Abstract: Milk cell counts are good indicators of a mammary infection and milk quality. The present study was done to record diurnal rhythmicity in the milk somatic and differential cell counts during different seasons, milk strips and parity in Murrah buffaloes. Milk somatic cell counts (SCC) were measured by SCC counter and milk differential cell counts were measured microscopically after making a milk smear and staining it to identify neutrophils, lymphocytes and macrophages. Maximum milk SCC was observed in the summer season. Milk neutrophils were lowest during thermoneutral (TN), intermediate during the winter season and highest during the summer season. Milk lymphocytes were highest during the winter season, intermediate in the TN and lowest in the summer season. Diurnal rhythm in the milk SCC and neutrophil percentage is noticed in the summer season only. Maximum milk SCC values were observed in the late strip but neutrophils were highest in the early strip. Diurnal rhythm was observed in the late strip for neutrophils and in mid strip for the lymphocytes. Milk SCC and milk neutrophils were found to be the highest in the multiparous buffaloes and diurnal rhythm was observed only in the lymphocytes of primiparous buffaloes. Milk macrophages were higher in the morning samples of primiparous as compared to the multiparous buffaloes. In this pioneer study, diurnal rhythms in the milk cell counts of buffaloes have been studied extensively. This will help in maintaining low milk cell counts in buffalo and thus help in getting more milk per buffalo during stress periods.
Keywords: Milk somatic cells; differential cells; diurnal rhythm; seasons; strip; parity; buffalo;
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