Evaluation of some factors affecting milk composition of indigenous goats in Nigeria
Livestock Research for Rural Development
Animal Production Programme, School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, P.M.B.0248, Bauchi, Nigeria
This study was carried out at the Research Farm of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, Nigeria (October 2003 - May 2006) to evaluate some factors (breed, season, stage of lactation and parity) affecting goat milk composition. The results showed that per cent crude protein, fat, lactose and total solid contents were significantly (P<0.05) affected by breed; with pH and ash contents differed non-significantly in the three breeds. The percentages of crude protein, fat and lactose contents were significantly (P<0.001) different in the four stages of lactation (colostrum, early, mid and late), while the differences in the total solid, pH and ash contents were not affected by the lactation stages. There were seasonal (P<0.001) variations in the per cent fat and lactose contents; with crude protein, total solid, pH and ash contents being not influenced by the two seasons (dry and wet). Similarly, fat and lactose contents showed significant (P<0.001) parity effects; with the crude protein, total solid, pH and ash values differed non-significantly in the three parities (first, second and third). It is therefore concluded that the goat milk composition studied is comparable to the levels obtained in improved goats reported elsewhere. It is therefore suggested that improvement in the goat milk composition of the local breeds can be made through improved management and cross-breeding with higher-yielding local or exotic goats.