Survey of somatic cell counts and milk composition in bulk milk of ewes in dairy practice
Keywords:SCC, fat, protein, lactose, sheep milk
We evaluated milk quality during the sheep dairy period in the year 2018. The study was performed at fifteen dairy farms with differed breeds and crossbreds under Slovakian usual practical conditions (milking and pasture). At the first and seventh farm purebred Tsigai (TS) ewes were kept, at the eight to twelve farm there were purebred Lacaune ewes (LC) and the thirteen farm were kept crossbred Improved Valachian x Lacaune ewes (IV/LC, with a higher proportion of Improved Valachian), the fourteen farm crossbred Lacaune x East Friesian ewes and the last farm were ewes of the synthetic population of Slovak dairy ewe (SD). The milk yield recording and milk sampling were performed once a month during evening milking as a part of milk recording services. The basic milk composition was determined by MilkoScan FT120 (Foss, Hillerød, Denmark) and somatic cell count was determined using a Fossomatic 90 (Foss Electric, Hillerød, Denmark) after heat treatment at 40 °C for 15 min. We found the highest incidence of SCC on farm 14 with crossbred LC/EF 3.940 x 103 cells.mL-1. Followed by farms 12 and 9 with purebred LC (SCC value of 3.318 and 2.489 x 103 cells.mL-1). Farm 7 with purebred TS reached the lowest value (831 x 103 cells.mL-1). The highest fat content was reached by the purebred TS, with gradual growth from March to July. Crossbreds and the synthetic population of Slovak dairy ewe (SD) had the lowest average fat content, which could be affected by feeding. Similar tendencies were found in protein content.
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