Different types of milk

Have you looked at the milk cooler lately and seen the different types of milk? Or have you read an article saying you should be drinking a specific milk type?

Donia Farms Grass-Fed Milk

Grass-fed milk is the only milk that is nutritionally different than other kinds of milk. Our Grass-Fed Milk will be higher in Omega 3 and Omega 6 in comparison to conventional or even organic milk. Grass-fed will also have a different taste profile, often sweeter. This is due to the diet difference of the cows.

Our Grass-Fed cows are fed a diet that contains 20% energy, grain, and 80% dry hay, which today we are using Alfalfa. The modern dairy cows being the athletes they are today, require more energy than cows in the past. We feed our cows the most forage of all the grass-fed milk companies. Competitive brands allow their farmers to feed as low as 70% forage and 30% grain.

When the weather permits, the grass-fed cows will have access to pasture, but interestingly on beautiful days most prefer to relax in the barn.

Conventional Milk

This is the milk that makes up the bulk of milk produced and consumed. Macro nutritionally, it is the same as Grass-Fed or Organic.

The diet of our non-grass-fed cows will be based on the macro and micro nutritional needs of the cow. We will work with our nutritionist to formulate a diet that promotes ample milk production but, more importantly, maximizes her health. This usually works out to a 60/40 split between forages and grain. For this set of cows, we will tweak the diet weekly very slightly, depending on her varying needs.

There is no pasture requirement for cows that are producing conventional milk. Our cows, whether grass-fed or regular, all have access to outside patios. The main goal with our conventional cows is to give them the best possible living conditions we can for them to be happy, healthy and produce quality milk. 

Organic Milk

Despite some belief, organic milk on a macro nutrition level has no differences then other milk. Micro nutritionally, there may be a case to be made because of higher levels of CLA due to cows being on pasture more often. Overall though, there isn’t much difference in the milk.

From a diet perspective, the organic diet would be similar to our conventional cows’ diet in terms of content. Although an organic farmer is only allowed to feed up to 40% grain, they would set up a diet to maximize milk production. Like with Grass-Fed or Conventional milk, the cows’ health is still an essential factor in developing a diet. The main difference between organic milk and our grass-fed or conventional is that they would need to source certified organic feed.  In addition, organic cows will be required to be on pasture for 120 days or as weather permits. 

An organic farm, similar to us, would administer a necessary antibiotic to a sick cow. Some medications will be restricted from use for an organic farmer. If you read our post about the priorities of a dairy farmer, you’ll see keeping our cows healthy is essential. Both us and an organic farmer will not let the milk from a sick cow enter the milk tank. Each medication will have a required number of days that milk will need to be dumped for after the last treatment. An organic farm will need to wait longer than a non organic farm before a treated cow enters back into milking, however all farmers as well as strict Canadian regulations ensure the milk you drink is always clean. 

Conclusion

In conclusion, all milk is produced with the intent of giving you the most healthy, delicious product we can. The grass-fed milk has higher CLA and omega threes then organic and conventional milk. Conventional milk is produced with efficiency  and sustainability in mind while ensuring that the cows’ health is protected by providing her with exactly what she needs. Organic milk’s main difference is that the feed fed to them needs to also be Certified Organic. 

Have a question, comment or a suggestion for another topic, please email us, we love hearing from interested people, helps us understand another perspective. Info@doniafarms.com

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