Guernsey Milk Cow:
We raise registered Guernsey cows on our small farm and sell them on occasion but we are not licensed to sell milk so we drink all we can and feed the rest to the poultry. We very much would love to sell raw milk here in the valley but after an extensive feasibility study, we determined it was just too expensive. In order to pay for the state required milking parlor, cooling equipment, license fee, and the biggest and most onerous fee - liability insurance (if we could even get it), we would have to become a very large dairy. There is a reason small farmers in this country struggle and it is two fold. The government regulations and the litigious culture. So, we accept that which we cannot change. But, it will not stop us from milking and raising our girls for our own use. Thank you so much to all of the wonderful people who encouraged us to sell milk and have followed us on line. We do appreciate your support.
So, I'd like you to meet the girls. The cow on the left is our first registered Guernsey dairy cow, Sally, tested to only produce the A2/A2 protein which she passed on to her calves. She came to us all the way from Wisconsin and is my favorite animal on the whole farm. Guernsey is a rare breed that is listed as threatened on the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy list of rare breeds. She was pregnant when we purchased her and gave birth to a little heifer in September of 2011. That would be the lovely girl on the right named Betsey. In November of 2012 she gave birth to another registered heifer which we named Dixie. Little Dixie is the girl in the middle. We feel honored to have such a wonderful collection of Guernseys to assist our efforts at preserving endangered livestock and producing the best milk on earth.
We do things a little different here on the ranch so instead of going to the store to buy dairy products, we choose to raise our own. There is a reason for that. We believe raw milk from healthy Guernsey cows raised on grass is far superior in taste and nutrition. It is of course a controversial subject but I ask you to remain open minded until you have researched both sides and then decide what is best for you and your family. Here is a great article that I think explains it well - http://mylifeinapyramid.com/2012/03/my-raw-milk-conversion-why-how-i-decided-to-embrace-fresh-local-milk/
There are several breeds of dairy cows but we prefer the Guernsey. The Guernsey is known for their "golden" color milk resulting from an abundance of carotene. Carotene is what makes carrots orange and is responsible for vitamin A production. Guernsey's are excellent at converting grass into a rich milk high in butter fat and rich in minerals and nutrients. Since we prefer to limit the grain fed to our dairy cows, we felt the Guernsey was our best choice. They are also known for their gentle disposition and I can attest to that. They simply love human attention and have a heart of gold.
If you have at least an acre, I hope you consider raising your own milk. We would love to help you with information if needed. This is not hard or complicated and in fact is extremely rewarding and enjoyable if you like animals. Being self sufficient with real wholesome food is certainly worth the small amount of effort. Let us know if we can be off assistance.
If you are not familiar with A2/A2 milk and its effect, this article does a great job explaining it. http://www.handpickednation.com/what-is-a1-versus-a2-milk/
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE:
Many people want unprocessed organically raised milk for the health benefits but honestly, if it doesn't taste better than store bought processed milk, why bother. You may try it for your health benefits but you'll continue for the taste. This is old fashion milk that is so fresh, it was grass yesterday! We've tried raw milk from Jerseys, Holsteins, milking shorthorns, and goats but nothing comes close to the wonderful taste of real Guernsey A2 milk from lush Bermuda pastures like here in Texas. This is full bodied unadulterated milk where the cream rises to the top. The color is actually a light golden tint which first brought the Guernsey breed their fame. Nothing about it will be like store bought milk. Processed milk is like a poor imitation but this is the real thing and once you've tried it, you'll not be happy with the other milk again. If you are afraid of raw unprocessed milk, consider this information.
If you are lactose intolerant, then you might want to try raw milk because it still contains the enzymes used to digest the lactose. Those enzymes are destroyed in processing so you are left with the lactose sugar but without the enzyme needed to digest it. I personally believe raw milk is much better for children's brain development (research autism and A2 milk), bones, and immune system. But again, the biggest advantage to most people is the taste!
The most nutritious and top quality milk is that from cows grazing on lush grasses from organically managed pastures. Since a dairy cow is such a high producing animal, her diet is very important to provide her with everything she needs for her own body as well and the nutrition she passes on through her milk. We are lucky in that our girls can find that on our fertile soil and lush irrigated Bermuda grass.
Since an imbalance, or lack of minerals, can cause health problems very fast in dairy cows, we provide the cows with a daily amount of sea kelp along with free choice mixed minerals. Sea kelp has probably every mineral needed in the body and is balanced by the ocean. It contains trace minerals as well as important vitamins in an organic form. Along with that we give her a small amount of apple cider vinegar poured over oats to keep them interested. As a result, they stay in tip top shape and have had no health problems.
Check out the web site www.realmilk.com for some great information about raw milk or this one http://www.robinsonfarm.org/Raw_Milk_Safety_Facts.pdf . Even better is a book The Untold Story of Milk. It tells the story of raw milk through the ages and compares certain cultures that live mainly on raw milk to modern society that drinks pasteurized milk. It also compares the increase in certain diseases and health problems associated with pasteurized milk. At times the book gets very technical when it explains the chemical changes that happen when milk is heated. Basically, it destroys the bacteria, including beneficial bacteria, vitamins, renders some of the minerals unusable (unable to be absorbed), and creates an unbalanced state of calcium, phosphates and other important life giving elements.
Raw milk on the other hand is alive with enzymes, probiotics, complete and balanced minerals, and natural vitamins. Throughout history, raw milk has been used to restore health and strengthen immunity. Not just any raw milk will do though. Just as we are affected by what we eat, cows can only produce quality milk on quality feed. Nothing is better for a cow than fresh green grass growing on organically managed pastures. Cattle were not designed to live on grain but are equipped with a rumen to digest grass and forage. A small amount of grain can be tolerated but a grain based diet will change the PH of the digestive system and bring on a number of health issues so common in commercial dairies. Living green grass is full of living enzymes and that is passed on to you when you drink her raw milk. That golden sweet raw milk from a grass fed Guernsey is natures most perfect and complete food.
THE MILK INDUSTRY:
Here is an article that explains how your milk is produced and the affects on our environment. I would much prefer every community have their own small grass based dairy.