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Milk production and physiological traits of ewes and goats housed indoor or grazing at different daily timing in summer

  • Autori: DI GRIGOLI, A.; Todaro, M.; DI MICELI, G.; Alicata, M.; Cascone, G.; Bonanno, A.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2009
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • Parole Chiave: Milk production, Dairy ewes, Dairy goats, Heat stress.
  • OA Link:


During a 6 week trial in summer, 3 homogeneous groups, each consisting of 5 Comisana ewes and 5 Rossa Mediterranea goats, grazed watered forage resources during day (D) or night (N), or were housed indoor and supplied with mowed herbage (H). Maximum THI peaked at 94 at the end of July, and was almost constantly higher of 80. Milk yield was higher in N than in D and H goats, whereas N ewes produced more milk than H group, but their milk yield was higher than D ewes only in the period with the highest THI values. The lower urea in N goat milk, and the higher casein in N ewe milk, seem to indicate a better efficiency in dietary nitrogen utilization of night grazing animals. N ewes showed lower SCC in milk, and higher incidence of clotting milk samples, in comparison to other ewes. N goats and ewes showed lower rectal temperature and pulse rate in the afternoon and, among metabolic parameters, higher hematic level of sodium. Night grazing was confirmed to be a management practice for increasing heat tolerance, to which goats appeared to be more sensitive in terms of milk yield.