LUTHER – Donkey milk may be an uncommon drink for most people, but for Walt and Saundra Traywick, it is the answer to their prayers.
This is the beginning of the story about a Luther business. Dulce de Donké is getting some media buzz attracting attention from as far away as Switzerland. They’ve been on TV, in magazines and all over the internet. That’s the outside marketing, but Dulce also does a fine job with its own marketing. Have you liked them on Facebook and Instagram? Check it out for the pictures, the antics and the sermonettes that will inspire, encourage and remind us hard work is worth it, from shoveling donkey poop to early morning milking.
Many of us around here know the Traywick family. If we’ve not tasted a sample of the donkey milk, a growing number of us have tried the products – including the “Better Than Botox” moisturizer in the clever packaging.
The story continues from their article from the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture and Made In Oklahoma news release shared statewide … In 2014, their 6-year-old daughter became sick with a common case of strep throat, which caused an autoimmune disease that attacked her brain, called PANDAS.
With daunting medical options offered of hospitalization for IV immunoglobulin treatments or daily antibiotics for 12 years, the Traywicks were reluctant. So began a mission for a more holistic remedy. Ask Saundra whether she ever dreamed her Mama Mission would lead to donkey milk and she might laugh.
But when your child is sick, inconceivable options become considerations. Research supported the healing aspects of donkey milk, and there was evidence reaching back to antiquity and Hippocrates. Long story short. Donkey milk worked. For those of us who know the family, and knew their darling daughter before, during and after her illness; it’s absolutely no surprise the family now operates a donkey dairy. They went all in. As their friends, we laugh about it and sometimes we cry as we cheer them on and watch them grow. They’re building the kind of business that when you watch them grow, you get the notion that someday we will all say, “Yes, we knew them when they were a struggling donkey dairy in Luther. Look at them now!”
They share their knowledge and donkey milk with other parents of sick children. It’s still somewhat of a fringe remedy but parents of sick children find each other via social media and the internet; they gather their own empirical data.
The Traywicks sell donkey milk, and with the excess, make beautiful products (Also a throwback to antiquity, you’ve heard of Cleopatra, and her beauty regimen that included donkey milk baths!).
The Traywicks stepped tentatively into bringing donkeys to their small farm south of Luther. First one, two then three. Then their jennies started having babies, providing more milk. Today, they have 14 American Mammoth donkeys cared for by the whole family. American Mammoth’s are a breed brought to North America by President George Washington in the 1700s. Today this breed’s population is described as critical.
“We use the donkey milk that our daughter and other sick children don’t drink to make our line of organic donkey milk soaps and skincare that we sell on our website and through select retailers,” Saundra Traywick said. The products are available in Luther at Urban Sixty-Six on Main Street.
Using donkey milk for skin care is known for its anti-aging abilities and can heal eczema and psoriasis, Traywick said. Dulce de Donké offers organic donkey milk soap, all-natural and aluminum-free deodorant, moisturizer, and a leave-in organic conditioning balm.
Traywick said consuming donkey milk helps kids who can’t drink cow or soy milk, and it helps with other ailments like her daughter faced. It has also been prescribed to help everything from asthma to cancer, and although it is rarely used in the US, it is very common in other countries, she said.
“It’s packed with anti-inflammatory omega 3s, calcium, phospholipids, probiotics, vitamins A, C, D and E, and ceramides, and it’s naturally antibacterial with a high content of lysozymes and lactoferrin,” Traywick said.
The Traywicks give sick children their first jar of donkey milk free. The family is continuously looking for ways to teach the public about their operation.
“Unfortunately, our farm isn’t open to the public on a daily basis,” she said, “but we are planning a Donkey Dairy Day event and hope to offer farm stays at our Oklahoma Donkey Dairy in the future. When kids come to our farm, they never want to leave. Our dream is for our farm stay to be a place to unplug and wake up to the crow of a rooster and a hee haw from a donkey, instead of an alarm clock.”
Traywick says the goal of Dulce de Donké is to “help as many sick children as possible with donkey milk, to bless others with natural skincare that is an effective, healthy alternative to chemical-laden products, to provide an Oklahoma Donkey Dairy farm stay destination that is a place for spiritual and physical rest and rejuvenation, and to educate others about the incredible heritage breed of American Mammoth donkeys so they’ll fall in love with them too.”
Dulce de Donké has been in operation since 2014 and joined the Made in Oklahoma Program this year. To learn more about the Traywicks’ donkey farm, find Dulce de Donké on Facebook and Instagram. To find other retailers in addition to Urban Sixty-Six in Luther who carry Dulce de Donké products, visit madeinoklahoma.net/products/dulce-de-donke or order products at www.dulcededonke.com.