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First description of milk flow traits in Tunisian dairy dromedary camels under an intensive farming system

  • Moufida Atigui (a1) (a2) (a3) (a4), Mohamed Hammadi (a1), Ahmed Barmat (a1), Mohamed Farhat (a1), Touhami Khorchani (a1) and Pierre-Guy Marnet (a2) (a3) (a4)...

Abstract

In order to evaluate milking ability in dromedary camels, 124 milk flow curves were registered during morning milking of 20 dairy Maghrebi dromedary camels. Animals were in lactations 1–8, were 6–19 years old and were 4–15 months of their current lactation. Milk flow curves were recorded using an electronic milk flow meter (Lactocorder®). Milk flow curves were classified in three typical patterns: type 1 represents curves with one high and short peak of milk flow; type 2 represents curves with a moderate mean milk flow rate during a large plateau phase; and type 3 represents curves with lower mean milk flow rate and a relatively longer milking duration. The ratio of the different milk flow patterns in the population evaluated was 40:38:22% for types 1, 2 and 3, respectively. The highest milk yield per milking, average and peak milk flow were observed in camels with type 1 curves (4·24 kg, 1·49 and 3·54 kg/min, respectively) followed by type 2 animals (3·30 kg, 1·12 and 2·12 kg/min, respectively) and lastly type 3 curves (2·34 kg, 0·65 and 1·23 kg/min, respectively). This study confirmed that a major proportion of dromedary camels have a suitable machine milking ability. Nevertheless, our results suggest that pre-stimulation and improving the milking process may improve milking efficiency and guarantee a more complete and rapid emptying of the udder.

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Corresponding author

*For correspondence; e-mail: marnet@agrocampus-ouest.fr

References

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Journal of Dairy Research
  • ISSN: 0022-0299
  • EISSN: 1469-7629
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