Portable milkmeters for the rapid in-field collection of milkability phenotypes in dairy goats





goats, udder health, novel phenotypes, milk yield


The present study aimed to investigate the phenotypic factors affecting the variability of the milkability traits measured in Italian dairy goats through a portable milkmeter in commercial herds. Milkability descriptors combine either milk production, milking time, or milk flow and are important to consider for reasons related to udder health, e.g., they can be exploited for large- or small-scale monitoring of mechanical milking stress. The milkability traits recorded in this study were analyzed through a linear model. Almost all the traits were influenced by lactation stage, but only part of them were affected by parity and season of sampling. With exception of blind phase (overmilking indicator), estimates decreased along the lactation, suggesting that fresh animals – especially pluriparous - are those with the greatest productivity, milk emission flow, and milking time. As regards the effect of parity, for the majority of traits the estimates of primiparous were lower compared to those of pluriparous. Monitoring milking ability of goats through milkmeters in the field can be a strategy to evaluate milking procedures of farmers and could thereby boost the implementation and effectiveness of udder health improvement schemes with positive implications on milk quality and farm profitability.






Research Papers