The day after we visited the dairy cooperative Caseificio Sociale Manciano, it was only natural to visit one of the sheep farmers who deliver milk to the dairy. Actually, the sheep’s milk from this farm is used to produce […]
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Rosati Cesare farm

by admin on 08/11/2016

 

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The day after we visited the dairy cooperative Caseificio Sociale Manciano, it was only natural to visit one of the sheep farmers who deliver milk to the dairy. Actually, the sheep’s milk from this farm is used to produce a sheep’s cheese with the additional label «Amici di cuore», meaning «heart’s friends».

In fact, the sheep are fed a mixture of soya bean pellets, mixed with seeds of flax and olive oil all of which has been determined by researchers at the University of Pisa.

Upon our arrival, we could see a flock of about 300 sheep grazing inside a pen, while there was a group of lambs just weaned and a group of sheep which was about to bear lambs inside a barn. Shortly after we had arrived, the son of Cesare opened a gate in the pen such that the sheep could go back to the barn and wait to be milked. However, he also had to prepare feed for them. He mixed soybean pellets, seeds of flax and olive oil in a concrete mixer, letting it mix the ingredients continuously for some time. When the mixture was ready, he emptied the contents of the concrete mixer in a wheelbarrow and brought it to the barn.

Next, his father Cesare poured parts of the feed in a trough, while the sheep were ready to enter, pushing a door leading to the trough and bleating at the same time. When everything was ready, he opened the door, letting in 8 sheep at a time, each of which found a place in a metal structure which was attached to the trough. Having locked the structure, the sheep were free to eat, but were not able to leave. Next, two groups of 8 sheep entered other parts of the metal structure such that 24 sheep were ready to be milked at a time. Then, he mounted teat cups to 8 sheep at a time and used a milking machine to milk the sheep. Thereafter, he milked the two other groups of sheep. Finally, when all of them had been milked, he released them from the metal structure and opened another door such that the sheep could go out. Then, he opened the first door, letting another group of 8 sheep enter. He would have to repeat this procedure with all the sheep twice a day. It’s impressive that somebody is willing to do this work daily for years, then passing it on to their children.

This farm has 30 hectares where cereals are being cultivated in order to produce feed for the sheep. Most of the sheep of the Rosati family are of the breed Comisana originating from Sicily, while the rest is a Sardinian breed. Although they are healthy, they are vaccinated against diseases by a vet. The wool of the sheep is sheared yearly in May by travelling workers who arrive at the farms to shear sheep.

It’s been a great pleasure to meet somebody who contributes to giving us our food and who treats their animals well.

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