[NAFEX] Milk, goats, antibiotics and alternative medicine

Sarah Kehler Ewing skkewing at yahoo.com
Wed Mar 11 19:06:50 EDT 2009


Along with my 3000 fruit trees, heritage chickens and ducks, I have a small goat dairy (4 milking does, 6 doelings and a ridiculously expensive buck) producing raw milk for my 6 kids who can't tolerate cow's milk.  What I've learned from my vet and a bunch of local goat and cow dairies thus far is this:

1) Canadian dairies are fined if their milk contains antibiotics and every single load is sampled at the dairy prior to being loaded into the tanker truck.  It isn't tested until sometime later which means that last winter there was no goat milk in the AB stores for several weeks because three dairy's worth of milk was dumped after antibiotics were found in the milk (they only pick up once a week).

2) Goats actually take about twice as long as cows to clear antibiotics from their systems which makes the milk withdrawal time period somewhat of a guessing game.  

3) North American Holsteins are such contrived creatures that they can't survive on normal cow feed and are also prone to repeated bouts of mastitis.  The dairies around here need the vets so much that they just have the vet visit once every month. Even the Certified Organic dairies are allowed to use antibiotics once a year on every cow.  Interestingly enough, Dutch Holsteins are bred to produce milk on grass/pasture so imagine their surprise when they imported our NA Holsteins and they sucked!

I use only organic methods to control issues with my trees, gardens and birds and kill anything that can't be raised accordingly.  But the goats are another matter as I'm reluctant to just shoot them.  The grocery store supply of goat milk up here is erratic at best in the winter. Right after I got this batch of goats I had one come down with Rain Scald (looks like really bad acne all over).  I treated her with several series of different painful vet prescribed antibiotics over 6 months and the vet finally threw up his hands and said "shoot her"  I kept her as she was due to kid in 4 weeks and decided to try herbs, vitamins and minerals.  I tried Pau D'arco,, Oil of Oregano, Zinc and vitamin E and she was cured within 1 week and has been fine for two years. I have also used Oil of Oregano to cure a couple of goat kids that had their dehorning sites get infected and even the one that had her head get so infected that she lost a section of skull healed up
 fine.  I haven't had to deal with mastitis yet.

Naomi:  Moby, my Great Pyrenees dog, was raised on a sheep farm with 3000+ sheep so he guards my goats (even from the other dogs) when I'm out giving shots, trimming feet, dehorning, kidding season, etc.  Unfortunately, I have killer goats that don't think they need to be protected and they attack all three of my dogs when ever they can get at them!

Sarah


--- On Wed, 3/11/09, Naomi Counides <naomi at oznayim.us> wrote:

