In an attempt to answer most of the questions you might have about our MOMS’ FARMSTEAD DAIRY and about the uses of high quality raw milk, we are providing this sheet of frequently asked questions. Please let us know if you need more information.

How are the cows milked at MOMS' FARMSTEAD DAIRY?

The cows are milked in our dairy barn twice a day – morning 5.30 a.m. and evening 5.30 p.m. Our cows are milked using a automatic closed-bucket system. That is, the milk is drawn from the cow's udder using a suction device and a set of tubes that empty the milk into a sealed stainless steel container. Since there is no exposure to air at any point, the most scrupulous level of sanitation is assured.

Is the milk ever tested for harmful bacteria?

Yes, it is tested through FSSAI approved laboratory.

How should I handle the milk that is supplied to me?

The milk supplied will be raw--that is, it is not heat-treated or pasteurized. It will be chilled and supplied to you in bottles; and you should take care that it remains so until you get it into your refrigerator. It is essential that the vessels that you are using to cook or store milk after it reaches you are scrupulously clean and thoroughly dry. Whenever cleaning containers for milk, start by rinsing away the leftovers of old milk with water that is lukewarm. (Either hot or cold water can cause a deposit of milk solids--"milkstone"--to remain on the surface of the container.) Then wash thoroughly with soap and hot water, rinse well, and dry completely before putting on the lid. We use stringent and sterilizing methods in our plant to clean our bottles. Every bottle is checked in our closed environment for any contamination before it goes for bottling.

How long will raw milk keep?

If you handle as above, the milk will easily keep a week with no change at all in quality. Indeed, we have kept raw milk in the refrigerator for as long as 10 days, and it was still sweet and good. It is very good practice however to consume the milk the very same day since its fresh. Why preserve when we can provide you fresh milk everyday.

How can I tell if raw milk is spoiled?

Most of us grew up with pasteurized milk; and thus are not familiar with the pleasant sour or tangy tastes and smells that develop in cultured dairy products. As you experiment with such cultured milk foods you will come to appreciate those new smells and tastes. (More about that below.) When milk is actually spoiled, however, it will smell quite unpleasant. Discard the milk if it has developed an unpleasant smell.

What should I do if the milk smells bad after only a couple of days?

Discard it. Please let us know right away, and we will investigate. If no one else had a problem--or if you find that only one of your bottles did, while the others were okay--there was likely a problem with the sanitation while using your vessels for cooking milk. You should review your cleaning procedures. We Guarantee Fresh Milk or we will refund your money.

What should I do with milk that is more than a week old?

As long as the milk still smells and tastes sweet and good to you, it is fine to use it. However, you will be getting milk everyday. So, if you find you are consistently having extra milk, try making some of the fine cultured milk and cream products from it. For example, when you get your milk home you could refrigerate half a litre for drinking as "sweet milk;" and skim the cream off the rest for making butter or ghee. The milk that has been skimmed (nothing at all like commercial "skim milk") could then be used to make cultured milk products such as clabber, kefir, etc. (See below.) And remember, your pets will enjoy and benefit from any leftovers!

Why does a large layer of cream form on top of the milk?

The milk that we supply is not only raw (unpasteurized); it is not homogenized. That is, the butterfat has not been emulsified to force it to remain in solution. Therefore this butterfat, or cream--being lighter than the other liquid components of the milk--rises to the top. Our cows’ milk is unusually rich in butterfat. For drinking or cooking with the whole milk, you should shake the container well before pouring, so that the cream is again dispersed into the milk.

Can I use the cream separately?

Yes, you can. It is very easy, after the milk has sat overnight in the refrigerator, to skim off most of the cream. The remaining milk is nothing like the "skim milk" you would buy in the supermarket: It is still a rich, full-bodied milk for drinking, cooking, or even making fresh cheeses. (More below.) The cream you have taken off can be whipped for desert toppings or cultured for preparing ghee. Ghee made from this cream will outclass any ghee available in the market. And cow ghee has many medicinal benefits too. Try it and we bet, you will enjoy the fragrance of home-made ghee.

Can I make my own butter from the cream?

It is easy to make your own butter from the cream, using appliances you probably already have in your kitchen. Note that you can make your butter either from the sweet or the cultured cream. See, which flavor you and your family, prefer!

Are there other ways to use raw milk?

As mentioned above, you should keep your milk refrigerated for normal beverage and cooking use. However, if you wish to experiment with the many forms of cultured milk and farm cheeses, it is easy to do so with raw milk (unlike pasteurized milk). For example, you can allow the milk to come to room temperature and simply sit overnight or longer until it partially solidifies like yogurt and develops a pleasant sour smell. When you culture the milk naturally this way it is called "clabber," and may be used just like yogurt. If you strain the whey (liquid) away from the solid portion using cheesecloth and add a little salt to the resulting "curd," you will have a tasty, incredibly easy to make fresh cheese. Cultures are also available for stirring into the milk to make other versions of cultured milk such as kefir. Once your batch of cultured milk has reached the desired stage (more or less solid, more or less tangy--depending on ambient temperature and the time it has sat out), you should then return it to the refrigerator in order to prolong the time during which it can be used.

