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Introduction: Milk production from indigenous cattle breeds in Nigeria represents an important component of the agribusiness sector of the smallholder economy with great economic, nutritional, and social implications.
Materials and methods: Three farms in the study location were chosen and 90 cows of three breeds of Sokoto Gudali, White Fulani, and Red Bororo in each farm, were used for the present study (total 270 cows). The cows of each farm were chosen equally based on parity (1-3). In this study, 5 ml of milk sample was collected from each cow in the morning for analysis of milk proximate and mineral composition. The analytical parameters included protein, fat, ash, moisture, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and sodium in milk.
Results: The results revealed that the parity of the three breeds significantly affected the milk proximate and mineral compositions. In the first parity, White Fulani cow milk was significantly higher in milk protein at 4.52%, followed by Red Bororo and Sokoto Gudali at 3.97% and 3.91%, respectively. Sokoto Gudali was significantly higher in milk fat at 3.18%, followed by Red Bororo at 2.89% and White Fulani at 2.76%. White Fulani was significantly higher in milk moisture at 84.56%, followed by Sokoto Gudali at 82.72% and Red Bororo at 81.13%. Red Bororo was significantly higher in milk phosphorus at 375.62 mg/L and sodium at 71.22 mg/L. In the second parity, only moisture, calcium, and sodium differed significantly among the breeds. White Fulani and Red Bororo were significantly higher in moisture at 83.75% and 83.43%, respectively. On the other hand, Sokoto Gudali were significantly higher in calcium at 614.94 mg/L and sodium at 68.76 mg/L. White Fulani and Red Bororo had significantly lower calcium levels at 560.50 mg/L and 555.42 mg/L, respectively. On the other hand, White Fulani had significantly lower levels of sodium at 61.25 mg/L. In the third parity, White Fulani was significantly higher in milk protein at 4.16%, calcium at 611.48 mg/L, and sodium at 75.33 mg/L. Red Bororo was significantly higher in fat at 3.75% and calcium at 626.99 mg/L. Sokoto Gudali was significantly higher in sodium at 75.36 mg/L. In overall, first parity cows were significantly higher in milk protein at 4.11%. Milk fat, ash, calcium, and sodium increased with number of parity. The third parity was significantly higher in milk fat (3.29%), ash (0.43%), calcium (599.58 mg/L), and sodium (71.77 mg/L) levels.
Conclusion: By increasing parity in Nigerian cows, the chemical composition of milk will be improved which can be considered for future studies on these breeds.
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