Fresh, raw goat milk from locally pastured goats is a delicious, health promoting seasonal food. Health conditions raw goat’s milk appear to help include a variety of degenerative diseases, allergies, arthritis, and GI imbalances including irritable bowel syndrome.
We’re very fortunate to have an excellent source for this and to include it in our foods – raw goat milk is added to our Vitality Blend and all of our Formulas.
In particular, fresh raw goat milk is an exceptional addition to the daily diet for young puppies. Natural Rearing breeders and many cultures around the world rely on this functional, nutritious raw food to promote healthy growth, and stronger immunity in puppies.
Why Raw Goat Milk from Pastured Goats is SO Great: Nutritionally, goat’s milk is rich in essential fatty acids, vitamin B6, niacin, potassium, vitamins (preformed reinol) A, E & D3, and healthy cholesterol (vital for proper brain function, sex hormones and more). It provides more calcium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, selenium, and K2 than cow’s milk. More here.
Although the mineral content of goat’s milk and cow’s milk is generally similar, goat’s milk contains 13 percent more calcium, 25 percent more vitamin B-6, 47 percent more vitamin A, 134 percent more potassium, and three times more niacin. It also contains 27 percent more of the antioxidant selenium than cow’s milk.
Juliette de Bairacli Levy, the grandmother of Natural Rearing, promoted the use of raw goat milk as a healthful wholesome food in maintaining dog/cat health in her first book published in 1955. Since then, breeders and devotees to her Natural Rearing methods have incorporated fresh raw pastured goat milk as part of their programs to provide the most ideal nutrition for generations of vibrant health. Raw goat milk is a key aspect of the Natural Rearing program and is a highly beneficial traditional, medicinal food.
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A recent study referred to goat’s milk as a “functional food”; an abundant source of bio-organic sodium, a nutrient that some naturopaths have dubbed “the youth element”.
According to the Journal of American Medicine, “Goat milk is the most complete food known.” Having fat molecules one-fifth the size of those in cow’s milk makes it easier to digest and tolerable to those with compromised digestive systems or lactose intolerance.
The protein in goat milk forms a softer curd (the term given to the protein clumps that are formed by the action of stomach acid on the protein), which makes the protein more easily and rapidly digestible.
About Vitamin A for dogs & cats (bit of a tangent…) Like other good animal sources of Vitamin A, goat milk contains preformed Vitamin A (retinol) in the milk fat that allows it to be readily available for use by the body. This is especially true for cats, who cannot convert carotenes to vitally important retinol from vegetable sources such as sweet potato, carrots, etc. Cats MUST get their vitamin A provided to them in the form of retinol from animal protein sources such as liver and egg yolks (and, as mentioned, goat milk is another healthy seasonal option to use in addition to these necessary foods).
Like cats, dogs do better when provided species appropriate foods that their bodies can easily and efficiently convert to vital nutrients and absorb vitamins and minerals from. This is found in animal-sourced whole foods, not vegetable sources or synthetic derivatives, for the majority of daily required nutrients. Converting Vitamin A to a usable form is inefficient and not always successful in dogs (read more here).
A. Requirements for Dogs
Frohring (1935; 1937) fed vitamin A-deficient diets to puppies and determined that for growth 100 IU vitamin A per kg (45.5 IU per lb) body weight was lost from the liver daily. Crimm and Short (1937), using a similar vitamin A depletion technique, estimated that the minimal daily vitamin A requirement of adult dogs was 22 to 47 IU per kg (10 to 21.4 IU per lb) of body weight. The NRC (2006) suggests that the daily vitamin A requirement would be met by 1,515 IU per kg (689 RE per lb) of diet for all classes of dogs. The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO, 2007) recommendations, which suggest 5,000 IU of vitamin A per kg (2,272.7 IU per lb) of diet.
B. Requirements for Cats
The cat, compared to other species, has a high vitamin A requirement relative to its body size. Controlled studies designed to define the vitamin A requirements have not been published. However, the requirement has been estimated to range from 1,600 to 2,000 IU of preformed vitamin A per head per day (Scott, 1965; Gershoff et al., 1957a). In long-term studies, 4,000 IU retinol per kg (1,818.2 IU per lb) of diet was not adequate for pregnancy, but 6,000 IU per kg (2,727 IU per lb) prevented deformities and provided for normal kitten development during lactation (NRC, 1985). The NRC (2006) vitamin A recommendations for cats is 1,000 µg retinol per kg (455 µg retinol per lb) for kittens and adults at maintenance and double this level for cats in late gestation and at peak lactation. The AAFCO (2007) recommendation for cats is 5,000 IU per kg (2,273 IU per lb) of diet for maintenance and 9,000 IU per kg (4,091 IU per lb) for both growth and reproduction functions.
Quote taken from a scientific article written by DSM, a pet food supplement supplier to the industry. The article does a very good job explaining the consequences of deficiencies of this nutrient in dogs and cats, and how, as carnivores, they require the animal-derived version of the preformed nutrient to naturally and ideally meet their daily requirements.
