Animal and Aquacultural Sciences
Feed supplements reduce off-flavours in goat milk
Janne Karin Brodin
Off-flavours in goat milk is a big challenge for Norwegian goat milk production. It has financial consequences in that it entails substantial losses in income. Feeding regimes are of major importance for the frequency of off-flavours. Through supplements of feed concentrate and good quality roughage during periods of suboptimal grazing, the frequency of rancid and tart flavours in goat milk will decrease.
A doctoral study at UMB’s Department of Animal and Aquacultural Sciences targets effects of feeding on off-flavours in goat milk. PhD student Margrete Eknæs has in this study carried out four production experiments, and has identified factors that influence the quality of goat milk.
The importance of energy balance
Photo: Janne Brodin
The results show that the amount of body fat was reduced by an average of 3.5 kg during the lactation period. When the goats stopped mobilizing energy, they started producing inferior quality milk. When the feed was supplemented, milk quality improved. Goat feed and fat source – how to choose
Goat milk quality is also influenced by fat supplement and type of fat in feeds. Through feed concentrates containing long chained saturated fatty acids, the frequency of tart/rancid flavours were reduced. It is therefore important to choose the right fat source in goat feeds in order to prevent off-flavours in the milk. Nutritional value of grazing plants varies through the season
During the grazing season, the nutritional value of the plants decreases. In order to optimize their feed intake, goats will choose those plants that have the highest nutritional content, and they will walk more and farther in search for food. The combination of suboptimal grazing and longer distances covered in search for food may cause an imbalance between energy requirements and energy provided, which will also increase the possibility for off-flavours. Supplement the feed
The study shows that off-flavours may be prevented by supplementing the feed with feed concentrates and good quality hay or silage in those periods where grazing is of suboptimal nutritional value. Choosing the right fat source in the feed will also help prevent the frequency of tart and rancid tastes in the milk.
Updated: 22.06.09Printerfriendly version
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