Effect of somatic cell count on milkability and milk composition of ewes
Keywords:ewe, somatic cell count, milk composition, SCC
The trial aimed to study the effect of somatic cell count, breed, milk flow type, and parity on the milkability and milk composition of ewes. The flock consists of purebred Lacaune ewes (LC; n = 29) and crossbreds ewes of Improved Valachian (IV x LC; n = 35) and Tsigai (TS x LC; n = 37) with LC (with a genetic portion of Lacaune 25 and 50%). Ewes were assigned according to somatic cell count (SCC) to one of the following three groups: SCC ≤300,000 cells per mL (SCC Group 300,000), SCC between 300,000 and 1000,000 cells per mL (SCC Group 300,000 – 1000,000),
SCC ≥1000,000 cells per mL (SCC Group 1000,000). 56% of evaluated ewes had less than 300,000 cells per mL and 29% more than 1000,000 cells per mL in milk. No significant differences were observed between different groups of SCC in total, machine milk yield, and the proportion of milk yield in 30 s and 60 s. The significant differences were observed between SCC Group 300,000 and SCC Group 300,000 – 1000,000 in the proportion of machine stripping from total milk yield (41 ±2 vs. 57 ±4%). Milk flow type had a significant effect on all evaluated milkability parameters but not on milk composition. Ewes on fourth parity had the highest proportion of machine stripping from total milk yield then ewes on third, fifth, and sixth and higher (60% vs. 47, 45, 46%; resp.). Effect of SCC Group on milk composition manifested only in solids not fat. The significant differences were observed between SCC Group 1000,000 to SCC Group 300,000 and SCC Group 300,000 – 1000,000 (10.75 ±0.08% vs. 11.05 ±0.06 and 11.15 ±0.11%, p ≤0.0004).
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