Milk Showdown: Cow vs. Sheep vs. Goat – Which is best?

Milk Showdown: Cow vs. Sheep vs. Goat - Which is best? | Weed 'Em and Reap

It’s the FINAL COUNTDOWN! Dada-da-da! Dada-DA-da-da! Dada-da-da, da-da-da-da-da. (FYI,that took me a full 5 min to figure out.)

Get ready ya’ll. Because today we’re gonna have a competition of epic proportions. That’s right, folks. After thousands of years of milk-drinkin,’ we here at Weed ‘em & Reap are going to FINALLY make the decision everybody’s been waiting for.

First, read here to see why we drink raw milk. Now, let’s start with some of the pros and cons of each of the contenders’ milk.

COW

PROS: One of the benefits of cow’s milk is that the cream separates from the liquid. Hence, you get cream. Hence, you get butter. Hence, you get heaven on earth. So yeah, two big thumbs up for that Mrs. Cow. Cow’s milk also is a better milk to “feed the masses.” While I don’t support commercial farms (CAFOs) AT ALL, even small organic, grass fed, raw dairy farms who have only 50 cows can put out a whopping 300 gallons a day. So, another thumbs up to those amazing cows that produce so much milk a day. Also, cow’s milk knocks goat’s milk out of the park in levels of B12 and folate.
CONS: Because the fat globules are bigger (the main reason why the cream separates), cow’s milk is harder to digest. It takes your body about two hours to digest cow’s milk, even if it’s raw. Not too bad, but a far cry from goat milk’s 30 minutes. The 3rd most common allergy for children is cow’s milk, and there are theories for this ranging from leaky gut side effects to a mutation in the beta casein protein in “newer breed” cows like the common Holstein. But no matter what it is, allergies are definitely something to worry about.

GOAT

PROS: Goat’s milk is closest in structure to human milk. The fat globules are smaller, which aids in digestion. In a recent study of infants allergic to cow’s milk found that 93% of them were able to drink goat’s milk with absolutely no allergic reaction! The ease of digestibility is also due to the high amount of medium-chain fatty acids (has 35% compared to cow’s 17%). Goat’s milk also contains less lactose (milk sugars) than cow’s milk, which is great because it helps those who suffer from lactose intolerance. Goat’s milk is slightly alkaline, unlike cow’s milk which is slightly acidic.
CONS: Some people dislike the taste of goat’s milk, and we agree that certain breeds of goats can have musky tasting milk. We own Nigerian Dwarfs, which produce a mild taste that’s almost identical to cow’s milk. The only drawback is that they are small animals. Small animals = less milk. Because we get about 1-2 quarts a day from one goat, we need about 2-3 goats to feed our family of four. Not too bad, but you’d definitely need a lot of Nigerian Dwarfs to “feed the masses.” Read my Guide to Raising and Milking Goats here.

SHEEP

PROS: While there’s some debate on the actual amounts of fat soluble vitamins in sheep’s milk, they still produce the CREAMIEST milk out of these three. Sheep are famous for the deliciously succulent cheeses their milk makes. They are efficient producers, only needing 100% grass (no alfalfa or grain—just cheap grass!) to produce rich milk. Like goats, they also naturally homogenized milk. That means smaller fat globules and more medium-chain fatty acids. This aids in digestion, just like goat’s milk.
CONS: Sheep are naturally prey animals, which means they have difficulty “relaxing” while being milked. Trying to milk a sheep is difficult, because if you scare them even slightly, their bodies will produce adrenaline. This counteracts the “letting down hormone” oxytocin and the subsequent production of milk. Boo.

Next, let’s go over the nutritional facts.

nutrition facts of cow milk, sheep milk and goat milk

Now let’s do some official taste-testing! Yes, all of it is fresh and raw. Deliciousness.
little girl sampling raw milk
The girl:        COW – “Goodish”        GOAT – “Good-ish and Bad-ish”         SHEEP – “Awesome”
 
boy sampling raw milk
The boy:            COW – “Good”             GOAT – “Sweet”             SHEEP – “Awesome”
 
man drinking raw milk
The man:            COW – “Good”             GOAT – “Good”             SHEEP – “Good”
 
 
woman drinking raw milk           The woman:       COW – “Tastes like a hoof”       GOAT – “Sweet”       SHEEP – “Perfect”


So, which is best?

I’ve thought long and hard over the subject of milk and I’ve come to an official decision for everybody.

Are you ready?

I have no idea. Lolololzzz…. Honestly it just comes down to personal preference.

You’re probably wondering that if sheep’s milk is so superior in nutrition, why it isn’t more popular? I’ll tell ya’ now: I’ve been milking my sheep, Paula for the last month and that animal is a pain in the rain. Sheep are not friendly. And by “not friendly,” I mean “has given me a bloody nose, knocked me flat on my back, and bruised my hands and shins.”

Personally, I prefer goat’s milk because goats are cheap, easy and fun. (Hey sounds like my best friend in high school!)

Seriously though, I attribute the reversal of my son’s asthma to our lovely goat’s milk. The smaller fat globules makes it easier for him to digest. Personally, when I drink goat’s milk I feel like it goes down clear and smooth and light. With cow’s milk, I feel sort of phlegmy and it seems like I am always clearing my throat. I LOVE BUTTER though, so I would still love to have a cow someday (literally) and the benefit of having copious amounts of milk to make tons of butter. Mmmm, butter.

I do love sheep’s milk as well (although Paula’s a brat), and I’d love to get myself a dairy sheep that didn’t hate my guts so I could make some rich cheese. Right now we only have meat sheep, and while you technically can milk them, they aren’t efficient producers and they are basically Satan’s spawn.

I guess overall, there is a benefit to each kind of milk. You’ll just have to decide which works best for you. Above all, I gotta give a shout out for RAW MILK. It is awesome, and nourishing! If you are worried about drinking raw milk or need to search for raw milk in your area, go to Realmilk.com.

After our showdown, which do you choose?

Milk Showdown: Cow vs. Sheep vs. Goat - Which is best? || Weed 'Em and Reap

Sources:
http://www.dieteticai.ufba.br/temas/leitederivados/cabra%20e%20ovelha.pdf
http://www.milkfacts.info/Nutrition%20Facts/Nutrient%20Content.htm

This post is a part of…Small Footprint Fridays

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