Influence of stage of lactation on quantitative and qualitative milk production parameters in goats
Keywords:Stage of lactation, Yield, Composition, Goat
Goat lactation is synonymous to an agricultural production function with three distinct production regions namely: early, mid and late lactation. It is characterised by an increase in milk yield in early lactation to a possible peak in the mid lactation and then a decline in milk yield as it reaches the end of lactation. However, the other milk constituencies (protein, fat, lactose, etc ) do not follow the same trend as total milk yield through the 3 lactation stages. Therefore, it is suffice to suggest that the understanding of the physiological changes in these stages of lactation is crucial in maximizing milk production in goats. The present discussion explores the importance of different stages of lactation in milk production in influencing yield and milk composition. Milk yield and its composition are influenced by various factors, among these stage of lactation is very significant. The proportion of protein, lactose, fat and total solids declined slightly with advance in lactation and a steady fall in milk yield. This is on the basis that milk yield is a function of the number of mammary secretory cells and their metabolic activity change during the course of lactation. The significant stage of lactation effect in most studies may have practical implications in determining optimal feeding management to maximize total lactation yield and milk composition. Therefore, the knowledge of physiological activities during different stages of lactation is critical to dairy animal nutrition and management decision support systems for optimization of goat dairy flock production processes.
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