7 Interesting Facts On Sheep Milk: You Should Know!

Saif Ali

7 Interesting Facts On Sheep Milk: You Should Know!

In this article, we mainly focus on sheep milk, its advantages, drawbacks and many more interesting facts around it. Let us read to explore more.

Sheep milk offers several benefits compared to other cattle like goat and cows. People usually think that only cows and buffaloes contribute to the dairy. But this is not completely true, sheep also contributes to the dairy. Sheep milk is known for its remarkable properties and benefits.

Due to the presence of fatty acids, immunoglobulins, and non-immune proteins, sheep milk is considered as a healthy food.

Do sheep produce milk?

Sheep produces milk which is healthier than other animal’s milk. Sheep milk is often used to produce cheese and other cultured dairy products. Italian Ricotta, Greek Feta, and French Roquefort are a few of the most well-known cheeses made from sheep milk.

What kinds of products are manufactured with sheep milk?

The most popular product derived from sheep milk is cheese, and there is a significant market for it. Sheep milk contains a high amount of solids and is significantly higher in fat and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). It is hence excellent for creating cheese.

Image credits: Sheep milk cheese by Silar is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

People use sheep milk to make soap, yoghurt, and Kefir and many more useful products. Lotions made with sheep milk are widely used in the cosmetic business.

Do all sheep produce milk?

All mammals produce milk to nourish their young. Let us find out if all sheep produce milk.

All sheep can produce milk. But the quality of milk vary greatly from one breed to another. The milk content of some breed is healthier than others.

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How long do sheep make milk?

Milking period in sheep can vary from breed to breed. Let us see in detail how long sheep make milk.

Dairy breeds can lactate for 120–240 days whereas meat and wool breeds of sheep can only do so for 90–150 days. Ewes or female sheep do not produce milk continuously. Instead, they start producing milk 80 to 100 days after lambing.

Image credit: East Friesian by EwigLernender is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Other sheep produces 100-200 lb (45-91 kg) of milk annually, whereas dairy sheep can produce 400-1,100 lb (180-500 kg) annually. 300–650 lb (140–290 kg) of milk are produced annually by crossbred ewes.

How much milk do sheep produce a day?

On an average, sheep produces 1-2 litres of milk per day. However, crossbred sheep tends to produce 2-3 litres of milk per day.

The ewes are milked twice a day after the lambs are weaned at 28 to 30 days. Maximum milk production can be achieved when lambs are raised on artificial milk substitute and are separated from their mother  within 24 hours of birth, as seen in cow and goat dairies.

What does sheep milk taste like?

People who have not tried sheep milk believe it to be salty, similar to goat milk. Let us see if the assumption is true or not.

Sheep milk has a mild flavor that is rich, creamy and sweetened. The solid content of sheep milk is double than that of cow’s milk. It tastes softer and creamier than cow’s milk. In addition, unlike goat milk, it does not smell strongly or taste salty or chewy.

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Sheep milk benefits

It is true that sheep milk is beneficial than the milk of cow and goat. Let us explore some benefits of sheep milk below:

1. High nutritional Value

Compared to the milk of other domestic species, sheep milk has a high nutritional value and high quantities of proteins, lipids, minerals, and vitamins.

2. Good fatty acids

The combination of proteins, lipids, vitamins, and minerals in sheep milk helps to improve the gut health.

The fats present in sheep milk are beneficial fats. Compared to other dairy system, sheep dairy is advantageous to the environment.

3. Presence of bioactive components

Fatty acid, immunoglobulin, and non-immune protein present in sheep milk contribute to its positive outcome.

Vitamin B, which is crucial for nervous system and brain development are abundant in sheep’s milk.

Is it challenging to milk a sheep ?

It is really challenging to milk a sheep since their body will release adrenaline if they are even slightly frightened. This inhibits the release of the oxytocin hormone and there will be very small production of milk.

Like other cattle it is quite difficult to milk a sheep specially when one is doing it manually. Sheep are naturally predatory animals, therefore milking them is tough to get them to be “calm.”


This article will come to a conclusion by stating that sheep produces milk just like all other dairy animals do. The quality of sheep milk cannot be compared to other milk producing animals. However, there is a quantity limit.

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