Milk yield and morphological characteristics of the udder of sheep from the breed Lacaune in Bulgaria

1 Trakia University, Agricultural Faculty, 6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria,
2 Verde Foods, 4000 Plovdiv, Bulgaria


PANAYOTOV, D., S. SEVOV AND D. GEORGIEV, 2018. Milk yield and morphological characteristics of the udder of sheep from the breed Lacaune in Bulgaria. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 24 (Suppl. 1): 95–100

The study was conducted with 50 ewes from the breed Lacaune imported from France. The imported animals (female lambs at 5 months of age) were inseminated at 9-10 months of age, after reaching live weight around 50 kg, after synchronization of the estrous cycle and artificial insemination. After the birth and weaning of the lambs, a test on the milk yield was conducted according to the Method AC by ICAR. It was established that the studied sheep had a very good milk yield – an average 213.29 L for the 150 days milking period. The highest was the milk yield on the first test day – an average 2.279 L, with maximum deviation 3.310 L. A 77% of the ewes had a milk yield over 180 L, a relatively smaller part (6.5%) had a milk yield under 150 L, while 14.5% of the ewes had a milk yield over 270 L, and the maximum value was 298.38 L. The milk of the studied animals had a very high content of dry matter (20.06%), fat (7.60%), and protein (7.09%) and excellent technological qualities. The total number of microorganisms was 754 000 CFU g/mL, and the somatic cells count – 147 000 CFU g/mL. From the studied animals 56.3% had a normal udder, 41.7% had an udder bigger than normal and there was only one animal with a registered small udder. 52.1% of all the ewes had udders with low lateral teat placement, 10.4% - with high lateral teat placement, and 33.3% - with very high lateral teat placement. The main measurements, used to characterize the udder of the studied animals had values similar to those of some of the best modern dairy breeds. The udder width of the ewes was 12.35 cm, the depth - 16.85 cm, and the circumference - 41.46 cm. The teat length was 2.70 cm, the teat width was 1.38 cm and the distance between teats – 15.78 cm.

Keywords: Lacaune dairy sheep, milk yield, milk composition, udder measurements

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