Organic production systems are based on natural processes, the use of local feed resources, and the maintenance of biodiversity in all senses. Several studies have noted the positive effects of organic sheep milk production systems on animal welfare, animal health, product quality, and environmental impact. On the other hand, it has been reported that dairy sheep organic farms show lower milk yields and increase the susceptibility to environmental impacts compared with conventional farms. The standards that regulate feeding management in organic systems are one of the most critical factors that influence milk production performance. Lower milk production is also associated with poor ability to adapt specialized dairy breeds to organic management, low genetic potential for milk production in native and local breeds, and elevated dependence on environmental conditions. However, the aim of organic dairy production is not to reach maximum dairy productivity but rather to integrate animal and crop production and to develop a symbiotic relationship between recyclable and renewable resources; furthermore, organic production positively affects the employment rate and quality of life in rural communities. Organic dairy sheep production is one means of improving the balance between society’s demand for food and the ecological impact of the agro-alimentary industry.
Part of the book: Organic Farming