Sheep milk

Sheep's milk or sheep's milk is the milk of sheep.


Even the pastoral peoples of antiquity produced sheep milk. The sheep has long been domesticated before cattle, and indeed already years ago, about 8000. Also in the Bible is the sacrifice lambs talk: These lambs were slaughtered very early to then milk the ewe can.

Sheep's milk is a very long part of the human diet. Yogurt, for example, was originally made ​​only from sheep's milk; in the Caucasus and in many other parts of the world, frugal sheep were superior to the more sophisticated beef.

In Germany sheep's milk has little tradition. Only in times of emergency sheep were (besides goats) milked as " cow of the little man ." A small Renaissance there was the beginning of the 1980s, when increased milk sheep to self-sufficiency became popular.


Unlike in the Mediterranean or in the Balkans, the sheep milk production in Germany is relatively low. Paradoxically, comes one of the most efficient dairy sheep breeds from Germany: the German North Sea coast, the East Frisian dairy sheep was bred more than 300 years ago, which is superior in milk most other sheep breeds. However, it remained always in small conversations, its milk has not been used commercially. There are in Germany next to some full- time farms still hundreds of hobby shepherds.

In Switzerland, the proportion of full- time farms is likely to be higher. However, even in Switzerland, only about half of the sheep milk produced is marketed.

Sheep's milk is often not fresh markets, but eg processed to feta cheese. Famous examples are the Roquefort and Brocciu from France, the Italian Pecorino and Greek Feta. The Kazakh cuisine knows the sheep's milk as a drink, where there Kumys - fermented mare's milk - is more widespread. In Spain and the Basque Country, one knows Dick milk from sheep's milk under the name Cuajada. In the Serbian cuisine is beside Jardum, the foam, resulting in a mild heat cooked and salted sheep's milk, including the court paprike u jardumu - peppers in sheep milk.

Nutritional value

Sheep's milk is the average inter alia, from 18.7 % dry matter, 6.8 % fat, 6.0 % protein and 5.0 % lactose. In 100 g stuck 417 kJ of energy. In addition, even calcium (183 mg), potassium ( 182 mg ), phosphorus ( 115 mg ), sodium (30 mg ) and magnesium (11 mg) contained.

This information after 2004 Recently vary depending on feeding, season, and individual animal.

Medical effects

The fat content of sheep milk is almost twice as high as that of cow's milk. However, the composition of fats is different. While the proportion of cholesterol is about the same, sheep's milk to cow's milk has a higher content of multiple CLA ( conjugated linoleic acid).

The proportion of vitamins is worth mentioning: sheep's milk contains more vitamin A, D, E, riboflavin, B6, B12, and vitamin C than cow's milk. The folic acid content of sheep milk is more moderate.

In-depth systematic studies on the medical and biochemical mode of action and the success of targeted supplement the diet by sheep's milk products are made ​​, however. This would be needed to substantiate hypotheses about the healing effects of sheep's milk.

Due to the similar composition in cow's milk intolerance is usually also an intolerance to milk sheep. Depending on what part of the cow's milk against the intolerance is directed, sheep's milk can be used in individual cases as a substitute for cow's milk intolerance. Since sheep milk contains as well as all other animal milks lactose, sheep's milk, however, is not suitable for lactose intolerance as a substitute. There are very few medical studies on sheep's milk intolerance.


  • Brigitte Kengeter: The importance of sheep milk for human consumption, 2004 (PDF file, 480 kB)