The deer farms kōtia source milk from undertake a safe and regulated milking process, with the actual milking taking about ninety seconds once a day. In fact, a Hind will not deliver milk if she is stressed, so we monitor carefully to ensure each Hind stays relaxed. We prepare the Hinds over many weeks by introducing them to the milking sheds gradually before fawning. And because Hinds usually respond better to female milk hands, they’re tended by our female milk hands whenever possible.
Kōtia doesn’t test any of their skincare range on animals. As a company that is committed to animal welfare and taking the utmost care to nurture the deer we source our milk from, we are against testing products on animals. All kōtia products have been patch tested and certified on human sample groups.
We understand the important bond between Hind and Fawn, especially in the early weeks. It’s for this reason we don’t separate them during milking. Hinds milk on average for only four months, typically between December – March, with the process taking approximately ninety seconds per day in comparison to milking cows, which can take up to 8 minutes per day most of the year. Our process is quick, gentle and stress-free.
The Hinds are kept on the farm’s best paddocks with plenty of feed, which ensures they’re healthy and produce lots of milk. A Hind produces much more milk than her fawn can drink, so there is milk left over after every feed. Fawns also nibble grass all day from a very young age and because every fawn is weighed at about 4 months of age, we know they are well fed and nourished.
To ensure the highest standards of ingredients and animal care, we choose the farms we partner with very carefully. All farms that supply our deer milk must meet our strict policies on responsible farming and animal welfare, as well as the Ministry of Primary Industries’ stringent milk handling rules.
Our close relationships with deer farmers and milk hands, regular visits to farms and systematic review of milk test results ensure our farms follow the highest standards in the way farmers harvest milk and care for their deer. Our deer farms are independently audited around 3-4 times every year, and all records including animal welfare reports and vet visits are checked carefully.