The American Milksheep

I raise homestead dairy sheep here in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. It wasn't easy to find quality genetics and health tested dairy sheep anywhere in the United States.

Sheep breeds are classified based on the type of production they are used for, either wool, meat, milk, or a combination of those. The most common dairy breeds are the East Friesian and the Lacaune. Because of very strict importation regulations on live sheep, semen, and embryos, the dairy breeds are rare in The States. With limited genetics to make improvements, most dairy sheep are mixed with other breeds and their production quality has been in decline.

Unfortunately, there are many people misrepresenting the dairy breeds and claim they have "pure" genetics. Please ask for paperwork and references to back up these claims as 100% pure East Friesian or Lacaune would be very rare.

I am selecting for sheep that produce at least one gallon a day, have large, downward teats with good orifice size for hand milking, free from extra teats. The dairy sheep should have a reasonable amount of parasite tolerance and be able to convert forage into milk effectively. They should be free from wool on their belly and udder and have good feet. Additionally our flock is tested for genetic scrapie susceptibility and screened for disease annually. 

It is my goal to produce quality milking sheep following the guidelines by the Milksheep Association, adhering to high standards of production and conformation. I encourage everyone to consider joining the association when they buy dairy sheep to continue to improve this wonderful breed.

You can learn more and enroll by emailing Antonio at info@americanmilksheep.org

Ellen Gray