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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What would you do in my raw milk situation?<br>
I recently moved to a new area, and found raw milk sources right away.<br><br>
I have several to choose from, and here they are: (they are all hormone free)<br><br>
1. raw 100% grass fed cows, farmer is not certified raw, and not very clean, but the milk is so rich and full of cream. Milk is pick-up in their house and about 45 minutes away. The price is $7 a gallon, and they have raw butter for $7.50 lb. The farmer is a pain to get a hold of since there are no real milk pick-up hours.<br><br>
2. Grain fed, (non gmo soy and corn), certified raw, pick-up in milk room, milk is clearer, and not much cream. The farm is super clean and spotless since it is certified, but they eat grain all day. It is about 25 minutes away and $3 a gallon<br><br>
3. Raw goats milk, from free-running goats, given grain during milking (conventional, probably gmo), picked up from a clean home (not certified). Price is $5 a gallon, and is 15 minutes away.<br><br>
I can't decide which one to pick, and I need the milk for my 18 month old.<br>
Who would/wouldn't you pick and why?
 

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I'd go with number 3. Cleanliness concerns me (it doesn't have to be spotless but if it's dirty, that's kind of an issue). A grain diet would be unacceptable to me because it upsets the balance in their stomach and can allow for growth of all sorts of unpleasant things.<br><br>
$5 gallon for raw goat's milk is a great deal. Around here it goes for $12 gallon.
 

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I had a cow share that was similar to the one you describe -- her place was just not well taken care of, cleanliness-wise. After talking to her about it, and hearing that the milking process itself was sterile -- she acknowledged she was not much of a barn-keeper, but said she kept the milking and milk-transferring process very sterile -- I decided to go for it. The milk was always fine, and I never worried about it, BUT I did end up just really, really disliking seeing the poorly-taken care of, dirty barn. It just felt yucky to me, and in the end I felt that even if the milk was clean, I just wanted a more happy milk experience than that. It just brought me down, and I felt really negative about it -- just like any really dirty space will do.<br><br>
I now get goat's milk from a place exactly like what you describe in #3, and I am totally happy.<br><br>
So if it were me, I'd go for #3.<br><br>
ETA: And I agree, $5 a gallon is a great price for goat milk.
 

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Interesting question. I'm inclined to go with #1, but the responses were persuasive. However, goat's milk is more easily digested than cow's milk, and you didn't mention the type of cow, Jersey, Guernsey, etc. Guernsey is less allergenic and we have issues here with intolerances. But, the gmo grain bugs me. Although, it is a small portion of the goat's diet. Could you clarify that? Do they use pesticides or herbicides on their grazing fields? And are the goats getting alfalfa? I believe there is something about that being important as a nutrient source?? And "most all" grain-fed milk is least optimal, imo, certified or not, gmo or not.<br><br>
I've just recently learned of a local source of raw goat's milk and I'm inclined to research it a bit more, due to thinking about your question. Do you have to do ONLY one of them by choosing? Each has some issues, and perhaps, rotating your source will diminish the negatives associated with each.<br><br>
Another issue, is which will your child drink? There is a taste difference even between the two cow dairies, I imagine.<br><br><br>
Pat
 

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So long as the actual *milking* procedure was clean, I'd probably go for #1. Sounds to me like the most healthy choice - again if the milking is done cleanly. I have a big problem with GMO and non organic grains.<br><br>
Also depends on the issue with the barn... How is it dirty? Are the cows caked in filth? Is it just not mucked out daily?
 

