Morphological Traits of Udder and its Relationship with Milk production in Improved Awassi ewes

Abstract

This study was conducted at Ruminants Research Station/ Abu Ghraib (20 km west of Baghdad). Sixty improved Awassi ewes were divided into three groups according to the (parity) to determine the relationship between udder morphological characters and milk production, udder measurements included were (circumference, width, height, length and depth) in addition to udder type (spongy, fleshy) and udder shape (1, 2, 3, 4). The mean value of milk production in this study was 638. 20 g/ day/ ewe. Type udder had no significant effect in milk production, but the spongy udder were the best in milk production as compared with fleshy udder, The udder form has no effect in milk production, although, there was a preference in the production of the first form of udder as compared with others shapes. The correlations among milk production and udder measurements at mating were positive and highly significant and ranged (0.45-0.53) and (0.36-0.63) at mid of gestation, and were positive for teat features and ranged (0.31- 0.67) at mating and ranged (0.30-0.39) at mid gestation, while the correlation during production season was highly significant and reached 0.76, 0.42 and 0.41 for of depth, height, circumference measurements of udder, respectively. While the correlation of width and length of udder reached 0.20, 0.30 and reached 0.27 and 0.22 for teat length and distance between them, Therefore, it could be concluded from this study that the selection of ewes for milk production should be concentrate and take into consideration the udder characteristics (depth, height, circumference and width) which are the most traits significant correlation and prediction for milk production.