FIGURE 6-1 Location of dairy sheep farms in the United States and Canada in 2003.

Source: D. L. Thomas, personal communication (2004). Copyright 2004 by David L. Thomas. Used with permission.


Few official records are kept at the state or national level on the population of dairy sheep or their production. The Dairy Sheep Association of North America (DSANA) and the University of Wisconsin–Madison surveyed dairy sheep producers in the United States and Canada in 2003–2004 (Thomas, 2004; Thomas and Haenlein, 2005). The Wisconsin Agricultural Statistics Service surveyed Wisconsin producers in 2005 (Wisconsin Agricultural Statistics Service, 2006). Thomas (2004) estimated that 44 farms milked ewes in the United States in 2003. The greatest numbers of producers were in Wisconsin (14) and Vermont (10).

Table 6-1 presents the estimated number of dairy sheep producers in the eastern and western regions in the United States. According to Thomas (2004), the average U.S. flock size in 2003 was 145 milking ewes with little difference between the East and West (Table 6-1). However, there were large differences between regions in the variation in flock size. Flocks in the East

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement