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The East Friesian Dairy Sheep originated in the Friesland area of Holland and Germany along with the Holstein dairy cow. Good feeding and careful genetic selection over several centuries has produced a high production milk sheep that is very docile and adapts well to intensive parlour milking systems. The East Friesian is very prolific, and a good ewe will sustain a lactation period of 220 days averaging 400 liters of milk. Over the past 30 years the Friesian has been used in crossbreeding to improve the milk yields and prolificacy of other breeds. In Canada it was used to develop the Rideau Arcott. More recently a growing market for specialty cheeses has resulted in a significant growth in the number of East Friesian ewes being milked commercially. (courtesy CSBA)