Down a rabbit hole with milk

Varanis here – I actually wrote this in August, but I held onto it for a bit. The small, bitey GM and I are working on a Praxian thing and she mentioned that the section to do with milking animals needed a bit more work. Then she went to bed, so really… me having gone down this rabbit hole and not come up for several hours is her fault. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

When we publish our newest Praxian piece, you’ll understand what prompted this bizarre bit of research. Hopefully. Or maybe you won’t, because it’s just a product of my weird brain.

I wanted to know how various Praxian riding animal milks compared with cow milk. And then I threw in horses, just because I could make the Praxians twitch. I left out human milk, though there’s a lot of data on that and I suppose I could have included it too. Anyway, here are the results of my hunting.

A comparison of the percentages of moisture, protein, fat, and lactose in animal milks, based on real species, but for a Gloranthan context.

It turns out that rhinos basically produce skimmed milk. It’s over 90% water and less than 1% fat! Rhinos and zebras both produce very sweet milk and one of the things that I read says that zebra milk makes lovely cheeses, sweet and/or sour, depending on processing.

It wasn’t a surprise to see that buffalo/bison milk is high in fat, but I was very surprised about sable milk. Such milks take a long time to digest and leave you feeling full longer than something like cow’s milk.

Llama’s milk is a lot like cow’s milk, while zebra milk is apparently a lot like human milk. Weird.

Oh, and impala milk gives you the most protein.

If you are finding yourself as bizarrely fascinated as I was, you can check out a few of the sources I consulted. These ones are open access, so you should have no problems getting them.

Osthoff, G., Beukes, B., Steyn, A. C., Hugo, A., Deacon, F., Butler, H. J. B., O’Neill, F. H., & Grobler, J. P. (2021). Milk composition of white rhinoceros over lactation and comparison with other Perissodactyla. Zoo Biology, 1– 12.

Osthoff, G., Hugo, A., Madende, M., Schmidt, L., Kobeni, S., and Deacon, F.. (2021). Milk composition of free-ranging impala (Aepyceros melampus) and tsessebe (Damaliscus lunatus lunatus), and comparison with other African bovidae. Animals 11(2): 516-28.

Osthoff, G., Hugo, A., and de Wit, M. (2007). Milk composition of free-ranging sable antelope (Hippotragus niger). Mammalian Biology 72(2): 116-122.

As a final thought, I leave you with this. Apparently, not only is it possible to milk a pig, the milk makes decadent ricotta cheese. If you survive milking the sow.

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