Here are some common questions that are often asked about our cows and farm.
1. Do your cows have access to pasture?
Yes they do. In fact they are actually pasture kept. They have access to shelter, but we prefer to let them choose. We keep the sheds bedded with straw, soybean vines or corn fodder. We do have stalls but they are mainly used for maternity purposes. They also have free access to water, and hay. We have waterers out in the field, as well as in the sheds, so they don’t need to go far.
2. Are your cows grass fed?
Yes they are. Since they are on pasture 24/7, they have unlimited pasture grass. However in the winter grass in our area goes dormant. Our feed changes to the grass feeds we were able to put up during the summer. Grass hay, alfalfa hay, corn silage, and even the little bit of grain we feed is grown on the farm and in reality they are all really grasses.
3. Are you organic?
No we are not and we do not plan on it. Our crops are grown to feed our cows, and those are not certified organic. We also want the right to use antibiotics if needed. We don’t like to and try not to use antibiotics. However in organic dairying if a cow is given antibiotics, they need to leave the farm. It is also the standard in the American Dairy Industry and State/Federal regulations that any milk for human consumption is NOT mixed with those treated with antibiotics.
4. Do you add food coloring to you products?
No we do not. The golden color of the cheese and butter is natural. Guernseys digest beta carotene differently that other dairy breeds. This causes their milk to have a golden hue to it. Kind of the same way flamingos are pink. Its from the beta carotene in the foods they eat like shrimp, and causes their to turn feathers pink.
5. What does A2A2 mean?
There are two main milk proteins. A1A1 and A2A2 (and a variation of both). A large percentage of the Guernsey Breed is naturally A2A2. Along with their golden milk, makes their milk a premium. The two proteins are digest differently, and some have a problems digesting the A1 proteins. The Guernsey breed is a great source for the naturally occurring A2 gene as well as the proteins. We plan to become an all certified A2A2 herd with in the year. At this time we are using DNA tests to confirm as we reach for our goal. We have tested and are all A2A2, just not certified yet.