Our Cheeky Sheep
Our milking herd is an East Friesian base. They are a tall, slight framed ewe with bright faces and big ears. Most importantly, they produce a silky, creamy milk with a touch of sweetness.
The girls are milked each morning then return to their lambs for the day. We see them again in the evenings when they travel to the dairy to drop their lambs off, before heading out to the paddock to fill their udders for the morning milking. The lambs spend their night in a shelter with heat lamps, food and ‘ovine entertainment’ which keeps them busy until the morning.
The ewes love their routine and work to a strict timetable. If we are late to bring them up for milking or separate them in the afternoon, they walk back to their paddock and ignore us when we call them. We also have a little group of cheeky sheep who hang back each morning after milking for a scoop of special treats.
Ewe’s milk is high in protein, calcium and a range of vitamins and minerals including magnesium, iron, zinc and Vitamins A, C, B1 and D. The milk contains only A2 proteins which are noted to have great health benefits and are more easily digested than A1 type proteins.
It is also an amazing milk to work with in the cheese room. From the light, silky fresh curds of a Persian feta through to a punchy pecorino, sheep milk cheeses have a deep range of flavours that will suit any palate.
Our herd of beautiful Jerseys
Our Jerseys came from the Minson Dairy in Rowlands. A team of 15 girls were due to arrive on 5 July 2017 with transport logistics sorted so the girls were milked in the morning at Rowlands, transported to the Great Southern during the day and arrive in the Porongurups with a little time to settle before their afternoon milking.
It was an exciting day and we were organised and waiting.
The excitement was too much and I went into labour with our baby boy that morning.
We phoned the Minson family, transporters, feed delivery people and our dairy helpers to let them know our plans had changed and rearranged delivery logistics. Then we phoned the hospital to see what we were supposed to do…such is life on a farm!
The herd of girls arrived on 10 July 2017 looking relaxed and refreshed and stepped straight into life in the Porongurup. It took a little while to get used to working with a much bigger animal and handling four milking cups at a time (compared to two with the sheep) but their kind and gentle nature soon won us over.
The rich, creamy milk was a treat to work with in the cheese room and we soon found some recipes that highlighted these amazing qualities.
The girls’ big brown eyes and soft, gentle moo-s find their way into your heart, and often win them extra treats and scratches while in the dairy.