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Discussion Starter #1
I've been milking my backyard goats for 3 years now and drinking the milk raw (I follow safe milking procedures and refrigerate the milk right away). I've always felt comfortable about this choice.

However, today I got into a bit of a fight/discussion on a friend's Facebook page with someone who works in food safety, and he basically tried to make me feel as if I was being unnecessary risky by not pasteurizing. I'm a new mom, so I think I'm sensitive to any accusations that I'm being "unsafe." My daughter is only 10 months so she's not drinking non-human milk yet, but she will drink the goat milk at some point in the future.

I guess I'm just looking to hear from other goat owners... Do you feel safe drinking the milk from your own animals raw, or do you feel that it's safer to pasteurize?
 

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Look for me in the barn...
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We do drink it raw, and feel completely safe doing so. However, there are no infants or young children here. I'm not sure what we would do if there were, but I think that if/when I have children, assuming I still have goats (totally planning on it!) I might "lightly" pasteurize the milk for awhile. I have a friend who has a small goat dairy and farmers market in AZ, and they employ a method called "vat pasteurization" which, instead of quickly heating the milk to a high temp for a short period of time, the milk is heated to a lower temp for a longer period of time. Here are two links with some more info:

http://www.thekitchn.com/what-is-vat-pa ... ilk-167433

http://www.idfa.org/files/249_Pasteuriz ... ethods.pdf
 

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I'm due to have a baby in about 6 weeks, and I've felt comfortable drinking raw milk throughout my pregnancy. I talked to my midwife about it and she said that if I was confident in the health of my animals and in my cleaning/sanitizing practices, she thought that it would be fine. We have to remember that raw milk has a lot of wonderful things in it as well, some of which can be lost during pasteurization.

I am much more careful about my milk handling this summer, and there have been some days were I haven't drunk the milk (the rest of my family has) because I wasn't 100% confident in its cleanliness (maybe a hoof got close to the bucket, etc). So I'm a lot more picky than I was pre-pregnancy.

I also plan on introducing my child to raw milk after breastfeeding. I just came across an article recently about how much fewer allergies there are in Amish children, and they believe that this might be because the children grow up drinking raw milk.

I'm sorry that this person made you feel bad about your choice to drink raw milk. I love raw milk and think that it's wonderful, but the important thing is that we all make a choice that we're comfortable with.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for your responses so far, everyone. I wanted to add on to what Katie said because I did choose to drink my goats' raw milk throughout my pregnancy, and have continued to drink it through breastfeeding. So, I suppose, my baby has already been consuming raw milk through me. :)
 

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I have a small herd raw milk permit to seel for human consumption. My family drinks it raw but no infants here. I do have customers that their whole family drinks it including an infant. My customer is able to breastfeed but cannot express milk so when she needs to go to the store she will have her husband feed the baby goats milk. I have another customer that is pregnant and she buys it raw from me but she pastuerizes it for herself but not her family. I am tested monthly for the temperature, drugs, e-coli and somatic cells. My goats are tested annually for TB and Brucellois's, and quarterly for Q-fever. It is comforting to have the testing done by the state to know that I am doing everything correctly for the safety of my family and my customers.
 

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I drink it raw. I've given it to my 3 year old but he is very sensitive to milk in general so he only gets small amounts.

I have 3 friends locally who's whole family drinks it's raw. Ages 5 - adult.

No one's gotten sick from it.
 

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~Crazy Goat Lady~
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We drink it raw here... we also donate it to a pastor friend who has lots of health problems and her drinks it just fine...
 

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7 does - 2 bucks - 1 wether
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I'm thinking as long as the animals are healthy and the milking environment is sanitary, it should be no problem.
 

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We drink it raw. The youngest in our family is 7 although my sister feeds it to her 1 year old daughter and nobody has ever had any problems. The Hoegger company fed their baby goat milk although it doesn't say if it was raw or not. http://hoeggerfarmyard.com/about-hoegger/
 

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Hopelessly Addicted
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I drink it raw. I honestly believe it is all about hygiene, and healthy goats! If you are doing the right things and making everything sanitary you should have no issue. People drank raw milk for thousands of years because that was just how it was done. I honestly think that pastuerizing damages the milk and destroys some great health benefits.

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=33802&hilit=raw+milk

Also, I feel like people get sick because as babies/kids they were not exposed to enough bacterias, etc. I never get sick (knock on wood.) I played in the dirt when I was a kid..horse poop, whatever. I stuck lots of weird things in my mouth that was much more filthy than raw milk. I believe I un-wittingly helped built up immunities and tolerances in my body. My friend's mom had her kids use hand sanitizer and all that jazz. He gets sick all the time. He has had a really bad case of a viral stomach flu this year as well as mono (and he swears he wasn't kissing anyone, but thats beyond the point. Lol.)
 

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Boer Lover 4 Life!
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I have drank both raw and pasteurized but prefer raw. Raw milk has a lot of good qualities that can be lost in pasteurization. I think it would be ok for a 10 mo. old to drink raw milk. My mom babysits for a family that has an organic farm. They have a cow share with someone and they give their 2 year old raw cows milk. I believe he started drinking it at 9 mo. not totally sure. I know he hasn't had any problems with it.
 

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We all drink raw milk in our family. And it has not affected any of us. It loses taste and healthy benefits when you pasteurize it. Plus, I work at a nursing home and when the residents find out I live on a goat farm I ALWAYS hear stories about how they or a friend or relative used to drink goat's milk when they were little, because they were getting sick on cow milk. And it was raw milk : )
 

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firelight27 said:
I feel like people get sick because as babies/kids they were not exposed to enough bacterias, etc.
Amen to that. :applaud: We were gifted with a beautiful immune sytem and are working to destroy it. When I got into an argument with a friend recently, I said, "You and I and Rod (all 60) are alive today because we got diseases; not because we avoided them!!!" As the thought sunk in; you should have seen the look on his face :scratch: then :shocked: as the thougt sunk in. :ROFL:

We have drunk raw milk since the 80's. My kids drank my milk when I was drinking raw goat milk. Then they drank it raw when weaned. My grandchilren who live next door kill at least 1/2 a gallon a day. We never go to the doctor.
 

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I grew up in a small village of less than 500 people in Europe, NOTHING was sterilized, we did NOT have antibacterial soap, or bleach and disinfectants...
Our clothes were washed by hand in the bathtub (which we had to fill with buckets, and water heated on a coal-burning stove!), and our 'school bus' was the local milk man's horse-drawn wagon (if we were lucky enough to catch him!)
And we had Raw cow's milk sold in the grocery stores.!!! LoL

Now I have 2 kids, a 5 year old girl, and an 8 year old boy.
My animals are healthy, their milk is good, and carefully managed.
I drink their milk raw, hubby does, and both the kids do.
I have NO concerns about my kids health at all.
If someone wants to pasteurize, go for it. But be aware that you have just killed the nutritional value of the milk by boiling it to death. LoL
I consider Goat's milk "Liquid Gold", and I am not going to "kill off" all the nutrition that my sweet does have worked so hard to make for me! :)

People are so paranoid about germs now-a-days that it's ridiculous! It's really sad!

Maybe I'm weird. I don't know.... :)
But I tell you what, when EVERYONE around me goes DOWN with the flu every single year..? I am the ONLY one standing.!!! :)
 
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