Everything you need to know about successful Sheep Dairy Farming

The Israeli Dairy Experience One Day Seminar for the BSDA held in November 2014 at Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, U.K.

We are very happy to report that we have just concluded a most successful seminar on sheep farming and all aspects of small ruminant dairy farming, for the British Sheep Dairy Conference held in Warwickshire in the United Kingdom. Our seminar was held as part of the BSDA’s annual conference and AGM, and we were delighted to attract over 60 sheep farmers from all over the UK, including delegates from as far afield as Ireland and Scotland. The speakers from The Israeli Dairy experience were Ofier Langer (Managing Director) and Dr. Haim Leibovich, Ph.D (Our consultant on Management and Nutrition of small ruminants).

20141121_110848It is widely acknowledged that the milk yield from Israeli dairy farms is above average and our delegates were all eager to learn how we achieve these figures so consistently. In this instance the emphasis was on sheep farming methods in Israel and a wide diversity of topics of interest to all small-ruminant farmers were included in the program, which concentrated on proven methods of Ewe management.

We started off by discussing the history of the milking sheep in Israel, from past to present. (Today small ruminant dairy herds in Israel amount to over half a million animals, and there are over 2,400 Israeli sheep and goat farmers!)

We then moved on to the most important aspect of the seminar – explaining the different management tools required for successful sheep farming. Successful management can mean the difference between a reasonable yield of milk per ewe and a wonderful yield per animal! Intensive sheep farmers in Israel have in recent years ungraded their milking facilities and introduced computerised systems which have made a big difference to their bottom line!

After good management, the next most important factor in successful sheep dairy farming is excellent nutrition. The availability of grazing in Israel is very restricted, and Israeli sheep farming methods of nutrition were covered in some depth.

20141122_103700Next up we discussed small ruminant herd management – how to keep your herds healthy and how best to improve the quality of your sheep and goat herds. The various options to follow with regards to the rearing of lambs were also addressed. The seminar was concluded with a vibrant question time.

We are confident that after a day of our dairy training all our delegates will return home with a deeper understanding of how Israeli dairy farms are consistently successful in the management and growth of their small ruminant dairy potential and we trust that they will put our tried and tested methods into use on their own sheep farms.

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