Abstract: The early lactation milk yield and composition of 9 cows consisting 3 each of Muturu, N’dama and White Fulani were investigated in a 15 week study. The animals in their first parity were selected from a mixed herd managed semi-intensively in a university farm. The cows grazed natural pasture consisting mainly of Panicum maximum, Calapogonium mucunoides, Centrosema pubescence and other forages from 0900-1500 h daily. Each in-dam received in addition 1 kg day-1 of 17% CP concentrate supplement formulated from maize offal, soya cake, etc. The concentrate regimen was initiated 2 weeks pre-partum and ended 16 weeks post-partum. The animals were milked once a day (0700-0800 h) and values obtained were corrected for two-milking-a-day production. Daily milk yield was quantified and bulked weekly per animal per breed. Lactose was determined in daily milk samples while bulked samples were analysed for Total Solids (TS), Butterfat (BF), Solids-Not-Fat (SNF), Crude Protein (CP) and ash. Simple linear regressions were used to quantify relationships between yield and milk constituents and within milk constituents in the 3 cattle breeds. Results showed that milk yield differed (p<0.05) significantly among breeds and was 24.14, 36.52 and 66.85 kg in 105 days for Muturu, N’dama and White Fulani, respectively. Total solids, SNF and ash values (%) for the respective breeds (11.56, 8.63, 0.74; 12.87, 10.01, 0.80 and 11.46, 8.87, 0.71) also differed (p<0.05) significantly, while BF, CP and lactose contents of milk were not affected (p>0.05) by breed. Milk yield was negatively correlated to TS and BF in Muturu, N’dama and White Fulani cows (p<0.05, R = 0.13, 0.10, 0.70; 0.48, 0.89, 0.90). Significant (p<0.05) positive correlations existed between CP and SNF (R= 0.58; 0.69; 0.69) and CP and BF (R = 0.73; 0.57; 0.66) while the relationship between Lactose and TS (p>0.05, 0.19; 0.41; 0.30) was non-significant in the respective breeds. Lactose and SNF (R = 0.32, 0.54, 0.23), CP and TS (R = 0.45, 0.56, 0.47) and BF and TS (R = 0.24, 0.09, 0.74) were also positively correlated; significance levels were however inconsistent with breeds.
F.O. Ahamefule , O. Ohaeri and J.A. Ibeawuchi , 2007. Early Lactation Milk Yield and Composition of Muturu, N’dama and White Fulani Cows Managed Semi-Intensively in a Hot-Humid Environment. Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances, 6: 1458-1463.