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Using cows to feed other livestock

 
Ryan Basye
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I was reading "Cottage Economy" and read that he would feed the chickens the curds and the pigs the whey. It doesn't say how he went about it though, something I notice with a lot of these books, they tell you what you can do but not how to do it, at least in usable detail. Anyway, do I have to put every days milk on the stove and make "farmer cheese"? I would rather not have to use that much electricity every day. Can I just let it sit in a bucket and have different buckets for every day or can I pure it into a 35 gallon barrel everyday and skim out the curds that form? Is there a book out there that tells you how, in detail, to process milk into different things? When I raise chickens in my Salatin style tractor this spring I would like to use the curds as my protein source instead of having to buy meat and bone meal. Thank you for your input.
 
Julia Winter
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Whew! I thought you were talking about feeding cow bodies to other livestock, but you're talking about dairy products. I am not an expert, but I have read other people recount their experiences with fermenting dairy, and I did keep a kefir culture going for a few months. Walter Jeffries raises hogs on whey and is able to keep a yogurtish culture going in big tanks, outside in Vermont. Another women told of dumping extra goat dairy into a ? 5 gallon bucket that went to her hens.

Anyway, I would encourage you to look into kefir.

I have a feeling that fresh clean raw milk is more likely to ferment than to spoil, but I don't have hard data to back up that intuition. I would encourage you to try, and trust your senses as to whether the ferment/cheese you've made is food. When it comes to hens, in my 12 years of experience of giving them our scraps, including spoiled food, they are very good at figuring out what to eat and what to leave.

I would also recommend checking out Walters excellent blog at sugarmtnfarm.com and searching for "whey" and "dairy."
 
R Scott
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You don't really need to add much, if any, heat to fresh from the cow milk to get it to curd. Right now we don't have enough chickens to make it worth the time, so all the extra milk goes to the pigs.

Where I want to get to is to be able to skim the cream from ALL the milk, then only cool what the family needs and put the rest to the pigs and chickens. But no one wants to clean a separator every day.
 
Julia Winter
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I forgot to say why I recommend looking into kefir. Kefir ferments milk at low temperatures. Kefir "grains" are a mixture of bacteria species and yeast species that work together to convert milk into a yogurt like substance and whey. Yogurt is traditionally made in warm countries, kefir comes from colder places.
 
K Nelfson
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I think you should read about cheese making. There's lots on the interwebs and I'm not going to try to re-write if all for you here. In particular, check out the following link. It's practical, doesn't require a lot of equipment, and the buy knows his biochemistry. For once, it's someone who has all of the details right AND isn't trying to sell you something.

http://biology.clc.uc.edu/Fankhauser/Cheese/Cheese.html

Anyway, you don't need heat to curdle milk, if that's the goal. Use a non-thermophilic yogurt culture if you want control over the process, otherwise let nature take its course and you'll end up with curds in a few days.
 
C Englund
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Location: Bloomington, IN
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K Nelfson wrote:Anyway, you don't need heat to curdle milk, if that's the goal. Use a non-thermophilic yogurt culture if you want control over the process, otherwise let nature take its course and you'll end up with curds in a few days.


This. Are you trying to have human consumption off this or just animal? On our dairy anytime we had a cow whose milk wasn't qualified for sale we'd just fill buckets/barrels with the milk and let it sit outside. One way or another (A day to a week depending on weather) it would always separate off and the chickens loved it.
 
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