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~ Raw Milk is Real Milk! ~
We are honored to be serving dozens of families weekly and providing them with the amazing health benefits that only raw milk can offer. Because raw milk sales are not permitted in Michigan, we sell shares of our dairy herd which allows herd share owners access to fresh raw milk from their own cows.
Herd Share Details -
One share entitles the share owner to 2 gallons of milk weekly. There is an initial herd share purchase fee of $100 per share (we will be happy to reimburse you this cost if you'd ever like to sell your share back to us) and a $80 per month boarding fee per share. We sell shares in increments of 1/4, so you may purchase a share that best matches your milk needs, may that be 1/2 gallon or 3 gallons (or more) per week.
How is the milk packaged?
4 half gallon glass mason jars with canning lid seals and white plastic lids are provided per share. Jars are to be returned weekly, clean and dry. Jars are sanitized prior to being refilled with milk.
How is milk pick up handled?
Herd Share owners pick up their milk on the same day every week. The milk will be ready and waiting for you in the refrigerator in our Farm Store on your designated day.
What do the cows eat?
Our cows are raised on pasture and are 100% grass and forage fed. They receive no grain. This is extremely important to us as it helps to ensure proper rumen Ph and optimal milk safety. Not only is the milk safer, but it's also healthier. Grass fed milk is higher in Omega-3 fats, vitamin E, beta carotene, and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid). The cows have free choice access to pasture and hay at all times. When they come in to be milked, they get a treat of alfalfa pellets and soaked beet pulp (an approved forage) with their vitamins, minerals, and probiotics mixed in. Each cow's diet is individually tailored to meet her unique needs.
What testing is done?
Our milk cows are tested once a year for Johnes, Brucellosis, and Tuberculosis.
As for the milk, we use a test and hold procedure. All milk is tested daily (yup, you read that right, daily) by running a Coliform Count (CC) and Standard Plate Count (SPC), to ensure that the milk meets our stringent low count standards before leaving the farm.
(For reference, the raw milk standards set by Raw Milk Institute are Coliform Counts of 10 Coliform per ml or less and SPC of 15,000 or less per ml.)
Here at Six S Dairy, our daily average is less than 1 Coliform per ml and a SPC of less than 200.
These are important numbers because as the Raw milk Institute founder explains on their site, a milk sample with between 2 and 5 coliform in a ml cannot harbor the dreaded E.coli 0157:H7 because “you have to have hundreds in order to find one.” ).
Periodically samples are sent out to a local laboratory for pathogen testing. We also regularly monitor Somatic Cell Counts.
Our Herd Share Owners are given full access to test results and they may be viewed by them at any time.
Do we use antibiotics?
We never give daily antibiotics to improve production or growth. Any time an animal has an injury or illness, we first treat with natural items such as herbs, vitamins, and essential oils. If natural treatments fail, we will use antibiotics to protect the animals quality of life and promote healing. Dairy cows who may need to be treated are removed from the milking line until all antibiotics have left her system. We keep our owners well informed, and they would be fully informed about the cow’s treatment. In all honesty, this happens very rarely, we could count on one hand the number of times we’ve had to use antibiotics in the past 10 years.