ABSTRACT: Test day records of milk yield (38,765), fat and protein contents (11,357) of Sarda goats (the most numerous Italian goat breed) were analysed with mixed linear models in order to estimate the effects of test date (month and year of kidding for fat and protein contents) parity, number of kids born, altitude of location of flocks (<200 m asl, 200-500 m asl, >500 m asl), flocks within altitude and lactation stage (eight days-in-milk intervals of 30 d each) on milk production. All factors considered in the models affected milk traits significantly. Milk yield was lower in first parity goats than in higher parities whereas fat and protein contents showed an opposite trend. Goats with two kids at parturition had a higher milk yield than goats with one kid and tended to have lower fat and protein percentages. Repeatability between test days within lactation was 0.34, 0.17 and 0.45 for milk yield, fat content and protein content, respectively. Lactation curves of goats farmed at different altitudes were clearly separated, especially for milk yield. Results of the present study highlight differences in milk production traits among the three subpopulations that have been previously identified within the Sarda breed on the basis of the morphological structure of animals and altitude of location of flocks.
J Dairy Res 11/2005; 72(4):470-5. · 1.57 Impact Factor