Safe milk : LUSENET : Dairygoats : One Thread

All of you who are milking your herd, did you have your does tested for communicable diseases to people? Our vet said there are a few diseases that can pas through the milk and infect us. I didn't know this so we have been vaccinating and testing for a total of 6 weeks now. My family and I still have not been able to drink the milk. We are to take them in on Sat and have another blood draw. Results should be back a week later. I dont even know if my family will like the taste of the milk. Here my does and I have been working so hard for possibly nothing. I didn't know there was this issue. The county extension office just said to pasturize the milk- great if you are not interested in making cheese. We have 2 children under 4 so I'm taking this seriouse. I do not want our children sick. Do any of you have a good resource for finding accurate info on dairy issues or from your own experience? I am loosing patients. I'm not sure if I should sell what I have and try to locate a dairy with certifiable disease free stock. I heard that selling goat milk in Tennessee is illeagal so I'm sure to have a hard time locating new stock. Thank you for all your help.

-- SeattleGirl (, September 22, 2002


Goats are different from cattle, but the advice on milk is always given as for raw cow milk. Brucellosis and TB are both common enough in cattle but almost unheard of in goats in the US. I have never had my goats tested for anything but CAE, and raised all four of my chiildren on raw goat milk from the time they were little. It is important to milk from healthy does, keep the milk clean (no manure in the milk and if she puts her foot in it throw it out!), strain and cool it quickly in a cold water bath before refrigerating, and drink fresh milk only. The CAE testing is more for the health of the goats than ourselves as we drink the milk from the does with CAE as well as the ones who do not have it- it can't infect people.

-- Rebekah (, September 22, 2002.

If you buy goats from people who use the milk for their family ,they most likely will be disease free as far as stuff humans can catch.Do you know the people well , who you bought your goats from ?.

I bought some milk goats about four years ago from people who had healthy herds.I still didn't totally trust the milk , I heated it the first year to pasturize it.I now drink it raw.

You mentioned :" The county extension office just said to pasturize the milk- great if you are not interested in making cheese. "

You can make soft cheese by heating the milk to the same temperture or higher as pasturized milk and add some vinegar .It will be pasturized , and you'll have cheese.

You could also pasturize the milk and use yourself or husband as a guinea pig sort of, and drink the milk for a few weeks and when you realize it's safe then let your children drink it.

Store bought cows milks probably has a better chance of carring a human transmitted disease than home grown . At home you can see if the animal is healthy. I've seen sick cows at a dairy waiting on line to get milked . Also I once seen a farmer transporting milk in steel drums from one small dairy to a larger ones milk storage tank.The steel drums had a warning label on them that said : Warning do not reuse these containers,the steel drums had herbicide in them originally.

I have a friend who's wife is originally from Switzland. Her brother who owns a dairy farm in Switzland and was in the U.S. on vacation last year.He went to a few dairy cow farms in this country to see how he might be able to improve some of his techniques used in his farm. He couldn't believe how unsanitary ( compared to Switzland ) the dairies farms were in the U.S. . He claimed if he operated his farm like we allow in the U.S. , the health department in his country would close the farm down. He also didn't understand how people didn't get sick from the milk the way we operate commercial daries in the U.S. .

You also mentioned : " I heard that selling goat milk in Tennessee is illeagal so I'm sure to have a hard time locating new stock. "

I'm assuming this means you live in Tennessee. There are a good number of dairy goats farms in eastern Tennesse where I live , as well as central Tennessee. You might have to search a month or 2 to get a real good milker , but they are not hard to find . And a decent milker is much easier to find.Most are small herds owned by people who care about the health of their herd , because they feed the milk to their children also. What makes you think there is something wrong with the ones you have ?

The reason goat milks is illeagal to sell in Tennessee is political . The cow dairies have alot of influence on politics and local laws. And they know goat milk is prefered by alot of people around here.

Your concerns for your childrens health is the same reasons people I know ,raise dairy goats for. And it's smart to use caution if you are unfamiliar with raising your own meats or milk for your family . But if you knew some of the practices being allowed in the commercial meat and milk industries in the U.S. , you'd probably want to raise your children as vegetarians , I would... I've seen sick cows with cancer being sold at livestock auctions , that were going to end up as USDA inspected meat for hamburgers.

Find an experienced milk goat person in your area. They may be able to help you better than the vet. And if you live in eastern Tennessee , I know some dairy goats herds that are real healthy , I'd give you their phone# , but I'm guessing the goats you have already are probably healthy.

-- Steve (, September 22, 2002.

Thank you both for your time and insight. My does were tested for Brucellosis and Leptospirosis. Neg on the Brucellosis but both tested 1:100 on the Lepto. I purchased these from a family that raises Nubian/Boer cross for their own consumption as well as selling their overstock to ethnic markets. We are located in Middle Tennessee outside Nashville, the meat market is good but I am having a hard time locating dairy people. I hope we can start drinking the milk soon, the family goes through 5 gallons of milk every 2 weeks. From what Steve said, I would prefer to know a history on the milk!! Thank you both let me know if you hear anything else on this.

-- SeattleGirl (, September 23, 2002.

The Crossville flea market is a place where people will bring their dairy goats to when they can't find a private party to sell them to.I know some breeders that every year get a few milkers or kids and sell that at Crossville. They are usually registered and good quality doe and kids. As they improve their herds , they sell off the ones with the less desirable qualities. Even their worst doe can be better than a lot of peoples best doe. Most are gallon and a half to 2 gallon milkers ,French Alpines.They are usually sold outside the stock barn, although some people will bring their goats in the stockbarn to get sold , but these goats will catch some diseases in the dirty stock barn and I wouldn't bring them into my herd. The ones outside the stockbarn ,I feel safer about bringing back to mix with my herd.

-- Steve (, September 27, 2002.

dont sell ur goats just dont milk them they could be an enjoymeny of ur 4- yearolds

-- Brandon Loulou (, January 26, 2003.

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