The relationship between udder conformation and milk quantity and quality in Iraqi Awassi ewes

Mahmood Ilyas N., Karakuş F.

International Journal of Environmental Trends, vol.4, no.2, pp.81-92, 2020 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 4 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Journal Name: International Journal of Environmental Trends
  • Journal Indexes: Index Copernicus
  • Page Numbers: pp.81-92
  • Van Yüzüncü Yıl University Affiliated: Yes


The study aimed to determine the udder measurements and type, test-day (TD) milk yield, milk composition, somatic cell count (SCC) and total bacterial count, and to evaluate the relationships between these characteristics in Iraqi Awassi ewes. Animal material consisted of 50 Awassi ewes, aged 1 to 4 years, in lactation period. TD milk yield was recorded fortnightly from the second week after parturition for three times. Milk samples were analyzed for fat, solid non-fat, protein, and lactose content. Udder morphological traits recorded in the study were udder circumference, udder depth, teat diameter, teat length, distance between teats, udder height and teat height. Total bacterial count and SCC in milk samples were determined. Udder type had no significant effect on TD milk yield, SCC, and milk composition traits. Weak correlations were found between udder measurements and milk composition traits. Udder depth was statistically significant correlated with SCC (p<0.05). It was found that Iraqi Awassi ewes had a healthy mammary gland and consumable milk due to their low SCC (39.20 x103 cells/ml) and bacterial content. Since there is an increased risk of infection due to contact with the ground, ewes which have the cylindrical udder with upward and lateral teats can be selected instead of ewes which have the pear-shaped udder with downwards and inclined teats. Also, ewes which have mediumsized, well-shaped udders with upward and lateral teats may be more suitable for machine milking.