Udder Measurements and Their Relationship with Milk Yield in Pelibuey Ewes.
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The study aimed to evaluate the relationship between udder measurements and milk yield (MY) in dairy Pelibuey ewes. Udder measurements were taken twice a week for eight weeks before (initial) and after (final) milking, including udder depth (UD), udder circumference (UC), udder width (UW), teat length (TL) and teat diameter (TD) in 38 multiparous ewes. Additionally, udder volume (UV) and the difference (VDF) between initial UV (UVi) and final (UVf) was calculated as VDF = UVi - UVf. The MY varied from 0.10 kg/d to 1.04 kg/d, with a mean of 0.39 kg/d, 0.18 kg/d. Initial UC (UCi) ranged from 25.80 cm to 53.30 cm, and VDF varied from 1 cm3 to 2418 cm3. The TL and TD were not correlated with MY (p > 0.05), while UCi, UVi and VDF were positively correlated with MY (p < 0.0001; r = from 0.66 to 0.74). For the prediction of MY, the obtained equations had an r2 ranging from 0.54 to 0.63. The UCi, UDf, UWi and UWf were included in these models (p < 0.05). It is concluded that there was an acceptable correlation (r = 0.60) between the measurements of the udder, the volume of the udder and the daily milk yield in Pelibuey sheep. When direct measurements of milk production cannot be performed in practice, the measurement of udders and their volume could be a viable alternative to estimate milk yield production as an indirect method.