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Effect of breed and milking method on somatic cell count, standard plate count, and composition of goat milk

S.S. Zeng and E.N. Escobar

Small Ruminant Research 19:169-175. 1996.

This study was conducted on three commercial dairy goat farms (A, B, C), on which does were milked using pipeline milking machines, milking buckets, and by hand, respectively. Six to eight mastitis-free milking does of Alpine and Nubian breeds were selected from each farm. Composite samples, made of equal volumes of evening and morning milk, were collected monthly throughout the lactation (March-October). Milk samples were analyzed for somatic cell count (SCC), standard plate count (SPC), and percentages of fat, protein, lactose, and solids-non-fat (SNF). The overall means were 9.3 x 105 SCC mL-1, 9.1 x 102 cfu mL-1 SPC, 4.08% fat, 3.20% protein, 4.41% lactose, and 8.28% SNF, respectively. There was no significant effect of breed or milking method on SCC. Overall monthly mean SCC increased as lactation advanced. During the entire lactation period, 51% of the milk samples contained above 1 million SCC mL-1. However, only traces (under 5 cfu mL-1) of mastitis-related pathogens were found in these high SCC samples. Nubian does produced milk with higher SPC, percent fat, protein, and SNF than Alpine does (P < 0.05). Milk by bucket milking had lower SPC than that by pipeline and hand milkings (P < 0.05), although all milk samples were below the limits of the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance for Grade A raw milk. Pooled data showed that SCC had a minor but positive correlation with SPC (R = 0.14, P < 0.05, n=312).


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