Milk Yield and Quality of Holstein and Jersey Breeds of Cattle in Kwara State, Nigeria
About 1660 randomly collected milk yield records of 450 Jersey and 15 Holstein-Friesian cows were used to evaluate the effects of breed, month of lactation and milking time on the milk yield and quality of commercial dairy cows under the tropical climate of Nigeria. Mean milk yield and milk protein were significantly higher (P<0.05) in Holstein Friesian than in Jersey but Jersey breed had significantly higher (P<0.05) milk fat, solid non-fat, total solid, lactose, and titerable acidity. Milk yield in the month of January (4.96Kg) was significantly higher(P<0.05) compared with milk yield in the months of September and December (4.16Kg and 4.26Kg respectively). The milking of cows in the morning gave a significantly higher (P<0.05) quantity of milk than evening milking. There were significant (P<0.05) interraction effects of Breed x Time, Breed x Month, Time x Month, and Breed x Time x Month. The present study showed that Holstein-Friesian and Jersey breeds have potentials for milk production traits in the tropics and these could be harnessed to develop the Nigerian commercial dairy industry. However, the performance of the two breeds is subject to environmental factors such as time and month of milking.
Key words: Milk yield, Milk quality, Jersey, Holstein/Freisian