Sheep Love: Mali McGee and her backyard farm

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Ever thought of getting sheep?  Mali McGee has loved sheep ever since she helped care for them when she was a kid volunteering at Oakland’s Fairyland. When a doctor advised her to start eating more nutrient dense foods she got a goat and a lamb and has never looked back. Mali keeps two dairy sheep along with three goats in her Alameda backyard and that includes the ram above named Krampus. Her dairy sheep are a cross between East Friesian and Dall and she says they are calmer and easier to keep than goats. Sheep milk is highly nutritious and has more vitamins A, B, and E, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium than cow’s milk. It’s also a much richer, sweeter milk that’s easier to digest and makes great cheese.   She got the ram to breed because his mother was outgoing and friendly which is a trait she’d like to continue.  Mali also shears her sheep and spins the wool and boils the unusable wool for lanolin oil which is great on dry, chapped skin. She says the lambs are very efficient converters of vegetable matter to protein. She’s grateful to have to lamb that she will eventually slaughter.

I met Mali when I got and assignment to photo her for the East Bay Express.  After hanging out with her and then going back to take more photos of her and Krampus I was smitten too. Despite his natural urge to butt, Krampus has a sweet side too and in many of the photos I have to say he looked positively “sheepish”. Check out Mali’s blog: Milk Mama Goat Farm.

Mali McGee with some of her six goats and sheep in Alameda.

Mali in her Alameda backyard with some of her animals.

Mali McGee with some of her six goats and sheep in Alameda.

Unlike sheep, goats are browsers. They love leaves and bark.

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Mali walks the goats in her Alameda neighborhood.

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Krampus, the ram, looking sheepish.

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Sheep love

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