Sheep/Shepherding/Dairy Sheep Breeds


Hi Kari,

I read your answer to which breeds of sheep are considered best for milk production. My question is: I'm looking for a breed for cold weather climate (Sierra Nevada's area) Which would you recommend and where would one start the process of purchasing that particular breed?

Hi Erik,
I am so sorry for the delay in my response to you. I have been out of the area with no service taking care of family crisis. Please accept my apologies.

To your question about the best breed for milk production in cold weather: In theory any breed of sheep can be milked. However, the best breed in the US is the East Friesian.  They are also good lamb producers as well.  Often times, farms that specialize in dairy sheep, also have sheep that are either wool producers or meat producers. For me, I would go with the meat producers.  The list is very short for sheep breeds that are known for their milk.  the other two are Lacaune and Awaissi, but those are harder to find.

You have selected a very small community in which to work. I congratulate you!!

Contact your local state research and ag folks at the county level (they help farmer/ ranchers/ 4H/ FFA folks and would know if someone nearby who is in the industry.  It might be difficult, but it is a good place to start.  There are lots of lamb sales in the spring, so it might be smart to use these winter months to plan the barn for birthing jugs, milking stanchions, grain and hay/alfalfa storage and lots for the lambs to get sunshine and play.

Good luck in your endeavors!  I am pulling for you!



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Kari Wempe


I can answer most questions about raising, breeding, feeding, showing,typical illnesses, pregnancy, birthing, bottle feeding,showing and sheering sheep. I have raised sheep for show and production for 20 years. The breeds of sheep I am most familier with are Crossbred, Suffolk, Hampshire- basically black face sheep. I deal with the classification of meat sheep over bred for wool sheep.


I have raised a flock of sheep for 20 years on our farm. Very involved in 4H, FFA aspects and their rules, jackpot shows, state, regional, county and local shows.

Experience is my best creditial however, I have a college education and have taught many classes ( in other catagories), so I am familiar in the ways of teaching others.

Awards and Honors
Many breed awards- champion and grand champion awards in Kansas for the past 20 years, showmanship awards at local and state level in Kansas.

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