From Alaska to NZ milking sheep...

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11 years 8 months ago #24798 by mahiisland
Hi Everyone!
My husband and I moved here from Alaska this year. We have small lifestyle block in the South Canterbury/ North Otago semi high country. In Alaska we had goats - Oblerhaslis and Swiss Alpines. They were the best goats ever and followed me through the forest and around the beaches. They would jump into the boat (we lived on an island with no power) and go and explore other islands with me, jumping in and out on rocky tidal beaches. I love goats - esp the Oblerhasli and Nigerian Dwarfs, let me know if you have these!

Now in NZ I thought it would be fun to milk a sheep. We finally found ourselves an East Friesian, she is 4 years old and used to dairy farm. It has taken 3 frustrating weeks to figure out her cues so that she will let me hand milk her. It is still slow but we are getting somewhere. Next week I am getting a Jersey calf, hoping that by the time she is ready to be milked she will be super tame! We also have lots of chickens, mostly ex-battery hens trying to recover.

I would like to know where can I buy the little milk strainer/filter things? I checked at the farm centres but they had no idea. Do you have a dairy goat supply store here or do I have to order from overseas? I am using coffee filters right now, but they are so slow and don't do a good job. Also if anyone milks sheep I would love to make your acquaintance, esp if there are any goat or sheep milkers nearby!

Anyway, great magazine, you readers sound like very interesting people!

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11 years 8 months ago #349302 by Andrea1
Welcome! We came to NZ from the US about 8 years ago now, also had goats, but they were Saanen and Nubians (for milk) as well as Arapawa Island goats.

Sadly, there are no Oberhaslis or Nigerian Dwarfs here. Have a look here for more info on the dairy goat breeds in New Zealand: www.nzdgba.co.nz

There is one of our members (PeterNZ) here who sells milk filters for the home dairy, but I still have my fine metal mesh ones from the states, so that's what I'll use till they disintegrate. No dairy goat supply anything, unfortunately, so I still get stuff regularly from Jeffers and Hoeggers. :D :D There is the shoof catalog, which has a few things, but not extensive and grossly overpriced, frankly. shoof.co.nz

Sounds like an amazing life on the island, and would have loved to share a boat with a goat. [8D]

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11 years 8 months ago #349303 by Jack
Replied by Jack on topic From Alaska to NZ milking sheep...
Gidday

I got my milk strainer made for me by "Sheet Metal Specialists" in Oamaru. I had to take an old stainless steel jug into them and they cut the bottom off it and soldered a very fine mesh in it's place. Don't look too good but works really great.

You say you are in the semi high country, how far up?

I used to be up the Waitaki Valley at Duntroon but am now down by the sea at Hampden.

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11 years 8 months ago #349697 by mahiisland
Thanks Jack and Andrea. I am in the Waitaki Valley too Jack, a little higher in Kurow. We nearly moved to Hampden, it was a toss up of two places! I shall see if I can find PeterNZ for some filters otherwise it will be Hoeggers. I am surprised nobody really sells them here, there must be so many home milkers! I am going to check out your goat links Andrea, I just love goats!

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11 years 8 months ago #349712 by igor
Hi mahiisland. Welcome to New Zealand.
We milk a Sable goat and a Jersey cow and strain the milk through a cloth in a big funnel. A small towel is good. Single thickness only as if it's folded double it takes too long to drip through.

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11 years 8 months ago #350914 by Jo-Otago
Welcome mahiisland :) I too milk goats & housecow, I just use a tea-strainer & funnel for straining the milk. It's a bit small but works quite well. I used to have a good sieve that had a nice fine mesh but it was plastic and the sieve part eventually came apart from the plastic & I've not been able to find another.
We used to have an east friesian ram and still have some half east-friesian sheep, they have humungous udders but I haven't tried milking them (other than if needing colostrum for lambs or something). If one ever loses her lambs for some reason though I might :)
I love the Waitaki valley, hoping to get up this summer with the horses & dogs for a few days trekking.

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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11 years 7 months ago #352940 by E.F Barry
I have East Friesian Sheep. If you look at the East Friesian Breeders Web site it will list Breeder in The South Island. Good Luck with your venture.

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11 years 2 months ago #373876 by krikri
Welcome to NZ, We moved from Australia nearly 3 years ago to mid Canterbury. At present we only have goats in milk but this year plan on milking our 6 East Friesian ewes, milked one last year a couple of times but wasn't set up properly. looking forward to making pecorino. Would love to meet and talk sheep/goat milking.

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11 years 2 months ago #373912 by Jack
Replied by Jack on topic From Alaska to NZ milking sheep...
Gidday

I wonder if [From Alaska to NZ & milking sheep...] would qualify to join the Rare Beeds Society?

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