The levels of milk fatty acids and alterations of correlations between them in weaning process in Damascus goats
Weaning in goat breeding is applied with varying periods and practices. During lactation stages, there are notable changes in the fatty acid profile of goat milk. Weaning is one of the potential breeding practices that may affects the milk fatty acid profile in goats. The aim of this study was to determine the changes in fatty acid profile of milk during weaning process in Damascus goats. Possible changes in the relationships between milk fatty acids and Somatic Cell Score (SCS) were also investigated in the study. Milk samples were collected during morning milking from 24 healthy Damascus goats in the weaned day (WD) and one week after the weaning (Post Weaned Day, PWD). SCS and fatty acid profile of collected milk samples in both sampled days were determined.
Nutritive value, odour and atherogenic indexes of milk samples were also evaluated. While SCS was dramatically decreased after weaning, significant changes at varying levels were determined in milk fatty acids. The levels of C10:0, C12:0, C16:0, and C20:5 n3 fatty acids were lower in the PWD samples than the WD samples, while C11:0, C16:1 n7, C17:0, C17:1 n8, C18:1 n9, C20:0, C20:3 n6, C21:0, C23:0, and C24:0 fatty acids were found at higher levels. Compared to WD samples, Long-chained Fatty Acids (LCFA), Unsaturated Fatty Acids (UFA), Mono-Unsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFA), and Nutritive value parameters were higher in PWD samples. On the other hand, Medium-Chained Fatty Acids (MCFA), Saturated-Fatty Acids (SFA), and atherogenic index were found lower in PWD samples than WD samples. Furthermore, it was determined that the correlations between the fatty acids in milk were changed after weaning application. It was determined that the weaning process had considerable effects on the milk fatty acid profile, and it was thought that the milk quality of Damascus goats increased significantly after weaning application.