OMG! I found a raw milk source!!! Q's about it! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 07-18-2009, 08:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am so freaking excited!!! Just when I'd about given up, I got an email from one of the people in my backyard chickens group (we're trying to get backyard chicken keeping legalized in Edmonton) about a cow share being offered on a farm 45 minutes away!!!!! This is so huge - raw milk selling is illegal in Canada. Anyway, they're selling shares so you part-own the cow, so it's supposed to be legal.

We're going to meet the cow Sunday the 27th, and I need to know what I should be looking for as far as the farm itself and what questions I should ask of the farmer about handling of the milk to make sure it's as safe as can be.

I can hardly wait - I want to make butter and taste the milk - I've never tasted raw milk ::
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#2 of 8 Old 07-19-2009, 05:43 PM
 
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Good for you! As for us (Calgarians) raw milk is still forbidden. I don't have any luck finding a farm where I can get a share of a cow. The backyard chicken thing was on our news just last week. A big debate but of course most people are on the other side of the fence so don't see it happen here any time soon.
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#3 of 8 Old 07-19-2009, 11:32 PM
 
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Ask what the cows eat and if you can see their pasture area. Ask to see the dairy where milking is done and make sure its nice and clean, ask how to keep their operation sanitary and wholesome. Ask if the farmer and his family are drinking the milk and if so, how often. Ask what breeds they are raising. Ask if they test for tb. Ask what the cows eat in the winter once pasture is inacessible. Ask how they handle sick animals and what would happen if "your cow" fell ill in some way.

Livin' the good life here in Connecticut with my DH hug2.gif and our three fabulous boys grouphug.gif(4/3/06, 2/4/08 and 5/20/10) Hoping to try for Sweet Baby #4 in December! blowkiss.gif

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#4 of 8 Old 07-20-2009, 06:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Carliegirl View Post
Ask what the cows eat and if you can see their pasture area. Ask to see the dairy where milking is done and make sure its nice and clean, ask how to keep their operation sanitary and wholesome. Ask if the farmer and his family are drinking the milk and if so, how often. Ask what breeds they are raising. Ask if they test for tb. Ask what the cows eat in the winter once pasture is inacessible. Ask how they handle sick animals and what would happen if "your cow" fell ill in some way.
Oh thank you. Those are great questions!
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#5 of 8 Old 07-21-2009, 10:08 AM
 
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We sell cow shares and I can give you an idea, maybe, of what I want customers to know. When people come over we give them a short tour of our entire area (well, we're on 17 acres and we don't walk them through fields or anything, but where there are animals).

We have an area with a llama, goats, a lamb, and a guard dog. We bring the lamb out and offer to let children (if there are any there, usually there is) feed her. We show them the pig pen and hen house (there are ducks in there so sometimes we'll bring a duck out to show the children). Then we're at the cow pasture and dh brings out one of our cows. This particular cow is very, very pregnant so people are welcome to put their hands on her side to feel the calf moving around (this is really fun for people, as it is usually something they've never done; in fact, that's the closest they've usually been to a cow).

People see our pasture and milking areas and I explain milk handling practices. We're super basic here (milk by hand in the pasture). I explain what the cows eat and how we handle things that are often asked about (do the calves get to stay with the cows and so forth). We have our milk tested periodically and I explain how those numbers work and what they mean. We have our cows tested for a couple of different diseases so I explain that. A lot of people don't ask but those are things that I would want to know if I was going to buy raw milk from someone.

If people are quite brave we show them the beehives. Again, a lot of times people have never actually seen the inside of a beehive so this is a neat opportunity.

Finally we talk about milk pick-up or delivery and I'm always happy to answer any questions (in fact, customers can always reach me via my Blackberry if they think of something later or have a problem).

People are free to ask anything, though, and I suggest that you do. Your dairy person should be knowledgable and transparent. They should be reachable (not at all times like I am, perhaps, but they should return calls promptly).

What happens if you move or decide you don't want a share anymore? We don't buy shares back from people but some farms do.

Are the cows given grain? Do they have access to pasture at all times?

If they are given antibiotics is there a milk removal time? Will milk be available year-round or will there be dry periods (you'll still be expected to pay boarding fees so this is a question worth asking)? Are the calves kept with the mothers or are they given synthetic formula (a lot of people worry about this)?

hth

Homesteading Mama to homeschoolin' kiddos London (10) ; Alexander (8) :; Holden (5) :; and Sergei born at home 8/18/08
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#6 of 8 Old 07-21-2009, 11:37 AM
 
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Thats great.:
I have been looking for one in Ontario with no luck at all

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#7 of 8 Old 07-21-2009, 01:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thats great.:
I have been looking for one in Ontario with no luck at all
Don't give up - just keep telling everyone you know that you're looking and sooner or later you'll luck out!!

Sasha girl, thank you SO much for the tips. That's a great synopsis and it helps a lot!
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#8 of 8 Old 08-07-2014, 10:13 PM
 
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Red face looking for raw milk please!!

bed head....do you still get raw milk?
if so, could you help me get connected?
i live near edmonton....my son is starting to get cavities and i want my family on raw milk asap!!!
been looking for raw milk for over two years!!!!
help!!!
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