Relationship between milk urea, blood plasma urea and body condition score in primiparous browsing goats with different milk yield level
Abstract. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationships among milk urea, blood plasma urea, milk yield and body condition score (BCS) in primiparous goats fed at pasture. Ninety goats of Sarda breed were used and, on the basis of their yield level, divided in three groups of 30 animals each, low (LY), intermediate (IY) and high milk yield (HY). Daily milk yield, milk protein content, milk urea, plasma total protein and albumin, plasma urea and BCS were measured at monthly intervals from 45 days in milking (45 DIM) to 165 DIM. Milk yield level affected protein concentration of milk and plasma, whereas albumin showed no variation. Plasma and milk urea showed a high correlation (P<0.001) despite of the yield level; plasma urea was always lower than milk urea. BCS decreased on 75 DIM and again after 135 DIM, and it was not affected by the milk yield level. Because milk urea and plasma urea were closely correlated and not influenced by the yield level, the study pointed out that measurement of milk urea could be utilized to evaluate urea metabolism also for browsing goats.