Milk composition of Yankasa sheep raised under small-holder husbandry system in Zaria, Nigeria
This study was conducted to investigate milk compositional parameters in Yankasa sheep raised under small-holder husbandry system in Zaria, Nigeria. A total of eighty lactating ewes were used and classified on the basis of age, body condition score (BCS), parity and season. The results showed that there were significant differences (P<0.05) in milk compositional parameters with respect to total solid, lactose, crude protein (CP) and fat contents pH and ash contents were influenced by BCS of the ewes studied. Age of ewes significantly (P<0.05) affected all the milk composition parameters investigated. However, parity effect showed significant differences (P<0.05) in terms of total solid, lactose, CP, fat pH and ash contents of ewes milked. The results also shows seasonal significant (p<0.05) effects on milk composition with respect to four parameters (lactose, CP, fat and ash contents). Total solid and pH content of ewe milked did not differ significantly (P>0.05) in the two seasons (wet and dry). There were many significant (P<0.05) and positive correlations among the milk composition parameters. For instance BCS vs season, fat vs CP and pH vs parity, CP vs BCS, BCS vs fat; values being r= 0.31, 0.76, 0.31, 0.27, 0.82 (P<0.05), respectively. This study on milk composition of ewes showed great variability in the values of the milk composition investigated and attributed it to the differences in the feeding and management of these animals. It is therefore suggested that enhanced management in terms of feeding and housing be given to these ewes in order to achieve the purpose to which they are kept.
Key Words: Yankasa; ewes; milk composition; small-holder
Copy right of all published material rests with the Nigerian Journal of Animal Science.