Got milk? Tour participants can try their hand at milking a real cow.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


OUR DAIRY HERD

How many cows do you milk?

We milk 150 cows on average throughout the year.


How many times a day do you milk?

Twice each day, at 4 a.m. and 4 p.m.


What are the cows fed?

Hansen cows do not graze on grass. They eat a mixture of hay silage, corn silage, high-moisture corn, distillers grain, canola meal and other vitamins and minerals. A milking cow will consume about 90 pounds of feed a day and drink about 40 gallons of water.


Why is your meat so lean?

Dairy cows are not fed a diet to produce fatty cuts of meat. They milk off the fat that they do consume, so they are a leaner animal in general. The only meat a dairy cow produces is ground beef, and ours is about 96% lean.


Do the cows get to go outside?

All ages of cows have access to go outside on dirt to get exercise and off the concrete.


Are your cows injected with antibiotics? Growth hormones?

The cows are treated with antibiotics only if they contract a serious infection, which is rare. If a cow has been treated, her milk is withheld from the raw milk tank as it is not approved for human consumption. Our cows are not given growth hormones.


OUR DAIRY PRODUCTS

Why does your milk taste different/better than other milk?

We closely monitor our cows’ diet, as the flavor of the milk can change based on what they eat. The milk is also extremely fresh — the milk a cow gives in the morning can be pasteurized and served on your table that night.


What is non-homogenization?

Homogenization breaks up the fat globules of milk so that the particles are uniformly sized. Since Hansen’s milk is non-homogenized, that means that the cream rises to the top. It should be shaken before being served. Unlike pasteurization (heating the milk to kill bacteria), homogenization is not required to sell milk. We choose not to homogenize to keep the milk in its most natural state. Some people who are lactose-intolerant have had an easier time digesting our milk. Give it a try!


What milk do you sell the most of?

Skim.


What milk is best for you?

That depends on your nutritional needs. Whole milk (3.5% fat) is recommended for young children and the elderly, who need more fat in their diet. Skim or 1% milk is recommended for people wanting the most protein. Most doctors would recommend skim or 1% milk for healthy adults.


Can you freeze milk? Cream? Butter? Egg nog?

Freezing milk is not recommended. Cream can be frozen if it is going to be used for cooking, but not for whipping. Butter can be frozen. Unsalted butter should be kept frozen because there is no salt in it for preservation. You can freeze egg nog, but it’s best if you freeze it before it’s opened and before the expiration date. Thaw in the refrigerator and shake well as some separation may occur.


Are your products organic?

No.


Why do you not carry 2% milk?

Based on taste, we feel that a customer would be happy consuming 1% milk or whole (3.5%) milk in place of 2%.


What are cheese curds? How long do they keep?

A cheese curd is just the first step in making cheddar cheese. The curds are made from heating a mixture of whole milk, a culture and vegetable rennet. After the curds have formed, the whey is drained and salt is added. Hansen’s curds are white because we don’t add a dye to make them yellow. The mark of a good cheese curd is that is squeaks in your mouth — the fresher the better. After a week or so they are no longer considered cheese curds, just a cheese “chunk,” as the aging process has begun. Curds can be kept at room temperature for about 24 hours before they begin aging. They are good in the fridge for about a week. They are still edible in the fridge for up to three weeks (any mold that grows can be removed). They can be frozen in a deep freezer for up to six months.


What do you use to sweeten your No Sugar-Added ice cream? Is it artificial?

We use maltitol, a reduced calorie bulk sweetener with sugar-like taste and sweetness. Maltitol is a member of a family of bulk sweeteners known as polyols or sugar alcohols.


How many people will an ice cream cake serve?

16 to 18 servings.


Why don’t you sell butter in sticks?

The cost of a stick machine is prohibitive for us. In addition, we don’t have air conditioning in our creamery in the summer, so it’s easier to put the butter in a tub rather than fight the high temperatures to form into sticks. Hansen’s Farm Fresh Dairy butter is higher in fat content and lower in milk solids, which makes it a higher quality butter. The proof is in the deep yellow color (all natural color, no dyes used). To measure out a “stick” of butter, you can turn your butter tub upside down when it’s cold and the butter will fall out. Then you can cut it into quarters.


OUR KANGAROOS

Why do you have kangaroos?

In 2001, Blake Hansen visited Australia and liked the wallabies (miniature kangaroos) he saw there. Back in the U.S., he found a breeder online and acquired three New Zealand wallabies. This was around the same time that the Hansen family decided to start their own creamery. We thought the wallaby would make a unique, kid-friendly logo. We now have kangaroos.


What do you feed the kangaroos?

They eat grass and a dry pellet feed called Happy Hopper.