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Research article2009Peer reviewed

Day-to-day variation in yield, composition and somatic cell count of saleable milk in hand-milked zebu dairy cattle

Millogo, Vinsoun; Ouedraogo, G.A.; Agenäs, Sigrid; Svennersten Sjaunja, Kerstin


The aim of the study was to determine the relative day-to-day variation in yield and composition of zebu cows. Ten multiparous zebu cows in day 41 +/- 1.6 of lactation were used in the study. After a 14 day adaptation period, milk production was recorded daily for four consecutive weeks. Cows had access to natural pasture for 6.5 h per day and were also supplemented with hay, cottonseed cake and molasses. The cows were hand-milked and calves were used to stimulate milk ejection before and during milking. Average yield of saleable milk was 2.08 +/- 0.23 l/day with a relative day-to-day variation of 18-21%. The variation of saleable milk was 23-25% for fat, 12-14% for protein, 6% for lactose and 8% for somatic cell count. The variation in fat content was higher in strip milk (19-46%) than in saleable milk. The results indicated a larger variation in composition of milk from hand-milked Bos indicus Zebu than from machine-milked Bos taurus cows. The most likely reasons for the difference in variation are the suckling by the calf and that hand-milking entails larger variation in the degree of emptying machine-milking does.


Zebu; cow; milk; day-to-day variation; milk composition

Published in

African Journal of Agricultural Research
2009, Volume: 4, number: 3, pages: 151-155