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I'd say if number 1 is lazy about keeping the place clean then I would never trust the milk. Number 3 sounds good!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well # 1 cows are milked with a machine, and I am not sure how clean the tubes are, but when I got the milk several times, the farmer puts it in jars and chills it in his fridge, and pours it into mine when I arrive. It seems clean, but always smells like cow pooh, and the farm house is falling apart with duct tape everywhere (seriously)! It makes me a little nervous, since it is raw, and the cleanliness is questionable. I have seen the cows behind his house grazing, and happy. It is a closed herd too. I just wish it was cleaner (and less expensive).<br><br>
#2 caws do get access to grass, but very little. The farmer has a high demand for his milk, and production is important. So instead of using the fields for grazing, that is where he grows his corn and soy. It irritates me that his website says the cows are free running cows, but when I asked his the specifics in person, he said "well, the cows actually rarely never go outside, but they get plenty of corn and soy." Kind of dishonest!<br><br>
# goats are healthy and have lots of hay to eat. I don't know if it is alfalfa. Whoever asked that, why does it matter? Just curious. The goats have several acres of pasture in the country never sprayed. They would be the perfect source of milk if it weren't for the grain. I was told that the grain is just the regular milker blend from the feed store. I only said it could be gmo, because most corn is gmo in this country. And there is other questionable ingredients too. The milking is done by hand but everything is super clean.<br><br>
Why can't there be one perfect place?<br><br>
Oh and as for the taste preference for my daughter, she loves any dairy as long as it is cultured, unsweetened, and super sour. She wont even touch plain store yogurt since it is too sweet. She wont ever drink the milk straight. I guess this is a good thing. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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A little grain, while it's not their "natural" food, doesn't have NEARLY the nasty effect on goats that it does on cows. Goats have been domesticated since literally the beginning of time and have been getting grain on the milkstand ever since. Goats aren't grazers like cows...a grass fed goat is a hungry one who probably has parasites. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Alfalfa, for dairy animals, is a source of protein and calcium, which they need to produce milk. There are other sources of protein and calcium, however, and a lot of places don't have alfalfa readily available. So it's okay if they are giving them timothy or orchard grass or something.<br><br>
Obviously I'd go with number 3. I'm a goat fan. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> My goats get free choice hay, and organic grain mixed with alfalfa pellets on the milkstand. The grain isn't just to keep them happy during milking; it's also to keep weight on them while they're in milk. But again, goat tummies are okay with grain...cow tummies are NOT.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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So...what kind of goats are they? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Staciemao</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/12398544"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">So...what kind of goats are they? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"></div>
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It has been a few months since I visited the farm, but I recall they were sonan and/or french alpine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
For all those that said goats milk (#3), do you all have a problem wit the commercial grain given during milking?
 

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#3, totally! Goats are much better-suited to eating whatever is available. And $5 a gallon is a steal. I loved goat milk during the brief period of time that I drank it. My kids can't seem to tell the difference between goat and cow, and if your daughter demands it cultured anyway, I'm sure she won't be able to tell. Goat yogurt is to die for... mmmmm....
 

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#3. Goats process grain differently and them being fed a bit while milking wouldn't bother me. Also, goat cheese rocks. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> Clean is a big factor, too, since it's raw.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>bluebirdmama1</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/12399069"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">For all those that said goats milk (#3), do you all have a problem wit the commercial grain given during milking?</div>
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You know, I don't know as much about GMO issues as other people do, so I can't speak to that. My source actually has some locally-mixed non-GMO stuff, but I really don't know what the effect of the alternative is. I'd be interested to know, too...
 

