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Cow's milk vs Goat's milk

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mcleodnaturals

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Okay, I have made one batch of goat's milk soap (which was great!) but I had to buy the milk at the store and we have 250 head of beef cattle just roaming around and it's calving season, so there is an abundance of milk and I'm wondering if I can use cow's milk instead?! how's that for a run-on sentence??:shock: It's not dairy cow milk, and I'm not sure what the difference would be between dairy cow milk and beef cow milk, especially if you're using it for soap (I'm pretty sure there's a taste issue there :shock: :lol: but that's not my point!)

thanks!
 
G

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Hi!

Cows milk will give the soap a nice creamy lather like GM will - but GM has a PH level closer to human skin than Cow's milk does and will lower the PH in your soap a bit naturally.
 

happyday

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The protein and fat structure of goats' milk is different from cows' milk. Goat's milk doesn't separate naturally, so the fats are evenly distributed through the fluid. There are also more sugars. As far as cows go, beef cattle have a higher protein and fat content than dairy cattle because there is less fluid. Because it is richer, I think it would be nicer to use in soap than dairy milk. The trick is to get it out of the cow! Have you ever actually had to milk out a beef cow when there is a problem with the calf? Unless you have an amazingly tame herd, it's a rodeo. For a good percentage cream content you will have to empty the entire udder too, or at least an entire quarter, because the foremilk is almost entirely fluid while the last milk to come out is much higher in fats.

Thinking about incorporating raw cows' milk into the soap -- the minute you start to chill or freeze the milk to keep the lye from burning it, you will have cream separation, and then saponification of the cream as you try to stir the lye into the milk. If I were going to try it, I think I would measure out how much milk I need for a soap recipe and let the cream rise in the refridgerator for about 24 hours. Skim the cream off and use the skimmed milk as liquid, adding the cream back in at trace.

Beef cattle process beta carotene into Vitamin A more readily than dairy cattle, so their cream won't be as yellow as a Holstein or a Jersey.

Hope that helps!
 

IanT

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wow thats some useful info I never thought id have learned anywhere else but an ag program! :)...Id love to have some cows one day, dont think i could bring myself to have beef cows though...I think id only eat the ones that died prematurely or something (but then id have enough meat for like a year lol...
 
G

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happyday said:
Thinking about incorporating raw cows' milk into the soap -- the minute you start to chill or freeze the milk to keep the lye from burning it, you will have cream separation, and then saponification of the cream as you try to stir the lye into the milk. If I were going to try it, I think I would measure out how much milk I need for a soap recipe and let the cream rise in the refridgerator for about 24 hours. Skim the cream off and use the skimmed milk as liquid, adding the cream back in at trace.
I have access to raw cow's milk. This is a fabulous idea. I can't wait to try it!
 

mcleodnaturals

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Thanks so much for all that info!!! Wow!

And yes, we do have to milk the cows when there are problems with the calves not being able to suck properly, or if the cow gets engorged. And by "we" I mean my husband and father in law!! :wink: Our cows are pretty tame...the guys get run at every once in a while, but for the most part people can approach them and work with the calves to tag them and such without too much trouble.

I think I'll give this cow's milk idea a try, even if it's only for our own use.

Thanks again!

:D
 

WilsonFamilyPicnic

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have you tried this with raw milk happyday?

i made a cow milk soap a few weeks ago, with homogenized milk, i haven't tried it yet though.
 

happyday

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I've soaped raw goats' milk and sheep milk, but not raw cows' milk. I did, however, milk a crossbred Angus/Jersey cow for 7 years for raw family consumption, we've also had a herd of Angus beefers in the pasture for 12 years now, and I'm very familiar with the qualities of raw milk. The original post talked about using milk straight from a beef herd, which is what triggered my thought process. Homogenized cows' milk, whether pasteurized or not, would be used like goats' milk because the homogenization would keep it from separating. But unhomogenized cows' milk, whether pasteurized or raw, and whether from beef or dairy cattle, will separate. Chilling hastens the separation since the fats conglomerate faster as they cool. You can see the cream line forming on top within just a few minutes after straining the milk and putting it in the fridge.

I haven't been able to add lye to goats' or sheep milk or buttermilk without freezing it first to avoid carmelizing and burning the milk sugars. But if you stick unhomogenized cows' milk in the freezer, it just hastens the rising and separation of the fats. Logically, you wouldn't add oils or butters to your liquid as you are trying to dissolve your lye, so it only makes sense to separate the milk into its components and add them separately.

If using regular homogenized, pasteurized milk from the store, you can use it without all the hoopla -- commercial whole milk is mixed to average 3-1/2 to 4% fat, and the protein content of Holstein milk is lower than that of Jerseys or any beef cattle. That's within a few points of the "average" goat milk content, depending on diet and lactation cycle, of course. OTOH, when I was milking the Angus/Jersey cross, we averaged nearly a quart of cream out of every gallon and the protein content was high enough that the skimmed milk was still dense and white -- not watery and blue. You can imagine what that did to DH's cholesterol! Wish I had that kind of time and energy again.
 

Barb

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i never thought that i would say this but i miss living on a working farm.

as a kid and living it day to day out in the boonies it was a hard way to grow up in more ways then one. we pretty much worked from sunup to sundown and not much time for anything else except working and school. i vowed back then when i got married, it would be to a city slicker and live in town.

but now i miss all the fresh veggies, fresh eggs, milk, homemade butter and ice cream.
 

IanT

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ohhh i wish i lived on a farm...one day...one day...

ag is in my blood, just have to acquire the resources to start a farm of my own...thats really what id like to do, you really can survive off of so little, you just need the space :)
 

WilsonFamilyPicnic

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hey thanks for all the info happyday!

we're starting to happily homestead on our 3.5 acres....built more box gardens this year, built rain barrels to water them, planted all my herb seeds and veggie seeds, building an awesome fence around the garden, buying our tipi later this summer and hopefully getting alpacas by next summer....we keep talking about having a farm one day, i think we're nearly there already though!
 

mcleodnaturals

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Well, I got my fresh beef cow milk yesterday. My dear father in law milked the cow for me and had it waiting when I got home from town! What a guy! They had to milk her again last night and I went out to try my hand, but she took a big poop right before I was about to milk her....so I opted to just watch! I wasn't about to kneel in a squishy cow patty in my good jeans and shoes... :shock: Anyway, my milk just got put into ice cube trays in the freezer after I skimmed the cream off.

I sure hope this works out! I'll keep you all posted ...
 

IanT

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awesome!!! cant wait to see the results when you make a batch!
 

happyday

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And pictures, of course! I hope it comes together nicely for you.

What breed of cows do you have? If that old girl is so gentle, you really need to have a try at milking yourself -- when you successfully get a good stream going, it's a feeling very similar to your first batch of successful soap. It's that "OMG, I really did it!" feeling. :wink: Every now and then I miss milking...
 

Woodi

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This is a very interesting post!

Can't wait to see the results, mcCleodnaturals!

and thanks to happyday for the info! I never would've figured that....

but you know Ian: you don't need to own the farm to get nice fresh milk and veggies. Just move to an area with farms, get to know the neighbours and trade for soap! (it's what I do, hehe).
 

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