Milk production in Saanen goats treated with repeated low doses of intermediate-release insulin during early lactation

ABSTRACT: The effect of insulin administration on the productive responses of Saanen goats during early lactation was investigated. Ten of 20 adult females were subjected to subcutaneous administration of intermediate-acting insulin (0.14UI/kg body weight) at 2, 9, and 14 days postpartum. Milk yield was measured twice daily for 13 weeks and milk samples were collected to measure protein and fat contents. Plasma levels of progesterone, insulin, non-esterifies fatty acids, glucose and other metabolites were measured. Results showed a significantly increased effect of insulin treatment on the content of milk fat and protein; moreover, milk production in the first and second postpartum weeks were higher than control group. The peak of lactation in the insulin group was achieved one week earlier in comparison to the control group. In addition, the milk production rate showed lower persistency (milk yield 13 week/milk yield at peak) in the same group. During the first four weeks of postpartum, treated animals showed greater weight loss and higher non-esterified fatty acid concentration, whereas no effect was observed on the concentration of progesterone and other metabolites. The above results indicated that repeated administration of insulin in dairy goats during early lactation increase yield and qualitative components of milk, but has substantial consequences on animal productive rate and metabolic response.