Updated: Apr 6
Last updated 4/6/21 Our current A2A2 cows are:
Chloe (Full horns, No pharma)
Belle (Full horns, No pharma)
In 2021, we will have a long list of A2A2 cows in the line. The majority of our upcoming cows are A2A2, thanks to our A2A2 bulls: Target and Louie. Our new bull, Sampson, is A2A2 offspring of our former cow Suzie.
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 a 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 small percentage of our farm share owners notice 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 when you drink raw milk, then selecting A2/A2 milk may resolve those issues.
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.
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 the milk which they felt worked more consistently for their milk-cure patients.
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 skim 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. Some of our best cows, like Abby, Blossom, Maddie, and Dena, are A2/A1, and we love them and their milk.
Full Horns - No Pharma
Although our farm doesn't like to alter God's design, it takes quite a few years to raise a set of cows according to our own standards. We identify the cows in the milking line that were raised here from a calf. These are cows that have never been altered by pharmaceutical products and have a full set of horns (if they aren't naturally polled).
Our other cows all came from other sources, mostly from an Organic Valley dairy that we respect and purchase cows from. The dairy industry and the State have other standards and public realm requirements for injecting pharmaceutical products into cows.
The good news is that we have a whole set of heifers due to calve next Spring that will all be cows raised from calves here.
Horns are generally removed from dairy cows when they are calves because they can injure people and cows. Historically, people left horns on cows, and there was lore about horn quality indicating the health history of the cow. Rudolph Steiner, founder of biodynamic farming, emphasized the importance of grazing cows with horns to enhance the pastures of the biodynamic farm. There also is lore about milk from horned cows being even healthier. So, instead of burning off horns from calves, we add wooden balls to the end of the cow horns when the horns are fully developed, to make them safer to people and cows.