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What cows are the best option for a family milk cow?
We wanted the option of drinking raw milk for our family, and we wanted the milk to be the healthiest possible. That meant a high cream content and if possible a cow that was likely to produce a2 milk. We also wanted a gentle breed since our grand kids would be around her.We found a young jersey cow a few years ago and have found her to be a great cow. She is very gentle and will come when called. She stands for us when we are milking her without giving us a lot of trouble.
The other breeds of cows we considered were Guernsey, and red polled since they also produce a2 milk, and the red polled are a good duel purpose breed.
A1 or A2 milk and our health. I’m not going to go into a lot about the types of milk but here are a few books and links for further research. The Devil in the Milk by
An emerging body of research suggests that many of the 1 in 4 Americans who exhibit symptoms of lactose intolerance could instead be unable to digest A1, a protein most often found in milk from the high-producing Holstein cows favored by American and some European industrial dairies. The A1 protein is much less prevalent in milk from Jersey, Guernsey, and most Asian and African cow breeds, where, instead, the A2 protein predominates.
One peer-reviewed study conducted at the National Dairy Research Institute in India, published in October in the European Journal of Nutrition, found that mice fed A1 beta-casein overproduced enzymes and immune regulators that other studies have linked to heart disease and autoimmune conditions such as eczema and asthma.
From Dr Mercola
Prominent food researcher Dr. Thomas Cowan has been involved in thinking about the medicinal aspects of cow’s milk virtually his entire career.
His studies on the subject started in earnest when he read the book The Milk of Human Kindness Is Not Pasteurized, by William Campbell Douglass, MD.
Cowan became convinced that a large part of the disease in this country is related to the way we handle, or rather mishandle, milk and milk products. Raw and cultured dairy products from healthy grass-fed cows are one of the healthiest foods people have ever eaten. However, pasteurized milk products have caused more disease than perhaps any other substance people are generally in contact with.
As many of you know, I do not recommend drinking pasteurized milk of any kind because the pasteurization process, which entails heating the milk to a temperature of 145 degrees to 150 degrees F and keeping it there for at least half an hour, completely changes the structure of the milk proteins into something far less than healthy. Pasteurized cow’s milk is the number one allergic food in the United States. It has been associated with a number of symptoms and illnesses including:
- Diarrhea, cramps, bloating and gas
- Heart disease
- Recurrent ear infections and colic in infants and children
- Type 1 diabetes
- Rheumatoid arthritis
The healthy alternative to pasteurized milk is raw milk, which is an outstanding source of nutrients including beneficial bacteria such as lactobacillus acidolphilus, vitamins and enzymes, and it is, in my estimation, one of the finest sources of calcium available.
Raw milk is generally not associated with any of the above health problems, and even people who have been allergic to pasteurized milk for many years can typically tolerate and even thrive on raw milk.
Now that I have my Cow, what Equipment do I need to begin milking her?
You can milk by hand into a bucket like the old timers did. I would recommend a stainless steal bucket like this one here. To milk by hand you grab a hold of the teat and gently squeeze starting at the top and squeezing down. Continue this process until all teats are empty.
I however, do not like to milk by hand since it is so much work and hard on my hands so I purchased a small vacuum pump milk machine that does not require electricity but is hand pumped. I tried two different milk machines both with vacuum pumps. One attached to a glass gallon jar and used a rechargeable vacuum pump. I bought one like this from Dansha Farms. The machine was OK but the battery operated pump did not last long enough and I had to replace it, and the glass jar was too easily broken. I then bought one from Segel that is called a two goat milk system as seen in this video. I purchased it here . I like this one much better and find it to be much faster than the one from Dansha Farms, and it requires no electricity or batteries. The milk can on this milker is the same as the bucket I recommended above and the bucket fits the milker so if you cow produces more that 10 quarts at a milking you can take another bucket to finish milking in.
When milking my cow I always take a bucket of soapy water and a cloth to wash the teats, I them follow with a teat dip iodine solution in a teat dip cup. I them squeeze a few squirts out of each teat and attach the milker to finish. Once I have finished milking I apply a bag balm like this one.
I then take the milk to the house and store in gallon jars.
What do you do with all the milk?
First off I skim the cream off the milk when it is 1-2 days old. I use the cream to make butter and buttermilk, sour cream and to add to my cream cheese recipe. This leave a lot of extra milk that is skimmed to use in making cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese, or lactic cheese.
Skimming the Cream
The process of skimming the cream off of the milk is simple and easy. I use a 1/2 cup measuring cup and gently scoop the thick cream off the top of the jar of milk. If it has sat very long it gets really thick and so delicious. The taste of fresh cream is divine. I use the cream to poor over berries or to make butter, sour cream, or to add to other recipes.
Butter Making Basics
I use my Bosch mixer to make my butter. This is done by placing the cream into the mixer with the whisk attachment and turning on to the low setting. Allow the cream to mix. It will first become whipped cream and then it will begin to separate the butterfat from the butter. When you see yellow goblets of butter in the mixer it is time to strain it. I use a strainer and strain the butter out of the buttermilk. Reserve the butter milk for later use, or feed to chickens or pigs. The butter now needs to be washed. I wash the butter by running cold water over it in the strainer. Let the water run until it runs clear. If it is too warm add some ice and let sit to cool. I then squeeze the water out of the butter, add salt to taste and package in parchment paper or a plastic bag. My daughter shares our recipe tutorial here.
The following recipes will be coming soon so check back for updates.
Parmesan and Romano