Effect of milking interval on milk partitioning between udder compartments, milk yield and milk composition in Maghrebi dairy camels

Essmat Bakry Abdalla, Abd El Halim Anis Ashmawy, Omar Abd El Rahman Salama, Mohammed Hamdy Farouk, Farouk Abdalla Khalil, Ahmed Fathy Seioudy, Gerardo Caja

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Abstract

© 2016 Elsevier B.V. Ten multiparous Maghrebi she-camels (Camelus dromedarius L.) were used to study the effects of 6 milking intervals (4, 8, 12, 16, 20 and 24 h) at mid-late lactation (281 ± 41 days in milk) on milk partitioning between udder compartments, milk yield and milk composition. Camels were kept in loose stalls, fed forage and concentrate, and hand milked twice-daily. Average milk yield during the experiment was 4.2 ± 0.3 l/day. Cisternal and alveolar milk were obtained by sequential milking, before and after inducing milk let-down with exogenous oxytocin, respectively. Udder cisterns volumes were measured by real-time ultrasonography before and after milk let-down. Backflow of milk from the cistern to the alveoli as consequence of udder elastic recoil was measured at 12-h milk interval by delaying milking for 90 min after inducing milk let-down with oxytocin. On average, 44% of total milk volume was stored in the front udder quarters and 56% was stored in the rear udder quarters. Alveolar compartments accounted for 92% of milk volume and cisternal compartment for 8%. The volume of milk in the cistern (132 ± 30 ml) did not vary with increase in milking interval. Udder cisterns were visible by ultrasonography as small cavities that were dramatically engorged with milk after milk let-down. Milk secretion rate decreased linearly (ml/h = 168.3 - 3.2 x; r2 = 0.90, P < 0.05) upon increase of milking interval from 4 to 24 h (from 168 ± 28 to 105 ± 10 ml/h). Fat content in alveolar milk was 3.26 ± 0.10% and protein content in alveolar milk was 3.39 ± 0.08% .The content of fat and protein in the alveoli were greater across all milking intervals (P < 0.05) than those measured in cisternal milk (2.22 ± 0.10% for milk fat and 2.96 ± 0.05% for milk protein). The concentration of fat and protein in milk decreased linearly with increase in milking interval (r2 = 0.98; P < 0.05), except in the case of milk protein in cisternal milk, which did not change significantly with advancing milking intervals. Lactose concentration was steady across all milking intervals. A dramatic drop of milk secretion (62%) was observed when milking was delayed 90 min after induced milk let-down, indicating the necessity of early milking after milk let-down. In conclusion, selection for large-cistern udders and twice-daily milking are recommended for improving the machine milking ability of this breed in order to increase its use for milk production.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-220
JournalSmall Ruminant Research
Volume136
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016

Keywords

  • Alveolar milk
  • Cisternal milk
  • Dairy camel
  • Oxytocin
  • Ultrasonography

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