How do you milk your goats?
Twice a day, our goats take a short walk from their barns to our world-class milking facility. Our state of the art rotary milking parlor gently collects milk with a vacuum system that mimics hand milking. Summerhill employees are trained to carefully watch our goats during the milking process to ensure she is healthy and well. Our milking system was designed to create a stress-free experience for our goats and give them the respect and attention they deserve. For an interesting article about our milking parlor click here.
What do your goats eat?
Goats are notoriously curious and will test almost any taste and texture (our paperwork, clothing, boots, etc.). But they are actually very picky eaters. Goats are browsers, not grazers, and the majority of their diet consists of high-quality non-GMO alfalfa hay. We ensure that the rest of their nutritional needs are met by providing a small ration of grain that provides them with essential nutrients and vitamins. Our goats eat an all vegetarian diet — they are never fed animal byproducts or soy products of any kind.
Is Summerhill Goat Milk certified organic?
We believe that everyone should be able to experience the benefits of high-quality goat milk — not just customers who shop at specialty grocers. We have researched switching to certified organic production. but many of the requirements would dramatically increase the price of our milk, putting it out of reach for many people. So at this time, we are not certified organic.
Do you use antibiotics or artificial growth hormones?
Summerhill Goat Milk is free of antibiotics and artificial growth hormones. We do not use rBST, rBGH or any other artificial growth hormones on our goats. We help our goats produce rich delicious milk the natural way — by feeding them well, caring for their health, and giving them lots of room to run and play.
Does Summerhill Goat Milk contain GMOs?
We understand that many of our customers are concerned about the prevalence of GMOs in food today. Our milk has been tested by an independent lab and no GMO DNA was found in our milk. Although our goats’ diet is primarily high-quality non-GMO feed, Summerhill Dairy is not officially non-GMO verified.
How is goat milk different from cow milk?
Like cow milk, goat milk is real, natural dairy. However, there are a few important differences. Goat milk contains higher levels of calcium, potassium, magnesium, vitamin A, and vitamin C. The fat particles in goat milk are smaller than in cow milk, which makes goat milk easier for the stomach to digest. And the composition of protein in goat milk is different than cow milk — which makes it less allergenic. Goat milk contains A2-beta casein protein (not the A1-beta casein found in cow milk than many people are allergic to) as well as less alpha s-1 casein than cow milk. If you have a severe allergy to cow milk, please speak to your health care provider before trying goat milk.
Does goat milk contain lactose?
All natural milk contains lactose, a milk sugar that consists of glucose and galactose. Goat milk contains less lactose than cow milk, so many people who are unable to tolerate cow milk find they can enjoy goat milk.
Does goat milk contain casein?
Many people who are allergic to the major protein (casein) in cow milk are able to tolerate goat milk because the protein composition of goat milk is different. Goat milk contains A2-beta casein protein — not the A1-beta casein found in cow milk. Goat milk also contains less alpha s-1 casein than cow milk. If you have a severe allergy to cow milk, please speak to your health care provider before trying goat milk.
Who can drink goat milk?
Due to differences in protein composition, many people who are allergic to cow milk find that they are able to enjoy goat milk. Many people who are unable to tolerate the lactose in cow milk or suffer from stomach conditions such as ulcers also find goat milk to be a good alternative. And goat milk is a good, wholesome choice for any child who is ready for whole milk. If you have a severe allergy to cow milk, please speak to your health care provider before trying goat milk.
What is your commitment to animal welfare?
Summerhill Goat Dairy is committed to the well being of our goats. Their health and happiness are at the forefront of everything we do. We are formally verified as Certified Humane®, which assures that our goats are raised and handled right. You can learn more about our commitment to animal welfare here.
What kind of goats do you have?
We currently have five different kinds of goats at Summerhill Goat Dairy: Alpine, Nubian, Saanen, Toggenburg, and La Mancha. Each breed of goat has its own unique characteristics — which contributes to the great flavor of Summerhill Goat Milk. You can read more about our different breeds here.
Does Summerhill Goat Dairy care about the environment?
We seek to be good stewards with all aspects of our business. Summerhill Goat Dairy is 100% powered by clean, renewable energy. A field of solar panels powers our dairy, milking parlor and creamery. We keep all milking, processing, and bottling on-site, which gets rid of unnecessary transportation and helps minimize our carbon footprint. We pasteurize our milk using a HTST (High-Temperature Short Time) system, which uses less water, power and resources than other methods of pasteurization. All of our bottles are made of recyclable HDPE plastic, and we encourage everyone to recycle.
Why do you pasteurize your milk?
We pasteurize our milk to ensure that it is free of bacteria or other harmful organisms. Pasteurization also increases the shelf life of our goat milk, enabling customers to enjoy our milk for longer periods of time. We use a HTST (High-Temperature Short Time) system which heats the milk to 161 degrees for 15 seconds. Not only does this system use much less water, power and resources than other methods, we think the milk tastes best this way. This process also means our milk can be cultured and used to make cheese, yogurt, and kefir.
What about ultra-pasteurization?
We want to preserve as much of the natural goodness in our goat milk as possible, so our milk is NOT ultra-pasteurized. Ultra-pasteurization is a process in which milk is heated to 280 degrees and held at that temperature for 2 seconds. While ultra-pasteurizing gives the milk a longer shelf life, it kills everything (even the good stuff) in the milk. Ultra pasteurized milk can no longer be cultured into other milk products and we don’t think it tastes as good.
Do you homogenize your milk?
Goat milk is naturally homogenized, so we do NOT artificially homogenize our milk. Homogenization is a process by which fat particles in milk are broken down and evenly distributed through the milk. Goat milk contains small fat particles that naturally stay suspended and distributed well in the milk. However, the cream in pasteurized goat milk may still separate and rise to the top.
Why are there clumps & chunks in Summerhill Goat Milk?
Clumps and chunks in our milk are very natural. These clumps and chunks are simply cream that has coagulated. Because we want to keep our milk pure and natural, we don’t add or remove anything that would prevent these clumps from forming. Shaking or stirring the bottle should reduce or remove them. You can also spoon the cream from the top of our milk to create your own “lower fat” version. The amount of cream in goat milk varies by season, so you might notice variations in the consistency throughout the year.
How can I know if a bottle of milk has gone bad?
For the best taste and nutritional value, we recommend that you consume our goat milk by the date stamped on the side of the bottle. Once the bottle is opened, we recommend that you finish it within a few days. The best way to keep Summerhill Goat milk fresh is to always keep it cold. Like cow milk, goat milk will smell and taste bad if it has spoiled.
Why do you use plastic bottles instead of something else?
We have found our bottles to be a good alternative to paper cartons (which can affect the taste of our milk) and glass (which would dramatically raise prices, putting it out of reach for many people). Our bottles are made of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and contain no PETE or BPAs. Our bottles are recyclable and we encourage you to do so.
Can goat milk be frozen?
Unopened goat milk can be frozen for several weeks. However, the consistency of the milk may change when you thaw it. We recommend that you drink previously frozen goat milk quickly, as it will spoil more rapidly.
Where can I buy your products?
Summerhill Goat Milk is readily easy to find and enjoy. You can pick up our goat milk at any Trader Joe’s or Sprouts Farmers Market in the western United States. Or simply use our store locator to find a store near you. If you find a store that carries our milk and is not listed (or if one is listed mistakenly), please let us know so we can update our list. And if you don’t see our milk at your favorite store, you can request it by downloading this request form and bringing it to the store.