What happens in the milk during the culturing process; and why should I bother?

There are benign, even beneficial bacteria in whole natural milk. When these bacteria are able to multiply--as in milk which is allowed to sit at room temperature for awhile--they colonize the entire medium (the milk) and make it inhospitable to decay organisms, effectively preserving it from spoilage for several days or weeks. Some of those bacteria will continue to live in the gastrointestinal tract when consumed, boosting the multitude of intestinal bacteria, and contributing to more efficient digestion and elimination. Also, the bacteria active in milk cultures help break down or pre-digest both milk sugar (lactose) and milk protein (casein), making these components easier to digest. Indeed, some individuals with an intolerance of milk are able to digest cultured milks with no problem. Please note that traditional dairy cultures the world over have used various culturing techniques to make milk foods for thousands of years, long before mechanical refrigeration or pasteurization were ever dreamt of.

Can the milk be frozen?

Yes, but the butterfat from raw milk will separate out as flakes and will not blend in again when thawed. It may be used for some cooking purposes, however.

Why is the milk so yellow?

Cows eating high quality hay or fresh green grasses will give milk with a high beta-carotene content. The beta-carotene gives a slightly yellow color to the cream. As spring sets in following winters and the grass gets more lush and green, the milk becomes an even richer color. You should know that cows eating a lot of high-quality forage give milk that is higher in Vitamin A, CLA, and other fat-soluble nutrients.

Can the milk be pasteurized on the stove top?

You can pasteurize your own milk if you wish. For example, the milkcan be heated to 145 degrees and held at that temperature for 30 minutes. Alternatively, the milk can be heated to a higher temperature but for a shorter length of time. However, we cannot give a detailed prescription for the process here; and urge you to consult a reliable source of information on the subject. You should use a good thermometer and monitor the process precisely. However, there are many advantages to using milk raw, both nutritionally and in terms of its versatility, referred to above. Given the care Moms’ Farmstead Dairy takes for the health of its cows and the scrupulous hygiene of its milk, we feel you can be confident in using this high quality milk just as it comes from the cow.

Tell us more about the cows at Moms’ Farmstead Dairy!

Our Cows are cross-breed Holstein Friesian Cows (black and white) which are known worldover for their high quality and quantity of milk. Our cows are like our family and hence we take utmost care in ensuring that they are stress free and healthy at all times. We do not inject them with any hormones for higher yield. We are happy to keep the way nature intended to keep them. You will notice our cows happily roaming around along with their other sisters at farm.

Are the cows tested for disease?

Yes, our veterinarian inspects the cows on daily basis, especially for diseases such as Theileria, TB (tuberculosis), Brucellosis or even common fever. Our cows are also vaccinated against all these diseases at the time of purchase and post that every 6 months or depending on the vaccine durations. We maintain records of every cow for their treatment.

Are the cows ever treated for worms?

Whenever necessary, yes. Following treatment, there is a "withdrawal" period while the medication is clearing the cow's system. You can be assured that no milk will be supplied to you from a cow in the withdrawal period.

What do the cows eat?

The most important part of their diet is the fresh grass grown in our farms. We feed them with African tall maize, Golden corn, Alfa alfa, Hybrid Napier. Our cows are also fed with hay such as sorghum, wheat husk. Average food intake of our cows is about 35 to 40 kg of fodder per day. High quality forage produces the very best milk. Note that the pastures here are not fertilized with sludge or any chemical fertilizer. While being milked, the cows eat a little all natural grain supplement made from maize, cotton oil seed cakes (16% protein). They also receive calcium and mineral supplements required to maintain good health and immunity against common diseases.

Why is the butterfat of our milk not consistent everyday?

In contrast to claims by many dairies who produce 25 to 30 litres of milk per cow per day, our cows give on an average of 12 to 14 litres of milk per day, which is higher in butterfat. Please note that milk production varies with the season, the weather, the variety of forage available; and the normal curve of the cow's lactation cycle. This is also a reason, why the milk that you receive will slightly differ in terms of its butterfat on any given day, unlike other dairies, where they separate any excess butterfat over and above the prescribed limit by FSSAI. (As per FSSAI guideline minimum fat requirement is 3.5%).

What is done with the extra milk not packaged for delivery?

We make various dairy products such as paneer, khoa, basundi with this extra milk ( currently not launched for market ).

Do the birth of the calves have an impact on milk quantity?

Yes. During the final month of a cow's pregnancy, she should be allowed to be "dry" (not being milked) because she is putting so much of her body's resources into growing the calf. Also, after the birth, the calf will be nursing its mother until it is weaned. During the calving season, there may well be times when we cannot supply milk in the normal amounts. Since, at this stage we will not buy any milk from other farmers owing to quality issues, all we can ask is your understanding and cooperation. However in future years, we plan to tie-up up with just about 2-3 farms in nearby vicinity who are ready to adopt our farming philosophies and stringent methods of clean milking. We are also scheduling the breedings so that at least one cow is producing milk at all times, and any impact on supply for our esteemed customers will be minimized.