Author Topic: A Gallon of Milk  (Read 18882 times)

jba302

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 623
Re: A Gallon of Milk
« Reply #50 on: January 29, 2014, 09:34:55 AM »
And you just borrow a stud as needed and then make your own veal?

I suppose so. With 2 acres I imagine you could raise it up to a decent weight and butcher as well. Sounds easy doesn't it lol.

projekt

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 282
Re: A Gallon of Milk
« Reply #51 on: January 31, 2014, 06:32:56 AM »
Veterinarian here.

Just thought I'd mention that milk is generally not subsidized. Quite the opposite: there are wholesale price supports to keep dairies in business. Conventional milk sells wholesale for $11-$14/cwt, approx. 8 gal. The typical dairy barely breaks even. The difference between the wholesale price and the store price is mostly taken by the distributor, e.g. Dean's. Aldi milk is cheaper than the rest because it is a loss leader for the store. That's why there's a limit on milk purchases at the low price. Organic milk and rBST-free milk sells for a higher price.

Personally, I dislike rBST for two reasons. One, I don't think it's right to take cattle (Holsteins) that already over-produce milk and make them produce more. Two, it's counterproductive because it creates oversupply in an environment of already depressed milk prices. It only benefits the drug maker (Elanco) in my opinion. So I recommend the rBST-free product because I think it's better for everyone involved.

The majority of the milk is used to make pizza. The fraction of liquid milk going to consumer drinkable product has been declining for a long time. Lots of dairies have a single customer, such as a cheese or a yogurt company.

There is a lot of variation in dairies regarding cleanliness but most dairies are pretty conscientious. Holstein cattle are hungry all the time because they produce so much milk, so they are not usually out on pasture. They are eating high-energy food and hanging around a barn. So good dairies have automated cleaning the barn so that they are not standing in much muck. If you put them on pasture, they'd all be hanging around in the muck near the feed trough anyway. The lower-yield cattle take much more time to rest and so they are better for pasture.

Dairy cattle perform an important service recycling the tailings from several industries. Beet pulp (sugar), distiller's grains (ethanol) and peanut hulls are all mixed with corn silage to make feed. One of the big jobs dairy vets do is keeping tabs on these incoming food sources and making sure they get blended in a healthy way. The outputs are milk and manure, and the manure goes for organic farming. All in all, it's not a bad industry.

Eric

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4061
  • Location: On my bike
Re: A Gallon of Milk
« Reply #52 on: January 31, 2014, 10:53:24 AM »
The majority of the milk is used to make pizza. The fraction of liquid milk going to consumer drinkable product has been declining for a long time. Lots of dairies have a single customer, such as a cheese or a yogurt company.

I would've assumed that Starbucks was the largest user of milk in the country.  (only half-joking here)

MgoSam

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3643
  • Location: Minnesota
Re: A Gallon of Milk
« Reply #53 on: January 31, 2014, 11:51:18 AM »
I read somewhere the Chipotle was the largest user of avocados in the world...

Bank

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 224
Re: A Gallon of Milk
« Reply #54 on: January 31, 2014, 12:32:00 PM »
Oh hey!  Something I know a lot about (dairy cows).

Cows produce widely varying amounts of milk.  First there is the variance between breeds.  Holsteins produce a ton (9-10 gallons a day) but with low butterfat content.  Guernseys produce less.  Jersey's produce about 5 gallons max, but with very high butterfat.  So there's that.

Second, the production varies widely based on the time of year and what you're feeding your cow.  Immediately after she drops her calf, you'll see the numbers above.  That declines rapidly and then stabilizes over the summer (assuming a Spring birth, as cows and other animals tend to do in the wild) as the cow gorges herself on nature's bounty.  As you get towards the winter, production dwindles to a half gallon or gallon tops (from a Jersey cow) before she is "dried off" in preparation for her next calf.

