.15 L/day. Border Leicesters produced 90 liters in 116 days and are down to 0.6 L/day.
- Dairy sheep industry - used for milk production either as purebreds or crosses
- Commercial flocks - used to increase milk production so ewes can raise more lambs unassisted, to increase prolificacy, and to improve carcass characteristics (East Friesians are leaner than Texels)
- Introduced genetics in 1995 as frozen embryos from Canada. Embryos came from OPP negative closed flock.
- My flock is footrot free, Brucella ovis and bluetongue negative and vaccinated for Clostridium perfringens types C and D and tetanus.
- The flock has been enrolled in the voluntary scrapie flock certification program since 1995.
- All rams tested for semen collection have been Brucella ovis negative, bluetongue negative and OPP negative.
- Various bloodlines are available.
- East Friesians are being milked in the Canadian flock of origin and we have genetics available from the bloodline milking most heavily in their first lactation.
- Frozen semen available
- Fullblood and percentage breeding stock available
- NOW FOR SALE/FEBRUARY 2003 Top quality percentage (3/4, 7/8 and 15/16 East Friesian) ram lambs currently available, born May/June 2002 on grass, starting at $400
- NOW FOR SALE/FEBRUARY 2003 Group of 10 two to four year old percentage East Friesian ewes available, bred to fullblood twin fallborn East Friesian ram, can be ultrasounded to determine pregnancy
- For details on animals for sale, please contact S. Mitcham at below address, telephone, fax or e-mail.
- Transportation can be arranged for small groups (5 - 8 head, depending on animal size) for $1 a loaded mile to any destination in the continental US.Transportation for groups of up to 30 head is $1.15 a loaded mile to any destination in the continental US. Individual animals or several small groups can be combined in one shipment to make trucking more reasonable for all concerned. Larger groups (30 head plus) can be sent by semi truck for $1.50 per loaded mile (approximate charge, please call for exact quote as it depends on the distance travelled and the destination.) Individual animals can be sent by air in airline approved dog kennels. Animals can be trucked to Chicago for $1 a loaded mile and delivered to the appropriate airline terminal.
- Interstate health papers are available for all sheep at no charge. Blood testing is additional but the charge is only for mailing samples to the lab and the actual lab charges.
- Export paperwork is done at cost (actual cost) so no extra charges are built in. Paperwork is done professionally and speedily. Sheep from Crane Creek are routinely sent to Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.
- Transportation available leaving 22 Feb 2003 going to TN and to North Carolina. Transportation in May 2003 to Maryland Lamb and Wool Festival. Sheep can be intercepted along the travel routes. Please call, e-mail or write for more details.
3061 160th Street
IOWA 50676 USA
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