Bellwether Farms
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Artisan Creamery - Sonoma County, California
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sheep
Counting on sheep
Sheep are sheep, right? We’ll, not exactly. Our sheep are a Northern European breed called East Friesian, among the best milk producing sheep in the world. Taller than ordinary sheep, they’re known for their relatively long and pointy ears. Each ewe has from one to three lambs each year (though four or five is not uncommon) and these lambs stay with the mother for 45 days before we start milking the ewe.

After the lambs are weaned, the ewe is milked for up to eight months. But sheep milk isn’t easy to come by – a sheep gives less milk than a cow or goat, averaging less than ½ gallon a day.

Our sheep are free to roam the pasture year round, but they’re also fed grain and alfalfa to keep them in top condition for milk production. We believe in letting nature do her thing as she sees fit, so our sheep are never injected with hormones to increase production.
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