What do the cows eat?
We work closely with a cow nutritionist to balance our cows’ diet. Our cows are reproducing their own weight in milk every three weeks! In order to keep them healthy and happy we pay close attention to what they eat. We grow three hundred acres of grass and about one hundred fifty acres of corn. Remember that the corn plant is a grass, and we use the whole stalk, not just the kernel. Both the corn and grass are ensiled (fermented) to make silage. These two ingredients make up about fifty percent of what they eat. We then work with our cow nutritionist to mix in a variety of feeds to balance the cows’ nutritional needs. Most of these feeds are byproducts from the food manufacturing industry, they are; brewers grain, left over from making beer; canola meal, left over from making canola oil; ground bread, stale bread; soy meal, left over from making soy oil; distillers grain, left over from making alcohol and ethanol; and corn meal. The vitamins and minerals that the cows require are also added as needed. Not only are the cows reproducing their own weight every three weeks, over half of the herd is pregnant at any given time. So the nutritional needs of our cows is one of the most important things to us. Read More.
Is Contoocook Creamery milk antibiotic free?
Yes. There are no antibiotics in your milk. We do work with our veterinarian to provide medicines to our cows when they are sick from time to time —just like you may consult your doctor when ill. When we do treat a cow she is moved to a designated pen and her milk is thrown away. We work closely with our herd veterinarian to develop protocols and milk withdrawal periods for the antibiotics we use. The treated cow’s milk is tested free of antibiotic residues before her milk is used again. We also test every load of milk that we process for antibiotic residues just to make sure no mistakes have been made. If it tests positive for even the slightest trace of antibiotics, it is safely thrown out and never reaches the store.
Is Contoocook Creamery milk growth hormone free?
Yes. Our cows do not receive rBST/BGH (bovine growth hormone).
Is Contoocook Creamery milk pasteurized?
Yes. Our milk is pasteurized and homogenized.
For answers to more common questions about dairy visit Must Be the Milk – an educational resource about dairy farming in New England.