Why horse milk you ask? Victor told us that there is a special hospital in Switzerland which demands his horse milk. He says that horse milk is the ideal food for premature babies, the closest thing to human milk and full of unique enzymes. These babies thrive when without it they absolutely would not. The hospital also has great success in treating post chemo patients, those with compromised immune systems, and for all types of skin disorders.
It has low fat and is high in sugar. It absolutely must be handled with care, and frozen immediately, and kept in its raw state for the enzymes and other properties to remain intact. He has many clients who purchase this milk from him directly for their own healing.
This big black beauty is the stud. They like to rest in the shed during the heat of the day.
To milk the mare, he waits until the foal is about 2 months old, then he separates her from the foal for about an hour before milking. He only milks out a quart of milk from each mare, then freezes it immediately in small bags. When in full production he milks about 17 liters a day, and I think he said the milk was about 35 francs a liter. It is taken in small doses, and his clients are greatly helped by this milk. We were not able to taste any because his mares were late in foaling this year and he did not have a surplus.
I asked if there were special breeds of horses which were best suited for milking. He said no. Horses have never been selective bred for high milk producers, and he said you can milk any breed of horse. All it takes is lots of love, trust, gentleness.
Ok, now for the indelicate question which always arises in any milking operation tour. You must breed an animal to have milk, and no, this is not apparent to everyone. You must breed every year, which means you will have calves, foals, lambs, baby goats… to obtain milk from the mother. So what do you do with all of the offspring? Well, anyone who raises their own animals does so out of love for animals, caring about the animals quality of life, and caring for the pure food for their own family, friends and clients. Yes, they eat horses.
Shock, for many I know. It greatly pained him to talk of his decision, especially to those who don’t understand what goes into the raising, and slaughtering, of animals. Look at the foal in the picture above. Can you see his left fetlock (ankle) right behind his mom’s leg? Can you see that it is unnaturally bending backwards? It happens in foals sometimes, and this dear foal will never be able to be ridden. He will grow happy and healthy with his herd, with the purest of food and lots of love. Then he will go, by Victor’s own hand on the trigger, without knowing a hint of suffering in his whole life, and will fill the noble purpose of feeding many, very delicious and nutritious meat. The foals are raised to about two years of age before slaughter. Not all of them have problems of course, and so he was asked why he just does not sell them as riding horses. Again, the answer pained him. He knows full well that many horses that are sold to become pet or riding horses, or even working horses, do not always lead a happy, well cared for life, and it is out of love for his horses that he has been able to create this nourishing and life sustaining business to support his family, saving many human babies and helping countless others in their quest for health and pure food.
Many of those who have horses know the actual suffering many horses endure, in life, and in death. Animal rights activists in this country think they are doing a service to horses by having put a ban on the slaughter of horses in the US. What do you really think happens to most pet or ranch horses when they are too old to be cared for? Most horse owners do not have the land or means to dig a massive hole, shoot and bury the horse to put it out of its suffering; they sell it to a sale barn, or to someone who sells it to a sale barn.
Then the horses make a terrifying trailer trip, excruciating in their distance to Mexico or to Canada, where they can legally be slaughtered. The meat is then shipped to Europe or other places where horse meat is prized, or it goes into dog food… When Victor was asked where the horse meat comes from which is sold in the shops in Europe, he said Canada, “But don’t ever eat it, it is poison!”
Many or most horses are heavily medicated sometime during their life with drugs that are never allowed for animals which will be consumed. The feed given to horses is very high in pesticides, and is certainly GMO feed. So that being said, I had never tried horse meat, but certainly wanted to try his.
I loved his hay feeder.
He milks with a sheep milker.
He said that Switzerland used to allow for on the farm slaughtering, where the animals could be put down without stress in their own home environment, and then taken to the slaughterhouse for processing. Now he must bring his grassfed cattle and his horses to the slaughter house himself, and he is allowed to put the animals down himself, which he prefers to say a last goodbye, and make sure there is not a hint of fear or suffering.
Next, the amazing farm meal served under the trees. Hmmm. I wonder what is going to be served?