Four goats were studied from the end of their second lactation. One mammary gland of each goat was dried off just prior to the start of the third gestation, whilst the other gland was milked throughout gestation, with no dry period. At the end of gestation the continuously milked gland was significantly smaller than the gland that had been allowed a dry period. However, this difference did not persist beyond parturition and there was no significant difference between the milk yields of the two glands in the next lactation, although the continuously milked gland tended to have the higher yield. At 18 weeks of lactation, mammary parenchyma weight and secretory cell number were significantly greater in the continuously milked gland, but mammary enzyme activities did not differ between the two glands.
- metabolic adaptations
- mammary development