Effect of milking frequency and lactation length on yield and milk composition in goats
Keywords:Lacatation length, Milking frequency, Yield, Composition, Goat
The level of individual milk output per dam is a crucial element in the economic survival of any dairy enterprise. A profitable goat dairy enterprise should aim at maximazation of milk output per dam or optimizing the overall milk output from the flock. The present discussion explores the potential use of milking frequency as a management tool available for goat dairy farmers in manipulation of milk yield per dam and its implication for mammary functioning and its influence in enhancing metabolic activities in milk secrection. The influence of lactation length on yield and milk composition is also discussed. Lactation length and milking frequency are some of factors which have been implicated in influencing yield and milk composition. Different milking frequencies in different management systems have been studied with different results observed in their influences on yield and milk composition. There are different adaptive responses of the mammary gland of different animal species to extended milking frequencies and lactation length in different systems of management. The lactation length records can facilitate the allocation of resources such as feed supplies both for individual doe and the flock. From the discussion milking frequency and lactation length account for some of the variation in milk yield and composition, therefore adjustment of dairy records for lactation length is essential for accurate selection of dairy animals in a flock. The feature of once daily milking is that it reduces milk yield, depending on stage of lactation, breed and parity. However, with the labour costs being recognized as one of the highest contributors to a dairy enterprise daily expenses, it is suffice to suggest that the cost implications related to once daily milking can not be ignored. In goats milked twice daily, but increasing milking frequency to three times a day or even more often increases goat milk yield.
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