The effects of nutritional supplement on milk quality and milk components over an entire lactation in dairy goats
Keywords:somatic cell count, SCC, dairy goats, milk quality, lactation, mastitis, cheese
In the United States the legal somatic cell count (SCC) limit for dairy goat milk is 1,500,000 mL/L. However, it is common for the SCC to be much higher than this limit, especially near the end of lactation. Milk SCC from goats follows a linear increase throughout lactation, peaking just before dry-off. Mastitis, estrus, age, caprine arthritis encephalitis virus (CAE), and stressful events can all increase SCC in goat’s milk. Production of milk with a SCC higher than the legal limit results in farms being unable to ship their milk and lost income. Additionally, many cheese processors pay premiums for milk containing higher amounts of fat and protein. The objective of this study was to evaluate the nutritional supplementation of OmniGen-AF® to dry and lactating dairy goats on milk quality and milk components over an entire lactation.