Rassu, Salvatore Pier Giacomo and Cannas, E. A. and Nicolussi, Paola and Nudda, Anna and Pulina, Giuseppe (2007) Machine milking management and milk nitrogen fractions in primiparous ewes. Italian Journal of Animal Science, Vol. 6 (Suppl. 1), p. 591-593. eISSN 1828-051X. Article.
Little work has been carried out on management techniques to reduce stress of first machine milking in ewes. The aim of this work was to evaluate the effect of milking parlour training before weaning on sheep milk yield and milk protein fractions. One week before weaning, an experimental group (EG) was introduced into the machine milking parlour and hand-milked once a day, to adapt them to the new environment and noise of the milking machine, while a control group (CG) was hand-milked once a day in a traditional fold parlour until weaning. After weaning, both groups were machine milked, separately, twice a day in the milking parlour. Milk yield and nitrogen fractions were recorded for the first 10 days of machine milking. Differences between samplings within group were observed for all parameters considered. Only on the first day of machine milking, differences between groups occurred for total nitrogen, total protein and casein. Higher content of nitrogen fractions in the milk of EG was due to its lower milk production. In fact, daily production of nitrogen fractions was higher in CG than in EG. High variability for most parameters was observed during the first 5 days of machine milking in both groups. A week of training to machine milking parlour was not enough to reduce the negative effects of weaning and machine milking stresses on primiparous ewes. (interaction?)
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