Aseasonal or out-of-season milk production for small ruminants raised in Mediterranean areas refers generally to milk having to be produced at a time that corresponds to summer which is when conditions are generally unfavourable with respect to both physiological aspects and nutritional factors related to seasonal climatic trends. In fact, sheep and goat milk production in the Mediterranean basin is mostly based on pasture utilization and thus follows the pasture availability pattern. This causes a strong seasonal pattern to the amount of milk processed by cheese processes plants, with the peak being in the spring, a marked reduction in early summer and nil or low availability of milk from August to October–November (autumn). In this paper, the reproduction cycles and managerial tech- niques that can be applied in the Mediterranean environment to reduce or eliminate the seasonality of milk production are discussed. The use of the “ram effect” at the end of the anoestrous season and light treatment can be effective and simple tools to maintain milk yield in the summer period. However, even if sheep and goats are considered to be among the most heat-tolerant species, the exposure to high ambient temperatures has a detri- mental impact on their production and reproductive performances, immune function and udder health. The use of effective nutritional strategies, the provision of shaded areas and adequate housing density could then reduce the heat stress.
|Autori:||Todaro, M.; Dattena, M.; Acciaioli, A.; Bonanno, A.; Bruni, G.; Caroprese, M.; Mele, M.; Sevi, A.; Marinucci, M. Trabalza|
|Titolo:||Aseasonal sheep and goat milk production in the Mediterranean area: Physiological and technical insights|
|Anno del prodotto:||2015|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1016/j.smallrumres.2015.01.022|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|