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Effects of overmilking and liner type and characteristics on teat tissue in small ruminants

  • Manuel Alejandro (a1), Amparo Roca (a1), Gema Romero (a1) and José-Ramón Díaz (a1)


The aim of this work was to study the effect on teat wall thickness and canal length in sheep and goats of overmilking for 2 min (OM+2) and of milking with used (AL; +3000 milkings) and twisted (TL; 45°) liners in sheep and goats, as well as the effect of milking goats with liners designed for sheep (SL, shorter length and diameter than liners for goats). To this end, we performed four experiments in goats and three in sheep, in a Latin square design with two experimental periods. During the experimental period 4 controls were carried out, performing ultrasound scans before and immediately after milking to determine the teat wall thickness (TWT), teat wall area (TWA), teat end area (TEWA) and teat canal length (TCL). OM+2 caused a significant increase in TWT, TWA, TEWA and TCL in goats and in TWA, TEWA and TCL in sheep. Liner features had a strong influence on the variables studied; aged liners caused significant changes in TWT and TCL in goats and in TWT in sheep; twisted liners produced a significant effect on the increase of TWT and TCL in goats, without reaching significance level in sheep; and milking goats with sheep liners led to a significant increase in TWT, TWA, TEWA and TCL. In practice, it is therefore important to avoid overmilking and the use of worn-out liners. It is also necessary to use liners designed for the morphological features of each species, taking special care to carry out periodic liner positioning revisions to ensure the benefits of pulsation on the teat end. Finally, it would be necessary to carry out long-term experiments to study whether the increase in thickness observed in some experiments is sufficient to affect milking efficiency and mammary gland health status.


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Journal of Dairy Research
  • ISSN: 0022-0299
  • EISSN: 1469-7629
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