Updated: Dec 9, 2022
Last updated 7/18/22 Our current A2A2 cows are:
Chloe (Full horns, No pharma, Clarabelle's offspring)
Buttercup (Full horns, No pharma, Princess Buttercup's offspring)
Sugar (Full horns, No pharma, Sadie's offspring)
Millie (Full horns, No pharma, Molly's offspring)
Lucy (Full horns, No pharma, Lucy's offspring)
Lacey (Registered Jersey, raised at another dairy)
Sadie (she was our second cow, probably close to 15 years old)
Paisley (Registered Jersey, recently brought in from an Organic Dairy)
We favor bottling A2A2 milk and sending A1A2 milk to the cream separators. The majority of cows born and raised at Helios Farms are A2A2, thanks to our A2A2 bulls: Our bull Louie was A2A2. Our most recent bull, Sampson, was A2A2 offspring of our former cow Suzie. Sampson knocked over Theo which earned him a promotion to beef cow, and he was harvested the next day.
We have A1A2 cows in the milking line that we love. Here's a list:
Tinkerbelle (Full horns, No pharma, Clarabelle's offspring)
Lilly (Full horns, No pharma, Frida's offspring)
Abby (Full horns, No pharma, Anna's offspring)
Blossom (Half Holstein)
Prancer (She came here from Organic Valley with Jamie)
Bitty (Full horns, No pharma, Blossom's offspring)
Tiny (Full horns, No pharma, Tinkerbelle's offspring)
Mabel (Full horns, No pharma, Maddie's offspring)
Cutie (Naturally Polled, No pharma, Carrie's offspring)
Our Thoughts on A2A2
A2A2 is a casein protein thing, so it has little or no effect on cream, cultured cream, butter, ghee and other things made with cream.
The A2 Corporation in New Zealand has done a good job funding science on A2 genetics and marketing their conclusions and their A2/A2 genetic testing. We have studied some of the A2/A2 science and understand that the A1 casein protein has a stronger bond at one of its peptides, indicating that it may be harder to break it into its constituent amino acids. Some of our farm share owners, who have difficulty digesting processed milk, tasted raw milk for the first time from an A2/A2 dairy and assumed that they can only drink A2/A2 milk. But when we encouraged them to try any cow's raw milk, they found that it didn't make any difference as long as it was raw milk. A healthy gut likely has no issues, and any raw milk will be therapeutic for most guts. A few of our farm hands and farm share owners have noticed better digestion when they choose milk from our A2/A2 cows. The persistent peptide in A1 casein looks like an opioid, and it may slow the gut down if it's not broken down into its amino acids in the gut. If you have issues with constipation or other issues when you drink raw milk, then selecting A2/A2 milk may resolve those issues. After drinking A2/A2 raw milk for some time, A2/A1 and A1/A1 raw milk may become more easily digestible as your gut inflammation heals from the raw milk inputs.
So our answer to questions about A2/A2 milk is: first try any raw milk. Then, if you still have issues, try raw A2/A2 milk and see if your issues improve. In the list above, we let you know which cows are A2/A2, so you can see if it makes a difference for you.
The A2/A2 science is largely based on retrospective, correlative studies, and those studies do not distinguish between raw milk and pasteurized milk. That A1 casein is harder to digest may be more about gut damage in the general population primarily, as the digestive system is supposed to break food down into amino acids. It may also mean that A2/A2 milk, when processed, is easier to digest.
Some of the milk cure doctors of the 1800's and early 1900's preferred milk from Holstein cows, which, today, are now known to have more A1 genetics. They stated their preference more because of the lower cream content in Holstein milk which they felt more consistently cured their milk-cure patients of chronic disease.
The Mayo clinic started as a "milk cure" clinic, but may have not been using the best milk cure protocol. Starting in the mid 1800's in Germany through about 1930 in the US, the "milk cure" was used in country clinics. We are most interested in Charles Sanford Porter's protocol which specifies going off all food, going on full bedrest, drinking a cup of low-cream raw cow's milk every waking hour for 30 to 60 days until all chronic issues are gone.
Our herd will slowly switch over to mostly or all A2/A2. Our last two bulls have been A2/A2 bulls, so the whole herd will migrate to A2/A2 genetics as we replace cows over time.
Full Horns - No Pharma
This is Buttercup with her little bull calf we named Bowie, Buttercup was raised here on this land. She is a favorite A2A2 cow in our herd. Buttercup is an A2A2 cow, based the fact that her father (Louie) and mother (Princess Buttercup) were both A2A2. She has her full horns and has never had a pharmaceutical product. She is an enthusiastic and very smart milk cow.
Our farm doesn't like to alter God's design, and we prefer cows like Buttercup. It takes quite a few years to raise a set of cows according to our own standards. In the lists of cows above, we identify the cows that were raised here from a calf. These are cows that have never been altered by pharmaceutical products and normally have a full set of horns (if they aren't naturally polled like Cutie). Our other cows came from various sources, mostly from an Organic Valley dairy that we respect and buy cows from.
The dairy industry and the State have standards and public-realm requirements, based on their belief system, for injecting pharmaceutical products into cows. Our farm operates under contract law and the private realm, and we depend upon a different body of science than the "science" of the public realm. The peer-reviewed library at http://orthomolecular.org/ has decades of research papers (including some of our own articles on orthomolecular farming) about healing and optimizing health using God's nutrients. We also respect and use the latest microbiome science. We use the intelligence of raw milk (milk's prebiotic, probiotic, and enzymatic engines) to tune and balance the microbiome of the entire farm, to benefit the soil, plants, animals, farmers and farm share owners in our farm community. Microbiome science advanced considerably following the Human Microbiome Project, which started in 2007.
Horns are generally removed from dairy cows when they are calves because they can injure people and cows. Historically, people left horns on family cows, and there was lore about horn quality recording the health history of the cow. Rudolph Steiner, founder of biodynamic farming, emphasized the importance of grazing cows with horns to enhance the pasture energy on the biodynamic farm. There also is lore about milk from horned cows being even healthier.