Dairy Animal Selection and raw milk

On the subject of cows/goats and real milk - this was a recent topic on a local homestead group I belong to. . .

On the cows verses goats question -

#1. I personally prefer goats. That said, I BASE that one the whimsical, personal natures they have and how much I enjoy them. Nonetheless, They are much more high maintenance, almost impossible to raise (really impossible without heaving management and high losses and years of culling) organically, need a lot more medical intervention and more maintenance care to stay healthy than cattle. . .the purchase of 3 nice does will cost more than the purchase of one nice dairy cow. Dairy goats cannot be grass only – 3 high production Saanens can give 2 gallons a day, where one Jersey with the right genetics can give 10 gallons. The feed, handling of 3 verses one animal, hoof trimming, worming, loose mineral, BO-SE, Copper and grain needs of 3 high production does will more than exceed that of the one lower maintenance cow – the cow will eat far more than one goat, but not more than the 3 high production does and buck you will keep (and for me, a companion wether is a must). I have a miniature Jersey who gives 6 gallons a day – it takes 15 minutes to milk her each milking. She eats about 10lbs of grain. I rarely need to worm or handle her otherwise – she is the epitome of health with almost no invention. No hoof trimming, easy to keep fenced and her heifer calves are worth what 7 excellent doe kids would sell for ($3,000 verses $400) – that all said, most people need only 1 gallon or less of milk a day, and this can be achieved with one goat with a companion and driving the doe to be bred to a local buck. This is where they make more sense unless you purchase a nice dairy bred Dexter cow – small, easily maintained (as I've done it) on 2 acres of grass with no grain in milk. . .a goat would need a few acres of brush, quality hay plus grain. The Dexter would give about 1.5 gallons and be almost no maintenance beyond a mineral block and maybe worming once a year. I prefer the personality of goats and for a small family that doesn't need 6-10 gallons a day, which is what a real dairy cow gives, GOATS make more sense, but understand, they are high maintenance animals. As long as you're willing to commit to their husbandry needs, they are the most rewarding livestock I've ever raised – I can't imagine being without a herd :)
People that have digestion issues with store bought milk rarely have issues from raw cow's milk, but there are instances where people still have an easier time with goat's milk, for sure. Raw milk, be it cows or goats, if a million light years above the white, scary pasteurized stuff in the store. Lol. Cow's milk has far, far more B12, as well as B2, Selenium & folate and most folks have tremendous deficiencies in B12 and Folate; however, in terms of digestion, goat's milk does digest much faster, has more potassium and magnesium and a bit more calcium. Like I said, it depends on what you're looking for – usually it comes down to sensitive stomachs need goat's milk if a simple switch to raw doesn't work. If smaller animals and handmilking are what you're looking for, also. . .goats are an easy choice. If less land impact is what you're looking for, again, goats win out.

#2. On the subject of raw milk. . . I understand the original poster has made a decision about what to do with milk already should she have dairy animals in the future, so this is for those who haven't made a choice on what they would do with milk should they get dairy cattle or goats. . .

Keep in mind, this is a sustainable farming forum where the vast majority of us with dairy animals not only use raw milk while pregnant, with babies, young children and our entire families – We actually purchase dairy animals BECAUSE we wanted raw milk for ourselves and children because we understand how important the milk we use be Real. When you talk to most members here with dairy animals, Most of us already know how safe and healthy it is because we use it daily and some of us have for years. . .some of us for a lifetime. Reading government information or information from folks who do not actually use Raw milk wouldn't matter too much when we have real life information that proves otherwise. The subject isn't really a debate on most homesteads – I do not actually know any farmers in “person” that would consider pasteurizing their milk –

This forum gives us an opportunity to explain to others that before you make a choice on what you do with milk you may get from future animals, you have the chance to actually talk to dairy homsteaders and find out for yourself with facts you can see – you can check my farm page, see my children alive and well after years of raw milk. . . verses FDA Propaganda. Most homesteader types already know the government doesn't have your health in mind when they publish anything. Oddly enough, the CDC's own data actually proved raw's milk is safe. . .if you interpret the hard data. . .much more so than produce from the store. Produce, Poultry, Beef, Eggs and seafood – in that order – rank as the most dangerous foods/products one can consume, and yet the same folks telling us “Raw milk” is dangerous consume all of those products monthly without a thought.

Campylobacter is what causes most food borne illness. 70% of processed poultry offered for sale+ in Washington, D.C. In 2001 tested positive. . .and yet, the FDA continues to call commercially raised and processed poultry safe and publish nonsense about the dangers of raw milk from small, clean family farms. (Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 2001:67(12):5431-5436).

Consider that if you've ever breastfed, we are always warned to never boil or microwave the breastmilk – it destroys the healthy properties of the milk which the infants MUST have. Studies shows children had 50% more illness when fed pasteurized breastmilk compared to real breastmilk. . .if we believe cow's or goat's milk is beneficial to adults (and some folks do not), then naturally, we would feel the milk should be used in it's natural state.

A nationally well known Saanen breeder that recently did a clinic here at my farm (where many members of this group attended and can attest) ran an inspected raw milk dairy in PA for many years. Many folks with terminal illness came to her for milk for years and found themselves able to have a decent quality of life and extend their time with their families solely with the introduction of raw milk – to hear her talk about it and what it meant to provide families with that product and have family members come back to her after years passed to thank her – Wow, it was just amazing! I count that worth ten thousand links to government information about the dangers of a food we, as small, sustainable minded farmers, know to be safe.

What speaks volumes more than the government fear tactics do is people have used milk in its real state for thousands of years, raw/real milk has proven to be very, very safe simply by the test of time – a time when obesity, immune disorders, autism and more didn't run rampant. Our grandparents, our great grandparents and so forth would have used real milk while pregnant, with their babies and children – under conditions where keeping it clean would have been much more difficult, actually, and still – it was safe then (the instances of raw milk being unsafe was only during industrial AG situations – no food produced under filthy conditions is safe – not spinach, not strawberries, not milk).

The natural Bacteria(s) found in raw milk are actually what those looking for real milk are wanting. These are healthy properties the gut actually thrives with and aid the immune system greatly.

Basically, raw milk is a very low risk food – most everything you purchase in a grocery store poses greater risks – read the lists of the foods causing deaths and poisoning each year – this is pretty easy research. It isn't real milk or even dairy, at all. Raw milk (think of breast milk with children, again) contains bioactive “good” bacteria that fight and reduce pathogenic bacteria found in ours guts. Pasteurized milk does not do this and basically does nothing beneficial to the body. Heating milk kills ALL good bacteria.

To Quote Weston A. Price's research:
“Raw milk Stimulates the Immune system, Builds healthy gut walls, Prevents absorption of pathogens and toxins in the gut, and Ensures assimilation of all the nutrients.”

I Highly recommend the http://www.realmilk.com/ as a source about raw milk. . .and you will find the local homesteaders with dairy animals with always actually back up that data with real life experiences.

Before depending on government agenda / data, talk to actual farmers with dairy animals –

Also, check out the new story done recently with many members of this group interviewed here:

After thorough, first hand research, nothing beast REAL life experience. If a person's real life experience shows milk to be dangerous, I imagine even boiling it will not end up being enough to convince a person to go ahead and drink it when it is all said and done.