What’s the Difference Between Cow, Goats, and Sheep’s Milk?

What’s the Difference Between Cow, Goats, and Sheep’s Milk?

You think about it when you go grocery shopping and chances are that there is at least some form of milk in your cabinet if not in your refrigerator. Let’s face it-we like it. Milk’s a large part of our diets-even vegans drink milk (albeit it’s normally from soy or rice or almonds). However, there is sometimes a bit of an issue determining the many differences between the types of milk. So the question is-how exactly do you know the difference between the three main types of animal milk?


First of all, you have cow’s milk. Cow’s milk is very popular-mainly because of how much they can produce at any given time. This is vs. goat’s milk, which has a much lower production in comparison. This is why when you buy goats milk or sheep milk, which is also quite a bit more expensive, it costs more. It takes more work to get an ounce of the milk from the smaller animals than the larger.

Also, since cows are happier in smaller quarters, this is another reason that they are better off as milk producers compared to sheep and goats. Goats and sheep however, are normally more active animals since they prefer grazing to say, sitting around in a field all day.

Then there is the fat content. Cow’s milk has a higher fat content than most milks-far more than human milk (and thus why babies cannot handle cow’s milk until they are over a year old) and contains more antibodies. However, unless you plan on growing horns, there’s a chance that drinking cow’s milk for the antibodies (which are also killed during processing) isn’t going to do much for you. Cheese made from cow’s milk is usually very creamy with a very light taste. Since cow’s milk contains so much fat, it’s easier to make cheeses such as ricotta from the whey of the first batch.


Then there is goat milk. When you think of goat milk, you probably think of something earthy-maybe with a few hairs in it. Goat’s milk is actually very digestible and is perfect for those who have trouble digesting cow’s milk-but aren’t quite lactose intolerant. However, goat’s milk MUST be pasteurized or somehow boiled. The reason is a small organism called brucellosis. This organism can cause fever and joint pain and the like. Goat cheese tastes different from other cheeses-it is more tangy, with a very creamy flavor. Most soft goat cheeses are used in desserts because they are the perfect consistency for such and the flavor only enhances them.


Then there is sheep’s milk. Sheep’s milk is actually twice as fatty as cows milk-making it perfect for cheese-making and for even making that well-desired ricotta. Like goat’s milk, sheep milk also has very short proteins. (This is why if you are lactose intolerant, you can normally digest these milks easily and so can babies.) It is great for making cheese-and also a great dessert cheese producer, as it is slightly sweet.

For more information on milk and how it is used when making cheese make sure to visit GoldenAgeCheese.com today!

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