4 Mar 2016

Sheep Milking with Landcorp

From Country Life, 9:43 pm on 4 March 2016
Farm manager John Ryrie is from Scotland, and has more than 20 years experience in the industry. Landcorp are moving into milking sheep.

Farm manager John Ryrie is from Scotland, and has more than 20 years experience in the industry. Photo: RNZ/Jemma Brackebush

Landcorp, in a joint venture partnership, has set up a sheep milking farm called Spring Sheep Dairy on the Central Plateau. Three thousand East Friesians have been milked this season with nearly all the milk ending up as a high value nutritional product in Taiwan. Those working with the sheep say they're friendly and calm and happily walk into the milking parlour to get their daily top up feed.

The sheep are slightly more difficult to shear with their big udders, and weighing in at 100 kilos they're nearly twice the weight of normal sheep. Shearer Chad Hopkins says it will take about six days to get through the flock, and it's hard work, "but give us a few beers and we'll be happy."

Ewes, part of a sheep-milking venture, are fed supplements that are like chocolate to them.

Ewes, part of a sheep-milking venture, are fed supplements that are like chocolate to them. Photo: RNZ/Jemma Brackebush

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