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wellington womble

Milk

The food programme today was about micro dairies, and local milk. (the silly people haven't included any information about how to get hold of the stuff, though!) I've been thinking about trying to get hold of local milk since the box scheme closed down (as we used to get it through them) assuming I can find some at all (all tips welcome) What ethical questions should I be asking to find the best one? (right after 'do you deliver?' Wink )
Rob R

How long their grazing season is, average cow lifespan, breed, lameness rates, mastitis rates (although micro dairies have to be more careful about mastitis rates as they have to comply with higher standards than other dairy farms, so you could probably forget that one). Whether you can visit and see the cows is the best all-rounder though.

Thanks though- I'll have to listen to that.
Mrs R

I wouldn't ask any questions beyond 'can I see the cows?' Very Happy
wellington womble

Dunno what a happy cow is supposed to look like (beyond four legs, a tail and the other side of a fence, that is Wink)

The programme was interesting. I like the sound of the future food farms (I only heard it in bits between visits, so I didn't get the whole picture)
LynneA

Rob R wrote:
breed


I'd love to be able to compare milk from the various traditional dairy & dual purpose breeds. I've knowingly had Jersey and Red Poll milk (actually remember liking Red Poll milk more - possibly as not so heavy on my asthma ridden lungs). Be interesting to compare and contrast Ayrshire, Shorthorns and so on. Has butter made from Dairy Shorthorn milk, Single and Double Gloucester cheese, but as we've learnt lately, the milk industry is far too homogenised.

Anything that can be done to break the dependence on the Holstein would be great for small producers, surely?
Mrs R

You would know a contented cow in a clean shed cudding away quietly to one limping about, covere din muck looking like a skeleton - trust your instincts!
Rob R

Just being allowed to see the cows is a good indication of how open they are and how confident they are to show you (after all, the farmer doesn't necessarily know that you don't know what you are looking for... Wink).
wellington womble

He might when I run away (I'm not mad keen on cows. They are considerably bigger than me, and a whole bloody herd of mad ones used to chase us round the field at our last house. I don't blame them, because a lot of people had badly trained dogs that used to chase them, but I reckon a cow could do me a lot of damage without actually noticing!)

Good point about being allowed to see them. I'm going to see if I can get hold of some milk from here - it's guernsey milk from about nine miles away.
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