Comparison of the milk composition of free-ranging indigenous African cattle breeds

Author: J. Myburgh, G. Osthoff, A. Hugo, M. de Wit, K. Nel & D. Fourie
Year: 2012
Issue: 1
Volume: 42
Page: 1 - 14

The milk composition of free-ranging indigenous African cattle breeds was analysed. These breeds were chosen because they have not been bred specifically for milk production and might be considered the closest to a “natural” or “wild type” of the Bos species. It was found that the nutrient composition of the milk of these cattle, in particular the dry matter, is as low as that of European beef breeds. The content of whey proteins and NPN is also lower than that of dairy breeds. Statistically significant differences in milk fatty acid composition between the Sanga-type cattle and the Afrikaner and its derivatives were observed for the content of lactose, whey protein and non-protein nitrogen, as well as fatty acid composition regarding medium long chain and long chain fatty acids. A genetic relationship is evident and suggests the preference of certain fatty acid synthesis pathways.

Keywords: Afrikaner, Bonsmara, Boran, Drakensberger, fatty acids, Nguni, proximate analysis, Tuli
Read article