Monday, March 31, 2014

Dairy Experiments

Yeah, so our counter now looks like this:

We had to start labeling all the glass jars containing various white-colored dairy sundries.
In addition to the raw milk butter, buttermilk, yogurt, chocolate milk, and cream cheese and whey, Wife and I also started clabbering some milk last week Clabber is just curdled, slightly solidified raw milk. We set a jar on the counter, stirred it twice a day, and let it be. After several days, it started separating into the slightly solid clabbered curds (similar to the cream cheese, but less "finished") and the beige-tinted liquid whey.

We drained some off to feed the chickens and the pigs (clabber to the chickens, whey to the pigs), then topped off the jar with fresh milk.

The chickens LOVED it.

They went crazy over the plate we added to their pen. It was likely about a pint of clabber, maybe a touch more. They all devoured it.

Chickens tasting clabber for the first time.
The Rhode Island Red got clabber all over her face.
I eventually hope to have clabber be a featured part of the chickens' diet, in addition to the lacto-fermented whole grains we already give them. Those two items form a complete feed for the chickens. Once we add the smaller chickens to the flock and hit 32 total adult chickens, it'll take a half gallon of clabber to form 50% of their collective total diet. The grains will account for the rest. Bridget Da'Cow is beginning to increase her production (right along with the spring grass growth), so this could be a reality soon if she keeps doing well. The pigs, meanwhile, love the whey. In fact, they love just about everything we get them, but the milk by-products are critical for them as well since milk is the only form of lysine they get. It's essential to their growth to get some dairy. Lucky for them they get a wide variety.

And speaking of Ms. Da'Cow, she is truly an amazing creature. In addition to all the dairy, she's taken it upon herself to mow my front lawn.

Bridget mowing the grass, kids enjoying the warm weather. It was a great day.
Well, in reality, I staked her out there. It was Wife's idea, since the grass out front was a lush, rich dark green. St. Brigid would've been proud.

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