Why Test

Testing Milk is Important

There are various tests for different things.  Each one tells us something else about the quality of the milk, and what is in it.

Dairy Herd Improvement Test (DHI)

We at Northern Dawn have tested our dairy goats on the DHI milk test program for many years. Typically this test is meant for herd management and to let potential buyers know if the animal they are thinking of purchasing is a viable dairy goat.  However, for milk test quality, there are some good aspects of the DHI test, to help us know of the quality of the milk.

  • Compare the butterfat content to the protein content.  If butterfat is higher, then we know that the nutrition of the dairy goat is good  If butterfat is lower than protein content, this could be a sign that the animal has acidosis, due to too high refined food intake vs roughage intake. One of the things that prolonged high amounts of concentrates like grain can do, through causing acidosis, is bring on problems like e-coli.
  • Somatic Cell Count (SCC) is white blood cell count.  While there are various reasons for a high SCC, prolonged high Somatic Cell Count could mean that there is something such as mastitis in the udder.  So it is very important to test for Somatic Cell Count.
  • How does butterfat and protein content affect cheese making?