One-hundred eight lactations of Murciano-Granadina goats from different years were used to compare two kid rearing systems. Goats were separated into two groups: suckling and milking. Dams in the suckling group were milked once daily until kids were weaned (wk 0 to 7) and then were milked twice daily. Dams in the milking group were separated from their kids at 48 h after birth; then, kids were raised artificially, and goats were milked twice daily. Total milk yield was estimated according to the oxytocin method during suckling. Stage of lactation, parity, prolificacy, and year effects on milk yield and composition were also studied. As expected, during the first 7 wk of lactation, marketable milk was higher for dams that were milked than for dams that were suckled. Neither milk yield nor milk composition throughout the entire lactation was affected by group or prolificacy with the exception of the percentage of milk CP. The lactation curve peaked at wk 4 or 5 and declined slowly afterward. First parity goats had the lowest milk yield but the highest fat and protein percentages. Third parity goats had the highest milk yield. The separation of kids from their dams after birth did not affect total lactation performance because of the minimal importance of the neuroendocrine milk ejection reflex in goats compared with that of other ruminants.
- Milk yield
- Murciano-Granadina dairy goats