Studies of composition and major protein level in milk and colostrum of mares

Anim Sci J. 2012 Feb;83(2):162-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1740-0929.2011.00930.x. Epub 2011 Jul 26.


The aim of the study was to determine the changes in composition and physicochemical features (pH, density, thermostability and acidity) of mare colostrum and milk, and of protein fraction contribution (serum albumin, β-casein, γ-casein, α-lactalbumin, G class immunoglobulins) depending on lactation stage. The research material was colostrum and milk samples from 12 Arabian mares. Colostrum samples were collected within 2 h after parturition and milk samples were collected twice, in the 3rd and 6th weeks of lactation. The level of basic milk components decreased significantly (only lactose content increased) as compared to colostrum. Total bacteria count and somatic cell count decreased significantly with an increase in resistance and urea level. The changes observed were connected to differentiated contribution of particular protein fractions and their relative proportions. Lower levels of γ-casein (P ≤ 0.05), β-casein, serum albumin as well as α-lactalbumin were observed in colostrum as compared to those in milk. Any relationship between lactation stage and β-casein content was observed. Serum albumin and α-lactalbumin content increased in subsequent milkings. The level of G class immunoglobulins decreased significantly and its highest level was noted in colostrum. Any significant differences between the 3rd and 6th lactation weeks were obtained.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chemical Phenomena
  • Colostrum / chemistry*
  • Female
  • Horses / metabolism*
  • Horses / physiology*
  • Lactation / physiology*
  • Milk / chemistry*
  • Milk / metabolism
  • Milk Proteins / analysis*
  • Milk Proteins / metabolism
  • Time Factors


  • Milk Proteins