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Cow, Sheep, Goat & Water Buffalo Milk

Updated on January 28, 2012

Milk and Cheese, and where they come from

Cows, sheep, goats and water buffalo all give us milk. There is a great assortment of products that we benefit from having, that generate from the milk from these animals. It's hard to imagine a world without milk and cheese, and all the things those ingredients go into.

Milk from Water Buffaloes

Water Buffaloes produce a very creamy white milk that is rather thick. It can be compared to half and half cream, mainly because it contains less water and more solids than cow's milk does. Along with more fat, water buffalo milk contains more protein and lactose as well. I found it interesting that there are high levels of a natural antioxidant called tocopherol in buffalo milk. Buffalo Mozzarella is fairly well known in the United States, and many like it even more than mozzarella made from cow's milk. In Italy and other countries as well, it is thought of as the most desirable of cheeses.

Milk from Goats

Goats, when milked two times a day, can produce 3-5 quarts of milk per day. Sometimes, depending on the location of the dairy, goats milk production can vary, and it can be seasonal. For instance, in a cold winter, goats produce less milk, but have a high butterfat content. Warmer summers, cause a higher volume in milk, but butterfat is less than a cold winter produces. Goat cheese, aka Chevre cheese has become quite popular and can be found in many varieties, and shapes and sizes. There are varying textures and tastes as well. You want to look for fresh goat cheese, and it should look moist.

We know a family that lived out in the country, and has cows and goats. People stop and ask about their goat milk in particular. They said its amazing how popular the goat milk has become in recent years in particular. She likes to take fresh goat milk, and create wonderful soaps as well.

Milk from sheep

Sheep produce a bit less than goats when it comes to milk production. If you milk them twice a day, you will get approximately 1 quart per day. There is limited sheep milk production based on supply and demand. It also, is seasonal, and in the wintertime, many sheep dairies have no production at all. There is cheese made from sheep's milk, around the world. One of those is Roquefort, from France. I recall my grandmother getting Roquefort dressing for her salads, when I was growing up, and we were out to eat. If they had it, she got that, and I grew to like it as well. It is very flavorful.

Milk from Cows

Last but certainly not least, comes cow milk, the most widely used milk of all. This is partly in part, due to the fact they can produce 8-20 quarts per day. (also at two milkings per day) Another reason may be due to the consistent production of milk, year round. You can get better flavor, but less volume from cows that are free of growth hormones like bovine growth hormones rBST or rBGH. The list of cheeses from cows milk is very long, and I won't go into that here. Most of the cheeses that I know my family and I are used to and like, come from cows milk. I think its great to try new ones though all the time. Currently, at some of our local grocery stores like Dierberg's and Schnucks, they often have samples of cheese to try, we have found some neat ones this way.

Soy Milk

Soy milk has been big for a while now, and there are more tasty versions of it than ever before. While there is some skepticism by some, at how "great" it is, here are some facts about it that may be helpful to know. Do your research for any concerns you may have, as there are varying findings out there.

Still, in many comparisons to whole milk, soy milk scores better. For instance it has greater complex carbohydrates, which may result in lower glycemic index. This may make the likelihood of overstimulating blood sugar levels much less. Good news for diabetics. As a source of isoflavones, both soy milk and okara (not okra) score very well. Okara, the soy fiber remaining after the making of soy milk, is a good source of dietary fiber, which is great for one's body.

Low in fat content, soy milk is highly unsaturated, and includes the much desired Omega-3 fatty acids. (Omega -3 could have its own whole hub, but its something all of us need more of). As for milk fat, I personally use fat free, or skim milk all the time, so the fat is not an issue here. With no lactose, it's a sure winner for those that are lactose intolerant.

Rice and Almond Milk

People that use rice or almond milk, often appreciate it for what it doesn't contain, somewhat like soy milk. It is free of cholesterol and unsaturated fats, and of course also doen't contain lactose. Allergies to rice are very rare, as well.

Rice milk, like soy and almond milk, is formulated to contain levels of calcium, vitamin A and vitamin D similar to (albeit lower than) those in cow's milk. But it is not a good source of protein, with just 0.67 grams per serving, and often contains more calories than almond or soy milk: about 113 calories per cup. Its vitamin E levels exceed that of cow's, goat's and soy milk but don't compare with that of some almond milks.

Rice and almond milk are often fortified as well, to contain levels of calcium, vitamin A and D. They also contain good levels of vitamin E. One of the best things about rice milk is its mild flavor, which doesn't need to have any sweeteners added to it.

My boys may say its not good to end a hub about milk, without the mention of chocolate milk. So easy to fix with some handy Hershey's chocolate syrup, its a treat for sure.

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    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hi Brett, thank you! That is so interesting that you used to raise sheep. It makes sense that you helped them if a lamb died or had too much milk. People seem to like goat cheese more than the milk, from what I hear? Though I know of a woman that has goats, and she sells the milk and also makes soap from fresh goats milk soap.

      I found it interesting also, that you preferred sheep's milk and found it delicious. So glad you stopped by and left a comment, thank you very much! :)

    • Brett Winn profile image

      Brett Winn 6 years ago from US

      Very interesting! I used to raise sheep, and had to milk them occasionally when their lambs either died or they had too much milk for the number of lambs they had. I am somewhat finicky about my milk, and do NOT like goat's milk, but found the sheep's milk delicious. This was a great read ... thank you for posting it!

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Thank you Phoenix.

    • PhoenixV profile image

      PhoenixV 7 years ago from USA

      Very interesting hub thanks.

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Lisa, that is very interesting. I think it would be neat to learn how to make nut and seed milks.

    • profile image

      lisa 7 years ago

      Almonds do contain protein and almond milk, along with cashew milk, and other nut and seed milks are quick and easy to make at home.