Changes in cisternal udder compartment induced by milking interval in dairy goats milked once or twice daily

A. A.K. Salama, G. Caja, X. Such, S. Peris, A. Sorensen, C. H. Knight

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Fourteen Murciano-Granadina dairy goats were used to evaluate udder compartments (cisternal and alveolar) and cisternal recoil after an oxytocin (OT) challenge at different milking intervals (8, 16, and 24 h) during wk 7 of lactation. Goats were milked once (1x; n = 7) or twice (2x; n = 7) daily from wk 2 of lactation. Average milk yields for wk 4 and 8 were 1.76 and 2.24 L/d, for goats milked 1x and 2x, respectively. For each half udder, cisternal area was measured by ultrasonography and cisternal milk was measured by machine milking after i.v. injection of an OT receptor blocking agent. Alveolar milk was then obtained after i.v. injection of OT. Regardless of milking frequency, alveolar milk increased from 8 to 16 h after milking, but did not change thereafter. Cisternal area and cisternal milk increased linearly (R2 = 0.96 to 0.99) up to 24 h, indicating continuous milk storage in the cistern at any alveoli filling degree. Cisternal to alveolar ratio increased with milking interval (from 57:43 to 75:25), but differences between milking intervals were significant at 8 h only, at which time goats milked 2x showed a greater ratio (1x = 51:49; 2x = 62:38). Despite extended milking intervals, cisterns of goats milked 1x did not become larger than cisterns of goats milked 2x after 5 wk of treatment. The highest correlation between cisternal area and cisternal milk was detected at 8 h after milking (r = 0.74). Primiparous goats had smaller cisternal areas and less cisternal milk than multiparous goats at all milking intervals. Cisternal recoil was studied in a sample of multiparous goats milked 1x (n = 4) and 2x (n = 4) by scanning cisterns by ultrasonography at 0, 5, 15, and 30 min after an OT challenge for each milking interval. Cisternal area increased after OT injection for the 8- and 16-h milking intervals, but no differences were observed for the 24-h interval. Unlike cows, no changes in cisternal area were observed after OT injection, indicating the absence of cisternal recoil in goats. We conclude that goats show a large cisternal compartment that increases linearly after milking. Nevertheless, cisternal size did not increased after 1x milking, probably because of lesser milk yield. Multiparous goats had larger cisterns than primiparous goats and were able to store more milk in their cisterns at all milking intervals. Because of the high capacity of goat cisterns, no milk return from cistern to alveoli is expected if milking is delayed after milk letdown.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1181-1187
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004


  • Cisternal recoil
  • Goat
  • Milking frequency
  • Ultrasonography


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