How do Herd Shares Work?
We offer our milk in herd shares to folks. Let me explain how a herd share works: The state of Michigan won’t allow us to sell raw milk, but you may purchase a share of a goat. Because you own a share of the goat, you pay to have the byproducts from that goat (one of which is milk). The money that you give us is not to buy the milk, but to pay for the feed for your share of the goat and for our labor to take care of your share of the goat. When you buy a herd share from us, we have a little contract that you sign saying that you understand all of this.
Cow’s Milk vs Goat’s Milk
There are those who avoid goat milk because they do not appreciate the differences between cow and goat milk, and in some case I agree. Goat milk is definitely a little thicker, richer and creamier that the average homogenized cow milk available at the grocery store. For someone who is used to drinking 2% or skim cow milk, there is going to be a big change in that when compared with whole goat milk. Being a goat farmer, I definitely prefer a glass of goat milk over cow milk any day. No disrespect, but after drinking the rich, sweet goat milk on our farm, I find that drinking cow milk purchased from a store is like having a glass of sour water. Now, a comparison of rich flavorful Jersey cow whole milk and goat milk might reveal little taste difference at all. But most people forget the differences or origin and content when comparing cow and goat milk flavor.
Natural (not Mechanical) Homogenization
Goat milk is naturally homogenized. The natural homogenization of goat milk is, from a human health standpoint, much better than the mechanically homogenized cow milk product. It appears that when fat globules are forcibly broken up by mechanical means, it allows and enzyme associated with milk fat, known as xanthine oxidase to become free and penetrate the intestinal wall. Once xanthine oxidase gets through the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream, it is capable of creating scar damage to the heart and arteries, which in turn may stimulate the body to release cholesterol into the blood in an attempt to lay a protective fatty material on the scarred areas. This can lead to arteriosclerosis. It should be noted that this effect is not a problem with natural (unhomogenized) cow milk. In unhomogenized milk this enzyme is normally excreted from the body without much absorption.