Scientific Journal Of King Faisal University
Basic and Applied Sciences


Scientific Journal of King Faisal University / Basic and Applied Sciences

The Phenomena of Mothering in Shami Cattle and its Relationship with the Concentration of Some Hormones in the Blood Plasma

(Shehadeh Qskos, Robert Brokmaar, God Moatasem Adakkr, Abdullah Noah)


The study was conducted on 12 Shami Cattle in its first lactation season to evaluate their lactation performance and milk composition during machine milking with and without the presence of their calves. Relationships with the concentration of Oxytocin, Cortisol and Prolactin in the blood plasma were examined. Cows were divided randomly into two equal groups. The first group cows were milked using machine milking in the presence of their calves near it, while the second one were milked using machine milking without the presence of the calves. The daily milk production was estimated weekly for every cow in both groups. At the same time, milk samples were taken to estimate the percentage of the basic components of milk such as fat, protein, lactose and dry matter. Blood samples from jugular vein were taken during two milking times (morning and evening) before, during and after milking. The levels of Oxytocin and Prolactin in the plasma were estimated by the Radioimmunoassay method. Cortisol hormone was determined by Enzymimmunoassay method. Data were analyzed in statistical program SAS. The results showed that there were significance differences in the daily milk production, season milk production and the length of the lactation between the first and the second group. In addition, the results of hormone analyses showed insignificant differences in the basic level of Oxytocin before milking in the two groups. However, these values increased in the first group significantly after pre-stimulation and presence of the calf and reached to the highest concentration (25 pg/ml) after 1.5 to 2 minute from the beginning of pre-stimulation and continued stable for ten minutes after finishing the milking process. Whereas, the concentration of hormone remained at the basic level in the second group during milking time and after it. There were no significant differences in the level of Cortisol and Prolactin hormone concentrations between the two groups and within the group at the measuring period; before, during and after-milking. In the light of this study, the Shami cattle are not adapted for machine milking without the presence of their calves. Key Words: Shami Cattle, Milk Production, Milk Composition, Oxytocin, Cortisol and Prolactin.