Can anyone explain how to test for butterfat? I read quickly about The Babcock Test, but is that the only way it is done? Is there a test that we could do at home? or is it something that is really complicated?
Last Edit: May 9, 2010 10:19:35 GMT -5 by barnydhppy
I tried to get a test done but it turned into a huge hassle so the testing lab threw Jasmine's milk sample away. They test so that they can recommend feed changes and it was through the DHIA. The fee for testing any herd is like $60 + a small fee per cow per month. It wasn't worth it.
My neighbor suggested simply separating and weighing. A more accurate way would be to weigh a sample (gallon) of milk, make butter from the cream and weigh the butter. Other solids could be evaluated by adding the buttermilk to the skim, making QB (acid cheese) and weighing. I have not done this yet.
I was hoping Sally would recount her experience with fat testing. I was not sure I could remember it accurately. If you obtain help from Extension please let us know all about it. Some offices are much more helpful than others.
I have to say, as a practical approach, it would be hard to beat skimming the cream and weighing the butter. You would need to do this several times and average your results.
You would also need to be confident that you were getting all the cream when you milk. If you are sharing wtih a calf if is probably that you are not getting "your share". Cows are good at holding back and the last milk always has the highest fat content.
If you keep your milk in gallon glass jars, after 24 hours of standing you can expect 3 to 4 inches of cream from a Jersey. Some people report more. The cream becomes more concentrated as time passes. By day 3 it may look like 2 inches. So standardize your observations.
Thanks guys, this may turn out to be like Sally says , more complicated and expensive than worth it. I will try and get intouch with our Extension Office and see what they recommend. I'm talking about a Dexter and I do share with the calf at the moment so like Joanne says it may not be an accurate test anyhow, I may have to wait until the calf is taken away to even bother with it. Their is not a huge amount of present day information on milking Dexters around and I thought if the test would have been relatively "easy" I may have gone ahead just so the breed can have the figures to use.
Carol-maybe it would be an idea to contact the Dexter association? Possibly they can help you in some way to make it easier for you to get a test? Something like this, that helps promote the breed might be of interest to them!
Wife to Leroy, Momys to Jesse, Tabitha, Wyatt, Jacob & Luke.
In Alberta, with Flicka, Juliette, and Zoe. Purebred Canadian horses, and a whole host of other critters too!! RIP Gabi my dear Brown Swiss gal
I live next to a Dairy. I am lucky in that a whole bunch of stuff is made easier for me having them there. I did try to add Jasmine's sample to their 60 odd samples, BUT Mark Duffy (my dairyman neighbor) is THE HIGHEST per cow daily output in the state with an AVERAGE of about 100lbs/day. Putting Jasmine at 3 gal/day (~25 lbs?) might bring down his average and he couldn't bear to do that.
on the other hand........
The people at Cow Central*never test and don't give a hoot about M.D's. numbers. (*My name for it not the real name)
Last Edit: Mar 6, 2005 21:49:35 GMT -5 by Deleted
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