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Can we make rennet from a lamb that hasn't nursed?

 
R Ranson
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Thank goodness this is a theoretical question this year.

If it did happen that a lamb didn't make it due to physical trauma during birth, would it be possible to make rennet from it if the lam hadn't nursed yet? Or is the milk in the stomach vital to creating the enzymes?
 
Rhys Firth
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I am pretty certain the enzymes are still there, they have to be present ready and waiting for the first feed to make it's way down the gullet.

If nothing else, it does no harm to try.




Edit, Google saves the day!

No problem.

http://agris.fao.org/agris-search/search.do?recordID=YU9100139

There is some difference in the chymosin activity of calves which were calved during different seasons of the year. There is no difference between the chymosin activity in the rennet content of live or stillborn calves




https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chymosin

Chymosin /ˈkaɪməsᵻn/ or rennin /ˈrɛnᵻn/ is a protease found in rennet. It is produced by newborn ruminant animals in the lining of the fourth stomach to curdle the milk they ingest, allowing a longer residence in the bowels and better absorption. It is widely used in the production of cheese.
 
R Ranson
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Thanks for the reply.

Wish I had known that last year when a lamb suffocated during a difficult breech birth. Otherwise healthy, we could have made rennet. Good to know for next time it happens.
 
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