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Author Topic: Is milk from horned cows better than milk from dehorned ones?  (Read 389 times)

Bramble&Rose Dairy

  • Joined Dec 2017
  • Warwickshire
Is milk from horned cows better than milk from dehorned ones?
« on: October 04, 2019, 02:43:48 pm »
Hiya everyone!
I've been reading a book called The Biodynamic Farm by Karl- Ernst Osthaus, and came across a theory that I wanted to share with you all; So basically he's saying that  freezing milk samples from cows and studying the crystal structures shows that there is a difference between the milk of cows with horns and cows that have been dehorned. Apparently the crystallized sample from the dehorned cow 'indicate metabolic waste products and waste deposits'. He doesn't explain how, but claims this means that biodynamic milk is healthier than any other milk, including organic.

So what does everyone think? Have any of you noticed milk from a horned cow being better for you or tasting better than milk from a deformed cow?  :cow:
Voss Electric Fence

henchard

  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Carmarthenshire
    • Two Retirees Start a New Life in Wales
    • Facebook
Re: Is milk from horned cows better than milk from dehorned ones?
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2019, 03:05:13 pm »
Sounds like complete and utter cobblers, can he point us to any peer reviewed science? Probably not so as far as I'm concerned this remains in the same box as all the other first world nonsense like homeopathy until he can.


Sorry if people don't like my blunt approach.

Bramble&Rose Dairy

  • Joined Dec 2017
  • Warwickshire
Re: Is milk from horned cows better than milk from dehorned ones?
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2019, 03:33:42 pm »
Not at all henchard! I'm inclined to agree with you!  After a bit more research,( I'm supposed to be using my afternoon productively getting through paperwork...ooops! :innocent:), I've found an article about it on the Biodynamic Association website

https://www.biodynamic.org.uk/why-are-cows-horns-important/

I can see what they are saying, though the conclusions they took from the study depend somewhat on whether or not you believe in 'life forces' and how these are measured. Also, the study focused on animals that were horned and dehorned; it doesn't account for breeds like the Redpoll that naturally hornless  ???

sheeponthebrain

  • Joined Feb 2016
  • Turriff
Re: Is milk from horned cows better than milk from dehorned ones?
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2019, 03:42:39 pm »
from a purely biological view theoretically the dehorned cow should produce higher quality milk as she is not wasting energy on horn growth.  theres been a bit of work done on soay sheep suggesting by using more energy growing horns the bigger horned tup lambs are more likely to die during their first winter

Bramble&Rose Dairy

  • Joined Dec 2017
  • Warwickshire
Re: Is milk from horned cows better than milk from dehorned ones?
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2019, 07:47:57 pm »
Yes, sheeponthebrain, that makes a lot of sense! Also, according to them horns are 'sense organs' and ' thus make a subtle but important contribution to the well-being of the cow and to the quality of her digestion and metabolism', which in turn produces healthier milk because the cow is 'happier'. But if a particular cow was say being bullied by another cow in the herd she wouldn't be 'happier' regardless of whether she had horns or not. Wouldn't that bullied cow's milk then be less healthy as a bullied cow is not a happy cow?

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Is milk from horned cows better than milk from dehorned ones?
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2019, 12:56:15 am »
from a purely biological view theoretically the dehorned cow should produce higher quality milk as she is not wasting energy on horn growth.  theres been a bit of work done on soay sheep suggesting by using more energy growing horns the bigger horned tup lambs are more likely to die during their first winter


Hence the survival and persistence of scurred tups on Soay.  When there is a population crash on the island, which happens on a roughly 7 year cycle, with worm maximums, or grass over grazed, the big horn senior tups can no longer fight for their harems, and die.  This apparently is because of the extra energy needed to grow and support such large horns (Soay do have proportionally large horns).  The scurred tups, which have previously been outcasts on the periphery of the flock, sneaking the odd bride when the big boy was elsewhere, suddenly find they are still alive when he's dead and thus the scurred gene is passed on.


However, this doesn't explain unspecified metabolic waste products found in the milk of dehorned cows.  If large horns are a stressor, then the dehorned cow should be healthier and not have waste products in her milk.  So is Mr Biodynamic saying that his cows are not dehorned and therefore the milk is better quality?


I would want to see some much better research done to prove or disprove his claim, with naturally polled cows included.  Otherwise I'm with henchard - it's a load of blarney and hype. I wonder why biodynamics is so obsessed with cow horns?  They do their rituals with manure in one, buried somewhere to ensure soil fertility.  :poo:
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

Bramble&Rose Dairy

  • Joined Dec 2017
  • Warwickshire
Re: Is milk from horned cows better than milk from dehorned ones?
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2019, 11:49:34 am »
According to the Biodynamic Association website;

'Like our fingers, they represent a cow’s individuality, and are far more than simply an appendix to their heads. They are sense organs which not only have a stream of blood flowing through them, as seen when one is damaged or removed, but also are connected to the sinus system of the cow allowing air to also circulate through the bone. They thus make a subtle but important contribution to the well-being of the cow and to the quality of her digestion and metabolism. And, of course, it is the extraordinarily power of the cow’s digestive system to build farm fertility that is the reason that cow manure is so valued. In biodynamics, we thus perceive a cow’s horns to be of huge functional and spiritual importance – a perspective that comes naturally in countries such as India. This is why we never remove our cows’ horns and this is why we also use the cow’s’ horns to make the horn manure (500) spray preparation.Cattle with horns are more awake and discerning of fodder. Horns through their unique form have the capacity to prevent the dissipation of vital forces released through the animal’s metabolism. These are instead reflected back, digested once again and incorporated within the animal’s excretory products.'

Buttermilk

  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: Is milk from horned cows better than milk from dehorned ones?
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2019, 12:59:39 pm »
And people believe this claptrap?

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Is milk from horned cows better than milk from dehorned ones?
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2019, 01:13:04 pm »
And people believe this claptrap?


Carefully thought out and beautifully expressed claptrap though Buttermilk  :roflanim:
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

Bramble&Rose Dairy

  • Joined Dec 2017
  • Warwickshire
Re: Is milk from horned cows better than milk from dehorned ones?
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2019, 03:43:46 pm »
And people believe this claptrap?


Carefully thought out and beautifully expressed claptrap though Buttermilk  :roflanim:

 :roflanim: :roflanim: I just love people on TAS  :excited:

 

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