Milk Production, Composition and Properties of Sheep Milk During the Lactation Period


Research Institute of Animal Science, Department of Dairy Science, BG-2232 Kostinbrod, Bulgaria


PETROVA, N. and D. NEDELCHEV, 2000. Milk production, composition and properties of sheep milk during the lactation period. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 6: 583-588

A study was carried out to establish milk production and composition of the 41 lactating milking sheep from dairy breed (East Friesian x 1/4 East Friesian x Awassi).
Individual milk samples of sheep were taken seven times during the lactation period at monthly intervals from February to August,1999.
Investigated East Friesian x 1/4 East Friesian x Awassi dairy breed sheep have 0.645 l (day) as 6.5% fat corrected milk (FCM) and 0.693 l/day / as 5.5% protein corrected milk (PCM) milk production.
Mean values for fat (%), protein (%), lactose (%) freezing point (0C), total solids (%), solids non fat (%) and somatic cell count /ml of investigated milks were 6.41, 5.56, 4.37, -0.578, 17.41, 11.11 and 2 072 000 respectively.
No changes were founded for lactose content during the winning (4.32%), milking (4.42%) and lactation period (4.37%), as well as for freezing point (for winning 0.582 0C, for milking 0.575 0C and lactation period -0.578 0C).
The number of somatic cells of sheep milk was highest during the winning period (2 841 000 /ml) and the differences between winning period and milking period were statistically significant (P < 0.05).

Key words: sheep milk, production, composition, properties
Abbreviations: SCC Somatic Cell Count; FCM fat corrected milk; PCM protein corrected milk; TS Total solids; SNF Solids non fat; FP Freezing point