Milk quality and on-farm factors leading to milk spoilage in Bugaaki Sub County, Kyenjojo District
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A cross-sectional study was conducted to assess milk quality and the on-farm factors responsible for milk spoilage. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used to collect data from 115 households in addition to on-farm observations and California Mastitis test screening. Pooled milk laboratory analysis was done using total plate count technique from which colony counts were recorded. The study revealed 62.6% of respondents kept less than 40 heads of cattle on semi intensive systems, grazing on paddocked or fenced farms and communal grazing fields. The major milking technique was teat striping (88%) in paddocks (48%), kraal (32%) and poorly constructed milk shades (20%) that predisposed milk to contamination. CMT screening revealed high prevalence of sub clinical mastitis (34.8%) in the milking herds. Laboratory analysis also revealed high numbers of total viable coliform counts of spoilage micro-organisms in 50% of milk sample although the counts decreased with increasing herd size. The small holder farmers suffered more milk loss due to spoilage. The sources of water used included spring wells (58.3%), streams (21.7%), boreholes (16.5%) and piped water (3.5%). A relatively high number (24.3%) of spring well users experienced more milk spoilage leading to foregone income of shs. 5,000-10,000/=. It was thus concluded that human, animal and environmental factors play a major role in milk quality and spoilage in Bugaaki sub-county. However, the source of water could be the major environmental factor responsible for spoilage and subclinical mastitis. More studies to determine specific factor contribution to milk spoilage and causes of subclinical mastitis need to be undertaken.