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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>bluebirdmama1</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/12398264"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Well # 1 cows are milked with a machine, and I am not sure how clean the tubes are, but when I got the milk several times, the farmer puts it in jars and chills it in his fridge, and pours it into mine when I arrive. It seems clean, but always smells like cow pooh, and the farm house is falling apart with duct tape everywhere (seriously)! It makes me a little nervous, since it is raw, and the cleanliness is questionable. I have seen the cows behind his house grazing, and happy. It is a closed herd too. I just wish it was cleaner (and less expensive).<br><br>
#2 caws do get access to grass, but very little. The farmer has a high demand for his milk, and production is important. So instead of using the fields for grazing, that is where he grows his corn and soy. It irritates me that his website says the cows are free running cows, but when I asked his the specifics in person, he said "well, the cows actually rarely never go outside, but they get plenty of corn and soy." Kind of dishonest!<br><br>
# goats are healthy and have lots of hay to eat. I don't know if it is alfalfa. Whoever asked that, why does it matter? Just curious. The goats have several acres of pasture in the country never sprayed. They would be the perfect source of milk if it weren't for the grain. I was told that the grain is just the regular milker blend from the feed store. I only said it could be gmo, because most corn is gmo in this country. And there is other questionable ingredients too. The milking is done by hand but everything is super clean.<br><br>
Why can't there be one perfect place?<br><br>
Oh and as for the taste preference for my daughter, she loves any dairy as long as it is cultured, unsweetened, and super sour. She wont even touch plain store yogurt since it is too sweet. She wont ever drink the milk straight. I guess this is a good thing. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"></div>
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Nope - doesn't sound like the milking even is clean and if the milk smells like manure that's a bad sign. I'd skip it for sure and go for the goats. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>bluebirdmama1</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/12398264"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Why can't there be one perfect place?</div>
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If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.<br><br>
Given only those choices, I think I'd go for #3 also, (even though the kind of goat milk people say tastes just like cow milk still has a goaty aftertaste to me). Neither of the cow places sound good, IMO.<br><br>
I have a major issue with GMOs, and would probably try to talk to the goat farm about it and see if they're willing to switch to something else (maybe black oil sunflower seeds and wheat or oats? those aren't GMO). You're right in assuming that conventional grain mixes will be almost guaranteed to contain GMO corn and/or soy, and sometimes cottonseed meal as well. But if it's only a small part of the goats' diet, it's probably less of a concern than the dirty conditions or heavy corn and soy diet of the other two options. I believe a little grain given to mostly forage-fed cows if they need the concentrated calories to maintain body condition is acceptable, only a few pounds per day (I give my own cow a little bit of organic grain mix and sunflower seeds to keep her from getting too skinny, although I'd prefer that it wasn't necessary), but confined cows eating large amounts of corn and soy is a totally different story.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>bluebirdmama1</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/12398264"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Well # 1 cows are milked with a machine, and I am not sure how clean the tubes are, but when I got the milk several times, the farmer puts it in jars and chills it in his fridge, and pours it into mine when I arrive. It seems clean, but always smells like cow pooh, and the farm house is falling apart with duct tape everywhere (seriously)! It makes me a little nervous, since it is raw, and the cleanliness is questionable. I have seen the cows behind his house grazing, and happy. It is a closed herd too. I just wish it was cleaner (and less expensive).</div>
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Do you mean the milk smells like manure or the barn? I would be weirded out by milk that smelled like manure. Other than that, I would go with #1. A barn where cows are kept is going to smell like manure. I don't think there's much you can do about that, no matter how much you clean. The duct tape wouldn't concern me either. Farmers are busy people. Maybe he has other priorities. Sounds like he has happy, healthy cows. They are probably making very good milk!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Pinky Tuscadero</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/12401164"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Do you mean the milk smells like manure or the barn? I would be weirded out by milk that smelled like manure. Other than that, I would go with #1. A barn where cows are kept is going to smell like manure. I don't think there's much you can do about that, no matter how much you clean. The duct tape wouldn't concern me either. Farmers are busy people. Maybe he has other priorities. Sounds like he has happy, healthy cows. They are probably making very good milk!</div>
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Nothing against duct tape. I actually think it is kind of funny. My husband would probably duct tape everything if I let him! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I know that barns can be smell, and it can carry into the home, but things there are just falling apart. The farmers are good people, but there are issues, for example, the jars they store the milk in have rusty lids. It is the little details like that that concern me. I might go with this farm for sure, but I wonder how others feel about this: I am looking to get pregnant again, and if I drink raw milk that is possibly contaminated I am worried what it could do to a child in the womb. I guess I am more willing to drink questionable milk not being pregnant. Should I be worried about this?
 

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I wouldn't touch #1 or #2 with a 10-foot pole. On #1, what you describe goes beyond quirky into downright neglect. Rusty lids??? Milk smells like manure? No way. And #2 -- truth in advertising is a big thing with me. I can't trust someone who doesn't market their truth.<br><br>
Even with the potential use of GMO feed, #3 sounds like the best option by far of the three available.
 
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