Milk Shares

Discussion in 'Egg, Chicken, & Other Favorite Recipes' started by Stacykins, Jul 5, 2011.

  1. Stacykins

    Stacykins Overrun With Chickens

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    I am posting this here because it definitely deals with food, though not sure if it better belongs in the livestock section. I am definitely interested in finding a source of fresh, locally produced milk (either goat, cow, or sheep), but that would involve a share program. The tl;dr of a share program is that a farmer sells a 'share' of a milk producing animal and you also pay an upkeep cost in exchange for milk. I won't be getting some dairy goats until next year (not prepared this year!).

    Has anyone here been a part of a milk share program? What questions should I ask of the farmer before joining one? I know I should see if the goats are well kept and make sure milking is as clean as possible. Anything else?
     
  2. Amyable

    Amyable Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have been herd-share members at a dairy for about 3-4 years now, and love it. Nothing beats fresh, unprocessed milk! The way our farmers run it is we buy a one-time share ($10) and then a $1/yr association fee. We can have as much milk as we want. Some farms limit the amount of milk to the number of shares, like 1 share = 1 gal/week. Ask the farmer how they run their program.

    Also, a pastured or grassfed diet is extremely important when the milk is intended to be consumed raw. Our farm is nearly 100% grassfed. I would also ask for a tour; good farmers are proud to show their operation. Ask how often they test their milk, and what the results usually are.

    Realmilk.com keeps a list of fresh milk dairies for each state. Word of mouth is good too. Good luck finding a farm [​IMG]
     
  3. I am part of a goat share program here in california. I pay an annual fee and get 1/2 gallon of goat milk per week for the entire season. It is more expensive than buying store milk...be warned. I do it for the quality and it is deliverred in my CSA veggie box every week, so no extra effort to drive and pick it up. I use mine to make cheese.

    Since it is part of my csa, i didnt do additional screening, but as i understand it cleanliness if very important or the milk will taste off or could even make you ill. So, I would try to visit the farm and get some brochures or talk to the owner about cleanliness, quality and safety.
     
  4. jcatblum

    jcatblum Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Did a share of fresh cows milk. $50 to buy in plus $24 a month for 1 gallon a week. When you left the share you were refunded $. My biggest concern would be the time frame in which they have already been doing milk & selling by shares. The location & timeframe in which you have to pick up your milk is also very important.
     
  5. jcatblum

    jcatblum Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Cement, OK
    Sorry double post, stupid phone!
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2011
  6. annep

    annep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Im not sure on goats, but with cows, if he grains them too much, it's bad for their gut, and that's where e.coli comes from...in a healthy gut, it's just not there..Small bit of grain at feeding time is ok because their production needs just a bit..
     
  7. Stacykins

    Stacykins Overrun With Chickens

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    Escanaba, MI
    Thank you all, I have definitely written down everything to make sure I have it on hand!

    I found a goat milk share about an hour away (which is close in UP standards [​IMG] ) with a 25$ buy in and then 10$ a week for at least a gallon of milk a week. Considering a quart of goats milk is a pricey 4.50$ at walmart, not bad I think! I thankfully have a very fuel efficient car, so that sort of trip once a week won't break the bank.
     

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