Chemical composition of camel (Camelus dromedarius) milk as affected by parity and seasons under pastoral production systems in north-west, Nigeria
Keywords:camels, milk, , chemical composition, parity, seasons
One hundred and seven camels and twelve lactating camel cows were used in a study comprising three seasons (wet, cold–dry and hot–dry) and three parities (one, three and five). The study was conducted using a 3 x 3 factorial in a completely randomized design. Four animals were selected in each parity level and were at early stage of lactation. The calving time and health status of the animals were carefully examined before selection. Milk samples were analyzed for chemical composition. The mean chemical composition of the milk obtained indicated significantly (P<0.05) higher total solids, solid non fat, fat, ash and viscosity in hot–dry season, however no significant (P>0.05) difference existed in the pH and density while lactose level of milk was significantly (P<0.05) higher in cold–dry season respectively. It is concluded that there is lower fat content in camel milk compared to other dairy animals despite the feed and water challenges during hot season.