Researchers have found the preformed Vitamin A in goat milk to have cancer-preventing properties, too. This form of vitamin A is particularly beneficial for dermal health — so it can help maintain a healthy skin/coat in your animal.
Goat milk has long been used and recommended as an aid in the treatment of ulcers due to its more effective acid buffering capacity. Goat milk has more buffering capacity than over the counter antacids. (The USDA and Prairie View A&M University in Texas have confirmed that goat’s milk has more acid-buffering capacity than cow’s milk, soy infant formula, and nonprescription antacid drugs.)
Goat milk alkalinizes the digestive system. Being rich in alkaline minerals, it does not produce acid in the intestinal system.
Compared to other forms of dairy, goat milk is highest in the amino acid L-glutamine. L-glutamine is an amino acid we frequently recommend for cats and dogs with IBD and colitis; or for animals we suspect may have what is referred to as hyperpermeable bowel, or “leaky gut syndrome”. This amino-acid works to repair the lining of the gut and helps to resolve this common gut permeability condition. Leaky gut is a very common, yet serious syndrome that contributes to a variety of chronic diseases including skin allergies and other autoimmune diseases throughout the body.
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GOAT MILK is a traditional nourishing food that is suitable for animals of all ages; particularly good for the very young/old, and those suffering from with allergies or GI imbalances.
Raw goat milk is a source of easily digested probiotics that can help with many chronic issues.
Serving Suggestion: Try adding a pinch of herbs such as peppermint, chamomile, slippery elm, ginger, cinnamon; increase nutrient density by blending with raw egg yolk + bit of raw honey or blackstrap molasses.
Feeding: Use as a supplement or treat to the regular diet. May be fed daily.
Suggested Serving Amounts: 1 oz for every 10-lbs of your pet’s body weight; goat milk is wholesome food and adds calories and nutrition to the diet, but if your animals love their goat milk and digest it well without gaining weight, you may offer much more per day.
Fun Factoid: One of the longest lived dogs on record enjoyed twice a day servings of fresh raw goat milk – up to two cups per day for a medium sized dog! Raw goat milk sure did work for her — she lived to be 30-years old, free from vet visits, illness or debility, and passed of natural causes.
What Else Can You Do With Goat Milk? Besides feeding goat’s milk every day while it is in season, there are a number of different ways you can use this functional food. Here are some suggestions for incorporating raw goat milk into the diet.
1. Most animals will enjoy simply drinking a small amount as a treat – as is.
2. Pour some over their Grinds/Formulas, Meat+Veggie Blends, Offal or Xkaliber meals.
3. Clabber the milk; add a bit of the clabbered version to their meals.
SOAKED COCONUT SNACK
Here’s a recipe for a nutritious snack we like to prepare for our dogs:
1/2 cup unsweetened, organic and raw coconut, finely shredded
1 cup raw goat milk
1 egg yolk
1-2 tsp. raw honey or organic unfiltered blackstrapp molasses
Soak the coconut in the milk for about 30 minutes-1 hour. Add the egg yolk and honey or molasses – mix well. Serve a teaspoon to small dogs; tablespoon to large dogs; store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days; freeze what will not be used within this time to defrost and feed later. Alternatively, you can place in ice cube trays or other mold to make a frozen treat for your dog!
COOKED MEATLOAF/MEAT MUFFINS (MEATBALLS)
For those that feed home-cooked meals, here is a unique Meat Loaf recipe for adult dogs that incorporates goat milk:
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, add:
1-2 cups sprouted oats, millet, amaranth, rice, quinoa or lentils – must be organic and soaked/sprouted, then chopped. Alternatively, you can use a sprouted wheat-free, gluten-free, yeast-free bread like Bread SRSLY , dice or tear up the bread into bits
4 truly pastured duck or chicken eggs, no shell
2 Tbs. SFRAW Healthy Powder with Bone Meal
2 cups raw truly pastured goat milk
2 tsp. oil of choice (organic red palm, olive, coconut, etc.)
2 lbs. MSF Patty Mix of choice (lamb, beef or pork), or any high quality ground muscle meat mixed with 10-15% organs, or 1.75 lbs. ground muscle meat + 0.25 lb. chopped organ meat
1 tsp. ground eggshell powder, 2 tsp Animal essentials Seaweed Calcium OR 1 Tbs. bone meal
SAVORY additions (optional): 1 clove of fresh organic garlic, minced + 1 Tbs. SFRAW Seasonal Herbs or fresh, chopped organic culinary herbs, or turmeric + black pepper; scoop of Red Star nutritional yeast
SWEET additions (optional): 1 chopped organic dried date or fig; pinch of organic ground cinnamon and/or powdered ginger; scoop of organic carob powder
Mix everything together in the baking dish or large bowl and then transfer to muffin pans. Start with the first three ingredients, then add the milk and the remainder of the ingredients, mixing in the meat last. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour or until done (muffin pan sizes differ — mini to jumbo). Serve cool or at room temperature. Will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
You may enjoy other creative ways of feeding raw goat milk to your adult dogs & cats — or simply serve it ‘as is’! It really is a wonderful food, and we are very happy to make this available to you and your beloved animals.