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The main objective of this study was to analyze the effect of bacterial content (CFU) and somatic cell count (SCC) in milk quality in sheep (Ovis aries) farms according to the existing standards for fresh milk quality in Kosovo. A total of 2256 milk test day records from 379 Bardhoka (BAR), Sharri sheep (SHA), Kosovo sheep (KOS) and Balusha (BAL) ewes in eight herds across the country were collected and analyzed through a period April-October 2010. The general linear model and Duncan’s test were used to analyze the effect of different variables on presence of CFU and SCC in fresh milk. The effect of all variables was considered as a fixed. The overall results show that farm (P < 0.0410), breed (P < 0.0076), month of the year (P < 0.0041) and the lactation number (P < 0.0422), respectively, had a significant effect on presence of SCC. For CFU farm (P < 0.0001), and month of the year (P < 0.0064) had shown the significant effects, while the lactation number (P < 0.0422) and breed (P < 0.0076), represented no effect. According to the existing legislation in regard to the quality of fresh milk, there was substantial variation between farms ranging from 1211.17 to 6425.76 CFU/mL and 846.07 to 2043.15 SCC/mL milk, respectively. Although the rate of fresh milk contamination with SCC tends to be relatively low compare with CFU, by all means both variables should not be underestimated bearing in mind that a high rate of them on fresh milk are negatively correlated with farmer’s profit, consumer food safety and overall animal health.
The basic goal of this research was to determine the impact of the presence of bacterial (CFU) and somatic cells count content (SCC) in quality of fresh milk in some small cattle farms in Kosovo. The survey was based on existing standards for milk quality in Kosovo placed under administrative guidance MA-no. 20/2006. The study was based on fresh milk analysis of 150 farms performed during the period September-December 2012, which was obtained in 9 different localities (collection points) of the Kosovo. Our study reveals that CFU and SCC in fresh milk were significantly affected by a number of factors, as: sampling period (repetition), locality, breed, and time of sampling (evening or/and morning). According to the results for CFU and SCC, there were big differences between the farms (milk collection points) included in the study (P < 0.0403) and (P < 0.0293). The results show that small size breed like Busha and its crosses tend to be less exposed to SCC/mL in milk (72.840) and (293.592), compared to Black Holstein (613.462), Simmental (521.519) and Brown Swiss (418.44). Milk produced in evening tended to be of better quality (259.854 CFU/mL) compared to the one from morning milking (576.689 CFU/mL). Fresh milk quality analyzed in the third repetition was better for about 33.3% compared with the repletion first. For CFU and SCC, the analyses show that about 74.7% and 64.7% of milk produced belongs to extra quality, while lower quality of milk of category three is 12.0% and 23.3%, respectively. Considering that about 85% of milk produced in Kosovo comes from small-scale dairy farms, the current study sets out that small-scale milk production system cannot be neglected by interest parties in dairy sector and needs permanent following up and improvement.