The cows in our milking line at this time are:
-Lilly (A2/A1-Full horns-No pharma)
Our Notes on A2A2
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 small percentage of our farm share owners notice better digestion when they choose milk from our A2/A2 cows.
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. 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 was less taxing to the gut for their milk cure patients, and the milk cure was most successful at curing chronic disease centered in the gut. The Mayo clinic started as a "milk cure" clinic.
Starting in the mid 1800's in Germany through about 1930 in the US, the "milk cure" was used in country clinics. One version we studied describes taking patients off all food, putting them on full bedrest, giving them a cup of raw cow's milk an hour for 30 to 60 days until their chronic issue, stemming from the newly industrialized food system, was healed.
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 Anna 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. The only cow in the milking line that was raised here from a calf currently is Lilly. So she is the one cow that has never been altered by pharmaceutical products and has a full set of horns. The other cows all came from other sources, mostly from an Organic Valley dairy that we buy cows from. The dairy industry and the State have other standards and have some requirements for injecting pharmaceutical products into cows. We also raised the cows Amber and Bobbi from calves, according to our standards, but they were both sold as family cows, primarily because they were too submissive with the other milking cows. The good news is that we have a whole set of heifers due to calve next Spring that will become 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. There also is lore about milk from horned cows being even healthier. Lilly has full horns, and she started being aggressive with them to the other cows, so we added horn guards (wooden balls at the end of the horns) to solve that problem. If cows show issues with their horns, we will add safety features to eliminate those issues.