Effect of Different Somatic Cell Count on the Production, Composition and Some Properties of Sheep Milk

N. PETROVA
Institute of Animal Science, Department of Dairy Science, BG-2232 Kostinbrod, Bulgaria

Abstract

PETROVA, N., 2002. Effect of different somatic cell count on the production, composition and some properties of sheep milk. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 8: 87–96

A study was carried out to establish the effect of different somatic cell count (SCC) (less than 400 000; from 400 001 to 1 000 000 and over 1 000 000 cells/ml) on the average daily milk production, composition and some properties of sheep milk. 39 lactating sheep from dairy breed (East Friesian x 1/4 East Friesian x Awassi ) were investigated at the lactation period (March – August, 2000).
The SCC from 400 001 to 1 000 000 cells/ml and over 1 000 000 cells/ml did not change the average daily milk production at 6.5% fat and at 5.5% protein comparison with SCC less that 400 000 cells/ml. There were not founded statistically significant differences for investigated parameters at different level of SCC except for lactose content and SNF (at SCC from 400 001 to 1 000 000/ml, lactose content and SNF decreased with 3.5% (P < 0.05) and 2.2% (P < 0.01) and at SCC over 1 000 000/ml lactose content and SNF decreased with 18.67 % (P < 0.05) and 8.00% (P < 0.001) compared with SCC less than 400 000/ml).
The milks with SCC less than 400 000 cells/ml (159 000/ml) were 68.9% and from 400 001 to 1 000 000 cells/ml (571 000/ml) were 17.00%, which means normal health status for 85.9% of sheep udders and good raw milk quality for that milk. The number of milks with SCC over 1 000 000 cells/ml (5 082 000/ml) were 14.00% and indicated start of inflammation of sheep udders and bad raw milk quality.

Key words: sheep milk, somatic cell count, milk production, fat, protein
Abbreviations: SCC – Somatic Cell Count; TS – Total solids; SNF – Solids non fat; FP – freezing point