Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Animal Husbandry

Major Professor

W. W. Overcast

Committee Members

L. J. Boyd, R. W. Beamer, J. T. Miles


During midsummer, maintenance of milk flow is a problem to most dairy farmers. In general, shortage of high quality forage during the dry summer months reduces the milk yield. Permanent pastures in this area are usually less productive during this period. The varying topography, responsive soils and livestock potential offer wide scope to build up a year round pasture management program. The main objective should be to find an adapted species that has good persistency, disease resistance and a high yield in tonnage and total digestible nutrients for seasons.

Gahi-1 and Starr and two varieties of pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) recently introduced for summer grazing in this area of the United States. Both varieties are known to have a wide range of soil adaptation, resistance to drought and foliage diseases and a high leaf-stem ratio. Absence of prussic acid gives more preference to them than other summer pastures and they are more productive than common pearl millet.

Studies have been made comparing Sudan and pearl millets since the millets became popular in this area. But little work has been done to compare the various varieties of millets or to evaluate the quality of Gahi-1 and Starr on the basis of milk yield and composition,

The future dairy industry has to face a problem of great economic interest. The fallacy, that regular intake of milk fat in the diet may predispose heart attack, prevails among a section of the milk consuming public. This fear may have created in many people the tendency to lower the intake of fat by decreasing the intake of fluid milk. The nutritional significance of milk fat – a powerful energy source of high caloric value has been underestimated. To avoid this dreadful disease, many have considered skim milk to be the safest for consumption. Today the per capita consumption of skim milk and other beverages containing milk solids - not - fat, has increased rapidly. Should we need milk laden with fat or total solids? Are the available methods of detecting fat and total solids accurate enough to satisfy the quality demands?

To standardize dairy products and to satisfy quality demands and legal requirements, a correct estimation of both total solids and fat content of milk has become a routine in dairy plants. Several volumetric and gravimetric methods are in use for the determination of fat. The Cenco Moisture Balance and the Mojonnier are the two commonly used methods for the estimation of total solids. The use of the Babcock test for estimating the fat content has been universally accepted as a routine, reliable and quick method of the Mojonnier fat test method has been used to compare the accuracy of the Babcock method. The Cenco Moisture Balance was introduced recently in the dairy industry for the estimation of total solids and has not yet obtained official recognition. Varying results obtained, in other parts of this country, necessitated a repeated testing of the instrument as to its efficiency in estimating total solids when compared with other accepted methods like the Mojonnier. Results so far obtained in estimating total solids with the Cenco Balance seem to be quite encouraging and it holds promise for the near future. Simplicity in operation, less expense and saving of much labor and time are certain advantages with the instrument.

The two objectives of this investigation were to find the relative summer feeding value of Gahi-1 and Starr millets in terms of milk yield, percent butterfat, percent total solids and body weight changes; and the relative efficiency of the Babcock versus the Mojonnier method for estimation of butterfat and the Mojonnier versus the Cenco Moisture Balance method for totally solids of milk samples collected from cows grazing Gahi-1 and Starr millets.

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