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Lactation curves of dairy camels in an intensive system

Musaad A., Faye B., Nikhela A.A.. 2013. Tropical Animal Health and Production, 45 (4) : p. 1039-1046.

DOI: 10.1007/s11250-012-0331-x

Weekly milk records of 47 she-camels in a multibreed dairy camel herd were collected for over a period of 5 years. A total of 72 lactation curves were defined, and relationships with parity, calving season, lactation length, milk production level, following lactations, and dam weight were analyzed. Overall mean values were milk yield up to 12 months, 1,970±790 l; lactation length, 12.5 months; persistency, 94.7 %; weekly peak yield, 50.7 l; monthly peak yield, 220±90 l; and the number of weeks to reach peak yield, 28. The highest productivity was recorded in summer with a weekly mean of 48.2±19.4 l, compared with 34.1±16.3 l in winter. The highest average yield recorded was for camels at sixth parity, whereas the highest weekly peak was at eighth parity, and highest persistency at fifth parity. Camels that calved during the cold months (November to February) were most productives, with the highest persistency, peak yield, and longest lactation length. Four types of curves were identified corresponding to different parities and milk yield levels. Based on these data, specific models for camels are proposed.

Mots-clés : dromadaire; lactation; rendement laitier; durée de la lactation; variation saisonnière; parturition; production laitière; lait de chamelle; arabie saoudite; camelus dromedarius

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