Variations in the Production, Qualitative Characteristics and Coagulation Parameters of the Milk of the Riverine Buffalo Determined by the Energy/Protein Content of the Diet

  • Bartocci, S. (C.R.A. - Centro per le Produzioni delle Carni e Miglioramento Genetico) ;
  • Terramoccia, S. (C.R.A. - Centro per le Produzioni delle Carni e Miglioramento Genetico)
  • Received : 2008.10.14
  • Accepted : 2009.04.10
  • Published : 2010.09.01


Sixteen Mediterranean pluriparous buffaloes were subdivided into two uniform groups of eight animals. The average weight of the two groups at the start of the trial was 671.2 and 656.7 kg. The number of days from calving were 33.4 and 33.3, and the average milk production was 12.73 and 12.33 kg/d. The trial lasted for 114 days, and was divided into two sub-periods of 58 and 56 days. The two diets, administered ad libitum, had the same forage/concentrate ratio (53/47) but in their formulation the percentage of the two forages varied. Diet 1: alfalfa hay = 10%, maize silage = 43%, concentrate 1 = 47% (6.63 MJ/kg DM of net energy; 179.5 g/kg DM of crude protein). Diet 2: alfalfa hay = 20%, maize silage = 33%, concentrate 2 = 47%, (5.99 MJ/kg DM of net energy; 155.4 g/kg DM of crude protein). For the overall trial period (33-146 days in milk), the intake of dry matter was 17.23 kg/d for Group 1 and 17.29 kg/d for Group 2 and corresponded to 2.50 and 2.58% (p<0.01) of live weight. There was no significant difference between the average weight (689.7 and 669.4 kg) and the body condition score (6.49 and 6.42) of the two groups of buffaloes. Group 1 produced a greater quantity of milk (11.89 vs. 10.90 kg/d, p<0.10) of better quality both for its higher fat content (82.32 vs. 77.29 g/kg, p<0.10) and its protein content (47.36 and 46.38 g/kg). The milk produced by the buffaloes receiving Diet 1 had a better clotting ability, lower values of r (15.98 and 16.42 min) and K20 (1.66 and 1.75 min) and a higher value of A30 (54.45 and 52.73 mm). Taking into consideration the two sub-periods, milk production was significantly different only in the first sub-period (33-90 DIM), in favour of Group 1 (13.08 vs. 11.56 kg/d, p<0.05), while the positive effect of Diet 1 was cancelled out (10.71 and 10.24 kg/d) in the second part of the trial (91-146 DIM).


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