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Relationships between milk characteristics and somatic cell score in milk from primiparous browsing goats


Michele Pazzola, Department of Animal Biology, University of Sassari, 07100 Sassari, Italy. (Email:


To determine milk yield and composition, total microbic count (TMC) and somatic cell count (SCC) of browsing goats throughout the first lactation, 100 goats of Sarda breed, equally distributed in four flocks (F1, F2, F3 and F4), were selected. They were exclusively fed pasture and hand-milked once daily. Individual milk samples and daily milk yield were taken from each goat at monthly intervals, from March to July. Milk samples were analyzed for: total protein, fat, lactose, urea, freezing point (FP), pH, TMC and SCC. The data was subjected to analysis of variance and to correlation matrix. On the whole, in all the flocks, milk yield showed the highest production in April and May. Fat content increased (P < 0.01) throughout the lactation. Protein content showed the lowest value (P < 0.01) in June (4.15%). Urea and pH values were fluctuating. FP was lower (P < 0.01) at the start of lactation (−0.562 Hortvet degrees). TMC log10 values were low, considering the hand milking and inadequacy of facilities on the farms. SCC increased (P < 0.01) throughout the lactation and, on the whole, SCC and TMC were not correlated.

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