Our calves all remain with their mothers for a minimum of 48 hours so they receive a good feed of colostrum, before their Mums head off to be part of the dairy herd. We then hand rear all of our calves.
We have automatic calf feeding stations with daily volume limits so they don’t over drink and then make themselves sick. However, they can come and drink small amounts as frequently as they like and their milk is warmed up for them too. We only use fresh cow’s milk to feed our babies via these stations from the cows in the morning milking (instead of re-constituted milk powder).
Our girls are very spoilt and have the run of the place. Apart from the three hours, twice a day when they are milked, they are free to roam in our beautiful fields. However, if you saw their enthusiasm to get into the dairy to be milked, you would see it is clearly not something that they are unhappy about doing.
We have nothing to do with veal production – our calves remain with their mums for a minimum of 48 hours to insure they receive the colostrum that they need for a good start and a healthy immune system. They are then reared by our calf managers who are very attentive to our babies and make sure they get the very best attention and care. They are fed fresh milk from the cows in the morning milking rather than re-constituted powder and it’s always nicely warmed up for them.
We do not undertake any tail docking or removal of any teats (we can’t even imagine why anyone would do these practices). Unfortunately, we do have to de-horn as it is part of the Australian requirements for cattle handling.
We are farmers because we love animals and we love the land we are fortunate enough to be able to take care of. We always do our best to make sure our cows are safe and healthy and insist that anyone on our team treats them with love and respect.
We are working towards having a live feed on our website so that you can see our girls and what’s happening on the farm. We’re committed to providing you with the transparency you deserve so that you can trust the makers of the fresh produce you buy for your family.
We do not have Halal certification or provide any support to this system.
Unfortunately we are not able to produce the non-homogenised milk in our pouches as the cream layer on the top would form a film at the top of the pouch and would not be very appealing - it really does need a rigid bottle neck for that delicious creamy top (that we all love so much!) to form.
We use pure Cacao to make our Chocolatte, and we source this premium ingredient from Holland as a ground powder.
Our milk is only available in the 1 litre pouch. Unfortunately there are no larger packaging options and its unlikely there will be in the future. In terms of purchasing large volumes of our milk, we suggest asking your local supplier if you can arrange purchasing cartons (12 litres) from them.
We currently only produce premium quality fresh milk straight from our girls.
The Food Standards Code (FSANZ) orders that all drinking milk be pasteurised. There are various options for pasteurisation. The lowest temperatures take the longest time, while UHT milk is heated to 130°C for 1 second, which means that all bacteria are killed, the milk is sterile and it can be kept on the shelf.
Our café is currently closed (and has been since 2012) as we have run out of space. We are in the process of constructing a new ‘Creamery’ and a big part of this includes plans for a cafe and integrated viewing area so that we can share what we do at Bannister Downs – from milking our cows right through to dispatch of our fresh produce.
We apologise that this isn’t any help in the short term, however we will definitely have details on the website when our exciting new plans are ready to make you very welcome!
The pouch is certainly quite different to normal beverage packaging and can take a bit of time to get used to. One way that we find best to handle it is rather than ‘pour’ it as such – just tilt it to the container (cup or bowl) that you want to pour milk into, and then apply pressure by squeezing the lower part of the pouch with your other hand. Then the milk will only come to the spout as slowly or as quickly as you want, and the minute that you release the pressure, the flow will stop – so no gushes!
Our girl and boy calves are all given the same care. We generally rear our bobby (male) calves until a minimum of 3 months of age, at which time we either hold onto them (if we have pasture available), or, we on-sell them to another farmer rearing steers if space is a little short.
We are always mindful of having plenty of pasture available for our dairy herd which always get priority.
Yes our milk is GM free – we purchase our grain directly from co-farmers in Borden and they do not use GM grain/seed.
We do not add anything at all to our fresh creams – everything is made fresh, straight from our cows!
We have two creams and the fat content does vary slightly with the seasons, however generally our Fresh Cream (whipping/pouring) is close to 35% and our Double Cream (thickened) is between 40-45%.
Yes they are! We do feed them some extra hay when the amount of grass is a little low over the peak summer months and they do enjoy a small amount of grain at the dairy, which helps them settle and relax whilst milking.
We use lime, chicken manure and a small amount of super phosphate to maintain our beautiful pastures and balance the soil for best pasture production.
Our double cream is heated to 66°C as the particle size is a little larger than milk. This means it needs a slightly higher heat treatment to make sure that all toxic bacteria are destroyed and it is safe for human consumption.
No, our Double Cream and Whipping Cream are not homogenised.
We do not use any growth hormones and we only use antibiotics when absolutely necessary to treat an injured or sick animal, but it is not part of our regular practice.
We actually don’t add anything to our milk – we simply take the milk fresh from our cows and heat treat it so that any potentially toxic bacteria are killed and then homogenise it so that all of the cream particles are the same size. Then we pack it fresh and send it the same day to be delivered to our customers.
There is nothing at all added to our milk, and never has been (apart from ingredients in our flavoured milk). Our milk is just milk!
Most of the time, the pouch should re-seal itself. The surface tension pulling the sides together as the product empties from the pouch, creates a vacuum causing the sides of the pouch to pull together and ‘seal’ it shut.
As the packaging is a very new design, Ecolean have been continually making modifications and improving its behaviour. The pouch does not always self-seal as intended and there is some variation between batches of packaging.
We’re proud to say that we don’t add anything to our cream at all – it is simply separated from our fresh milk, directly from our cows.
Larger companies might choose to add gelatine, stabilisers and preservatives as these additives can make cream perfectly consistent and provide a longer shelf life.
Similar to other cows, a Jersey cow will be first mated when she is around 16 – 18 months old. This will be followed by a 9 month gestation period when she has her first calf.
At approximately 65 days she will be mated again.
A cow’s milking life begins once she has calved.
Cows will typically milk for around 9 – 10 months of the year, with 2 -3 months being a restful dry period.
Most cows will continue this life cycle for many years.
At Bannister Down’s our oldest Jersey cow, Mrs Grey, is 18 years old and we have just retired her on the farm.