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Open AccessArticle

Udder Measurements and Their Relationship with Milk Yield in Pelibuey Ewes

División Académica de Ciencias Agropecuarias, Universidad Juárez Autónoma de Tabasco, 86280 Villahermosa, Mexico
Tecnológico Nacional de México/ Instituto Tecnológico de Conkal, 97345 Conkal, Mexico
Departamento de Posgrado e Investigación, Tecnológico Nacional de México/I. T. Tizimin, 97700 Tizimín, Mexico
Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia, Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán, 97100 Mérida, Mexico
Instituto Tecnológico de la Zona Maya, Tecnológico Nacional de México, 77960 Othón P. Blanco, Mexico
Department of Animal Science, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-2471, USA
Departamento de Nutricion Animal, Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia, Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Mexico, 50000 Toluca, Mexico
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2020, 10(3), 518;
Received: 10 February 2020 / Revised: 11 March 2020 / Accepted: 16 March 2020 / Published: 20 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sheep Lactation, Nutrition and Reproduction)
The Pelibuey sheep is considered the main maternal breed in the tropical production systems in Mexico. Nonetheless, there are few studies related to milk production and composition. The quantification of milk production in sheep is important because milk is the main source of nutrients for the growth, development and health of lambs. However, in hair sheep breeds, milking is very difficult due to the small size of their teats. Hence, it is important to evaluate indirect methods to estimate the milk yield in Pelibuey ewes to optimize the growth and to develop management strategies for the lambs.
The study aimed to evaluate the relationship between udder measurements and milk yield (MY) in dairy Pelibuey ewes. Udder measurements were taken twice a week for eight weeks before (initial) and after (final) milking, including udder depth (UD), udder circumference (UC), udder width (UW), teat length (TL) and teat diameter (TD) in 38 multiparous ewes. Additionally, udder volume (UV) and the difference (VDF) between initial UV (UVi) and final (UVf) was calculated as VDF = UVi − UVf. The MY varied from 0.10 kg/d to 1.04 kg/d, with a mean of 0.39 kg/d, ± 0.18 kg/d. Initial UC (UCi) ranged from 25.80 cm to 53.30 cm, and VDF varied from 1 cm3 to 2418 cm3. The TL and TD were not correlated with MY (p > 0.05), while UCi, UVi and VDF were positively correlated with MY (p < 0.0001; r = from 0.66 to 0.74). For the prediction of MY, the obtained equations had an r2 ranging from 0.54 to 0.63. The UCi, UDf, UWi and UWf were included in these models (p < 0.05). It is concluded that there was an acceptable correlation (r = 0.60) between the measurements of the udder, the volume of the udder and the daily milk yield in Pelibuey sheep. When direct measurements of milk production cannot be performed in practice, the measurement of udders and their volume could be a viable alternative to estimate milk yield production as an indirect method. View Full-Text
Keywords: udder measurements; milk yield; hair sheep; mathematical models udder measurements; milk yield; hair sheep; mathematical models
MDPI and ACS Style

Arcos-Álvarez, D.; Canul-Solís, J.; García-Herrera, R.; Sarmiento-Franco, L.; Piñeiro-Vazquez, Á.; Casanova-Lugo, F.; Tedeschi, L.O.; Gonzalez-Ronquillo, M.; Chay-Canul, A. Udder Measurements and Their Relationship with Milk Yield in Pelibuey Ewes. Animals 2020, 10, 518.

AMA Style

Arcos-Álvarez D, Canul-Solís J, García-Herrera R, Sarmiento-Franco L, Piñeiro-Vazquez Á, Casanova-Lugo F, Tedeschi LO, Gonzalez-Ronquillo M, Chay-Canul A. Udder Measurements and Their Relationship with Milk Yield in Pelibuey Ewes. Animals. 2020; 10(3):518.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Arcos-Álvarez, Darwin; Canul-Solís, Jorge; García-Herrera, Ricardo; Sarmiento-Franco, Luis; Piñeiro-Vazquez, Ángel; Casanova-Lugo, Fernando; Tedeschi, Luis O.; Gonzalez-Ronquillo, Manuel; Chay-Canul, Alfonso. 2020. "Udder Measurements and Their Relationship with Milk Yield in Pelibuey Ewes" Animals 10, no. 3: 518.

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