> From: Naomi Counides <naomi at oznayim.us>
> Subject: Re: [NAFEX] OT Milk, Dumping, hormones, antibiotics
> To: "'North American Fruit Explorers'" <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Date: Wednesday, March 11, 2009, 8:28 PM
> I am in no way as generally informed
> as Lucky.  However I do have goats and
> on occasion they have had mastitis.  I can think of
> nothing more cruel than
> to leave a sick animal without effective treatment. 
> Sometimes it is totally
> subclinical and I suppose could go unnoticed and
> untreated.  But on the
> other end was a doe with a 105 fever, would not eat. 
> I knew she was sick,
> just did not know what.  Took her in to the Caine Vet
> Center of the U of
> Idaho and they found the mastitis.  5 days on
> antibiotics (and some
> banamine) and she was well with no scar tissue. 
> Without it I believe she
> would have died.  Since it was my milk I fed it to
> kids for the withdrawal
> time.  I have enough goats that I can select who will
> be house milkers. 
> 
> I do not know any organic dairy farmers. I do know
> professional dairy
> farmers and they are a careful and conscientious lot. The
> one who comes to
> mind most readily is highly observant, can spot a problem
> in the almost
> invisible beginning stages at 50 feet, very intelligent,
> practical  and
> obsessively clean. 
> 
> It is common practice on a real dairy to milk sick and
> treated cows
> separately from what goes into the bulk tank. You cannot
> NOT milk them.  I
> would explain why but it might be a bit graphic.  
> Naomi
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
> [mailto:nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org]
> On Behalf Of
> Lucky.Pittman at murraystate.edu
> Sent: Wednesday, March 11, 2009 2:09 PM
> To: nafex at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: [NAFEX] OT Milk, Dumping, hormones, antibiotics
> 
> 
> There are tons of misinformation circulated on the
> internet with regard to 'hormones and antibiotics' in
> conventionally produced meat and milk - most of it
> fomented by vegetarian/vegan folks and animal-rights
> groups like HSUS/PETA, who have an anti-animal
> agriculture agenda, and unfortunately, some of the
> 'organic' and 'whole/raw foods' folks occasionally
> ally themselves with these other nefarious
> characters. Not a good choice, 'cause they'll be the
> next target, if they continue to 'exploit' animals.
> If one chooses to forego the consumption of meat,
> milk, eggs, or conventionally produced agricultural
> products, fine; that's a personal choice - just don't
> push outright lies about how 'dangerous' the other
> products are.
> 
> Conventional dairy cattle do develop mastitis on
> occasion, and in the interest of the animal's health
> - and that of potential consumers - they will be
> treated with approved antimicrobials.  The list of
> approved antibiotics for this purpose is quite small,
> and appropriate approved withdrawal times are
> well-documented.  Most dairymen will withhold and
> dump milk from treated cows beyond the approved
> withdrawal times, or perform approved 'cow-side'
> testing of milk from that animal before allowing her
> milk to go into the bulk tank.  
> The milk processors collect a sample of bulk-tank
> milk at each pickup, and each truckload of milk is
> sampled prior to going into a larger silo.  I can
> assure you that no dairyman wants to contaminate a
> tankerload or silo of milk - because if antibiotic
> residues above the allowable limit are detected and
> traced back(and they will be), that tanker or silo of
> milk WILL be dumped, and the offending producer will
> be responsible for the value of that product.
> 
> 'Organic' dairy cattle also develop mastitis - and
> some would question whether it is humane for those
> 'organic' producers to refuse to treat those animals.
>  Additionally, concerns are not unfounded about the
> safeness of some 'organic' therapies.  
> 
> Are there antibiotics in the conventionally-produced
> milk in your grocery?  Perhaps.  But at what
> level is
> it a concern?  When our detection level is in the
> range of parts per trillion or less, where do we draw
> the line?  Zero residues?  Who decides where zero
> lies?  
> Is it not ludicrous to say, as the NOP organic folks
> do, that if a cow has ever had an antibiotic
> injection at any time in her life, she can no longer
> be considered 'organic' - or that if she's consumed
> forages grown on soil that might have had a
> 'chemical' fertilizer application three or five years
> ago, that she's not 'organic'. Sorry, it's 'straining
> at a gnat'.
> 
> Hormones in meat and milk? Yes, they're there -
> NATURALLY.  Dairy cows are female animals with
> functioning ovaries that produce estrogen,
> progesterone, testosterone.  Some of those hormones
> will be present in milk.  It is not common practice
> to inject any additional sex hormones into these
> animals; it's hard enough to get a heavy-producing
> cow bred back in a timely manner without screwing up
> her hormone levels.
> Estrogen, and compounds with estrogenic activity are
> present in much higher concentrations in meat from
> intact cows or heifers than from steers - even if
> those steers had been implanted with one of the
> approved growth-promoting implants, which have
> estrogenic activity.  But even the levels of
> estrogenic activity in meat from a cow or heifer are
> miniscule when you compare them to the estrogenic
> activity present in cabbage, beans/peas, or soybeans.
>  So...if one is concerned about deleterious effects
> of 'hormones in food', a vegan/vegetarian diet may be
> more dangerous than one including modest intakes of meat.
> 
> As others have previously discussed, rBST is
> indistinguishable from BST(bovine somatotropin/bovine
> growth hormone) in its chemical structure and
> function; although it is synthetic, it is identical.
> BST, whether natural or recombinant, is a short
> peptide chain.  It has NO activity in humans - even
> if you inject someone with BST, it will do nothing -
> human somatotropin has a different structure;  the
> miniscule amounts of naturally-occurring BST or rBST
> which might be present in milk are merely digested -
> as any other short chain of amino acids might be.
> 
> rBST usage is not widespread.  Only about 15% of
> conventional dairies utilize rBST, and only on 20-25%
> of the cattle in those herds.  It is a production
> tool, nothing more.  Producers have to choose
> carefully which cows to use it on, and they have to
> feed those animals accordingly.  They don't just
> inject every animal in the herd, and expect to get
> 10-15% more milk without increasing those animals'
> level of nutrition.  It's not a 'magic bullet'.
> Much of the anti-rBST hysteria can be laid directly
> at the feet of the rabid anti-GMO, anti-Monsanto
> crowd.  I'll be the first to admit that I have some
> concerns about some of the GMO technology, but rBST
> does not concern me, and I'm not going to oppose its
> use merely because it's a Monsanto product.
> 
> Mr. Moore, your comment that you "'know' that with
> insecticides, a small amount is more dangerous than a
> large amount", indicates that you really don't 'know'
> much about this subject.  It's just not true.  
> I'd have no qualms about consuming
> conventionally-produced fruit which had been sprayed
> with an approved insecticide, and harvested after the
> appropriate withdrawal time - and if I consumed a few
> molecules of, let's say, malathion, the effects would
> absolutely be imperceptible, as compared to what
> might happen to me if I drank a bottle of the
> concentrated chemical - or even if I took a big ol'
> drink out of the spray tank.
> 
> I'm a firm supporter of 'alternative therapies',
> etc., but I need to see conclusive, scientific
> evidence, not skewed anecdotal crap from the Weston
> A. Price Foundation, the NOT MILK folks, and their ilk.
> 
> Louis L."Lucky" Pittman, Jr., DVM
> Veterinary Pathologist/Dept. Head
> Murray State University
> Breathitt Veterinary Center
> Hopkinsville, KY
> 
> 
> 
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