H. El-Hatmi, T. Khorchani, M. Abdennebi, M. Hammadi and H. Attia1
Arid Land Institute, Livestock and Widlife Laboratory, 4119 Medenine, TUNISIA
1ENIS, Laboratory of Food technology, BP W, 3038 Sfax, TUNISIA
The quantity and the quality of milk produced by two groups of ten multiparous camels (Camelus dromedarius) grazed in arid pasture in the region of Medenine were evaluated. Group I received 1 kg of concentrate feed/day/head while Group II received 4 kg of concentrate feed/day/head. Milk yield was estimated from the total milking of two quarters at the morning. The milk content of the two other quarters were fed by the offspring. Calves and their mothers were separated during seventeen hours from night till morning. Milk was analysed every two weeks throughout almost one complete lactation period. The evolution of physico-chemical quality of milk consisted in the determination of the levels of total dry extract, protein, casein, lactose, mineral salt, fat, calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, phosphorus. The Group II produced more daily milk than Group I, with a maximum average of 3105.4 ± 1027.8 ml/day and 1854 ± 386.9 ml/day, respectively. Total dry matter and fat content were higher for Group I (148.5 g/l, 55.6 g/l) because the quantity of milk production was lower. The Group II had a higher level of mineral salt than Group I. The milk was more concentrated with the different components at the onset of lactation than the cessation. However, the milk production was lower at the start of lactation than the end. There were significant (p<0.01) differences between the two camel groups, the Group II produced more quantity of milk than Group I, but with less concentration of the various components.
Key words : Arid Tunisia, camel milk, quality, quantity, stage of lactation