We had a family Jersey cow and I worked on commercial dairy farms for years.  My parents found that while yearly calves were the best strategy for optimal production and profit, they didn't have to follow it.  As their milk needs, particularly after we kids left home, were small, they just continued to milk through the winter.  The cow went years without a calf.  Production would dwindle to almost nothing in the winter and then bounce back in the Spring and Summer.

Hope this helps.  Happy to provide further details if there's anything else you want to know.


Bank

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 224
Re: A Gallon of Milk
« Reply #55 on: January 31, 2014, 12:34:22 PM »
And you just borrow a stud as needed and then make your own veal?

I suppose so. With 2 acres I imagine you could raise it up to a decent weight and butcher as well. Sounds easy doesn't it lol.

Much easier to just have the AI Man (artificial insemination) come out and do the job.  Messing around with bulls is dangerous if you don't know what you're doing.

wtjbatman

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1313
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Missouri
Re: A Gallon of Milk
« Reply #56 on: February 01, 2014, 03:49:37 AM »
(and it looks like I'll have to cross the border into IL for some raw cheese-makin' milk pretty soon.)

Definitely no milk or cheese in Wisconsin.


netskyblue

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 630
  • Location: Midwest USA
Re: A Gallon of Milk
« Reply #57 on: February 01, 2014, 02:32:56 PM »
I drink milk with every meal.  Here in Iowa, it's illegal to sell/buy raw milk.  The loophole, as far as I know, is that if you OWN the cow, and it's boarded and milked by the people raising the cow, you can pay them (for board and labor for your cow.)

What I would love is to find out if it's possible for multiple people, 2 or 3 families, to share ownership of a cow, and receive deliveries of their cow's milk on a regular basis.  And if that is legal, my goodness I wish I could find a local dairy farmer willing to run such a venture.

senecando

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 486
  • Age: 30
  • Location: Madison, Wi
Re: A Gallon of Milk
« Reply #58 on: February 03, 2014, 09:00:00 AM »
(and it looks like I'll have to cross the border into IL for some raw cheese-makin' milk pretty soon.)

Definitely no milk or cheese in Wisconsin.

There's both is abundance, but THE MAN says I can't purchase raw goatmilk in this beautiful state. Damn him!

wakkowarner

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 76
Re: A Gallon of Milk
« Reply #59 on: February 04, 2014, 04:22:15 PM »
What I would love is to find out if it's possible for multiple people, 2 or 3 families, to share ownership of a cow, and receive deliveries of their cow's milk on a regular basis.  And if that is legal, my goodness I wish I could find a local dairy farmer willing to run such a venture.

What you describe is called a "cow share".
http://www.realmilk.com/herdshares/share-agreements/

netskyblue

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 630
  • Location: Midwest USA
Re: A Gallon of Milk
« Reply #60 on: February 04, 2014, 05:53:57 PM »
What I would love is to find out if it's possible for multiple people, 2 or 3 families, to share ownership of a cow, and receive deliveries of their cow's milk on a regular basis.  And if that is legal, my goodness I wish I could find a local dairy farmer willing to run such a venture.

What you describe is called a "cow share".
http://www.realmilk.com/herdshares/share-agreements/

Thanks...sadly I just found out that IS illegal in Iowa, too. :(

wakkowarner

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 76
Re: A Gallon of Milk
« Reply #61 on: February 14, 2014, 01:06:25 PM »
What I would love is to find out if it's possible for multiple people, 2 or 3 families, to share ownership of a cow, and receive deliveries of their cow's milk on a regular basis.  And if that is legal, my goodness I wish I could find a local dairy farmer willing to run such a venture.

What you describe is called a "cow share".
http://www.realmilk.com/herdshares/share-agreements/

Thanks...sadly I just found out that IS illegal in Iowa, too. :(

Looks like that is true, however there is a bill to remove the restriction:
http://www.realmilk.com/state-updates/#ia
http://legiscan.com/IA/bill/HSB131/2013