I have a couple of East Friesian/Lacaune crosses, and they are the rock stars of dairy. They make more milk, for a longer period, than the EFs crossed with other breeds. I've heard that their milk is supposed to be creamier, but I've never noticed that, and I don't have a way of measuring it. But they milk easily with good flow (small handles, though) and have great temperaments. LOUD voices!
The wool shedding thing is unique; everyone thinks there's something wrong with them! What wool they have is very fine (EFs have very fine wool), but don't expect to make any money on wool. You will still need to shear the top half, but it can be done on the stanchion if you want to do it yourself; they shed everything from crotch to chin from mid-ribs down.
$350 is pretty average, not a bad price if they are healthy, good feet, etc.
Mine have been exceptionally hardy, they're among the best for parasite tolerance in my flock, but that may just be luck on my part, all of mine are descended (daughters or granddaughters) from a single ewe. I'd definitely ask about their worming practices when you start the buying process.
They're better keepers than the EF/Polypay crosses, but not quite as good as the EF/Cotswold.
Good luck! I think you'll really enjoy them; one of these days I'll add more Lacaune, it's a great breed!
AGAIN........thank you for your time! I raise Katahdin and Katahdin/Dorper cross, I love their personality....but I spend time with them every day ( I only have 10). Their resistance to parasites is excellant, mothering is great and the lambs grow fast.
I milk Nubian goats, enjoy my quiet time very much. Am thinking about adding 2 milking sheep to the mix....love the cheese and yogurt. Anything else I should know about the cross with East Friesians ( understand they are not real hardy)? Would you recommend this cross or purebred Lacaune, the price is the same. Again, I really appreciate you taking your time with me.
I've never had experience with a purebred Lacaune, so I can't tell you anything specific about a purebred vs. the EF cross. Two things to keep in mind in general, though: First, there is something to be said for hybrid vigor, even crossing with the weaker EF may give you hardier lambs, though of course it's hard to say. On the other hand, if you have purebred ewes, you have the option of getting a Lacaune ram and selling your own breed stock someday, or experimenting with another ram (Katahdin/Lacaune should be very milky).
I don't think there's a bad choice here, just what's best for you! You might even want to shop based on personality (all health/age/lambing issues being equal), since you've got such a tame flock. I'm the same way, I spoil my girls. It's fun, and it makes milking SO much easier!
The Katahdin/Lacaune cross would be doable for me. Good point about the selling purebred. The owner of the flock, I have contacted , tells me he has some outstanding Lacaune ram lambs this year that he will be crying over if they go for meat! Oh the possibilities, I need to do some more research! I am NOT going to do anything until next spring. But......... a nice Lacaune ram bred to one of my Katahdin ewes this fall for an experiment.....yep, the possibilities! Going to plan a visit to this breeder, with another Katahdin breeder and good friend next day off!
I do also know, as you have said, mixed breed of any animals are usually more vigorous................I have a headache!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We are thinking about adding some milk sheep to our flock. Who can tell me pros/cons about Lacaune sheep? Thank you in advance.........Joan
Based on what I am aware of either first hand, or have learned :
Both breeds are excellent milk producers. Lacaune has more butterfat (and protein), which can make a difference for cheesemaking. The Lacaune breed is more adaptable to warmer climates and according to the sheep specialist at the UW dairy sheep station, they are less prone to pneumonia. This does tend to vary depending on the bloodlines and environment they are kept.
I've had no problem with pneumonia with my fullblood EF ram and high percentage EF sheep. In France, they claim to have more resistance to parasites. They have no belly wool and less fleece (my shearers love that)!
They are less prolific than the East Friesian and tend not to be as docile (this probably varies too, on the flock where they have been raised).
In my flock where the dairy crosses are higher percentage EF, the Lacaune breeding has slightly increased their size and are slightly easier keepers.
Of course as in anything, there are exceptions to every farm and individual.
There are no fullblood (100%) Lacaune sheep in the U.S.
I would wonder about someone saying their sheep were "Purebred" (at least 15/16ths), depending on where you get them. This wouldn't matter for a homesteading situation, but would be important if you were trying to sell quality breeding stock.