Monday, December 20, 2010

Winter milking ....

Every evening Barb or I head out into the cold, dark night to milk Lucy. I always apologize to Lucy for my cold hands that are about to touch her skin. She doesn't seem to mind ... well, at least she doesn't show it if she does.

It's a peaceful experience, milking that is, and as long as Lucy isn't in a 'kicky' mood it only takes about 10 minutes to get 4 or 5 cups of milk.

By the time I'm done milking her my hands are no longer cold. They are toasty warm. I really appreciate that warmth .... almost as much as I appreciate the milk.

As usual, I thank Lucy and put her back in her stall for the night. Then I head back into the house to pasteurize the milk ... that is until this weekend. This weekend I decided to go natural and stop heat treating her milk. So far I've made yogurt and cream cheese from unpasteurized milk. Everything tastes absolutely the same as before.

Making this change means that I have to get past the phycological fear that whispers in my ear that "unpasteurized milk is unsafe". I don't believe that it's unsafe but it's still a leap of faith. I know the risks, having done my research, but I have complete trust in my source of milk ... Lucy. If I suddenly get ill I'll reconsider this change but for now I'm pushing on because it simply feels right.

What do you think about this change? Am I crazy or right on track?


  1. As long as you're keeping up with her health, raw milk is the way to go. We don't pasteurize milk for the house, and we've had zero issues. I think because you're in control of the milking (how sanitary it is, you know your goats health, etc.) there is minimal risk.

    Not to mention, our health has improved. While our extended family seems to be battling illnesses this holiday season, we're all still healthy as can be!

  2. Unpasteurized! You know the source from beginning to end, so I wouldn't think you should have any problems.

  3. I thought the only reason you were pasteurizing was the potential virus Lucy had picked up from Lilly? If enough time has passed that you're sure she's healthy it seems like a good choice to go unpasteurized.

  4. Thanks for the responses. It's nice to have some input from others that have had experience with unpasteurized goat milk.

    At the start I was a concerned that Lucy might have CL and so I heat treated her milk for the kids as a precaution and then later for my own consumption. But I see no signs of CL in Lucy or the kids. She seems in perfect health as do the kids.

    I've been drinking unpasteurized milk all week and I don't notice any negative effects. My children are getting the sniffles and they are showing signs that they are coming down with something (they don't drink the goat milk though). So far I feel absolutely fine ... apart from the lack of sleep :(