Milk composition and yield changes with advancing pregnancy in dairy buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis)


Abstract: The changes in the composition of milk with advancing pregnancy were investigated in Nili-Ravi dairy buffaloes. Forty lactating buffaloes were used, within 2-3 months postpartum. The animals were grouped as high, moderate, and low yielders; synchronized for estrus; and inseminated artificially. Milk yield was recorded daily and sampled fortnightly for analysis. The data were analyzed using the univariate weighted mean and general linear model. Decline in milk yield became significant after the 8th week post-conception. The high yielders had the lowest fat contents. Milk fat increased significantly during succeeding weeks post-conception. The highest fat level (8.5%) was observed in week 22. The solid-not-fat (SNF) was higher during the initial 8 weeks. Protein concentration declined with advancing pregnancy. The mineral contents were lower up to 8 weeks and increased later. It was concluded that milk fat concentrations increased linearly from week 2 to 22, while protein showed the opposite pattern in dairy buffaloes. SNF and lactose initially decreased up to week 14 but increased later on. This study suggests that milk composition from dairy buffaloes changes with advancing pregnancy, making it suitable for various types of human consumers.

Keywords: Pregnancy, milk yield, milk composition, dairy buffalo

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