Sheep milk production in summer can lead to a diversification of milk products and to amore regular product distribution in the market throughout the year. However, in Mediter-ranean countries small ruminant production cycles are subjected to seasonal variations inforage resources. During summer, a key period for out of season production systems, nutri-tion plays a fundamental role in regulating the quantity and quality of milk production. Inthis review, feeding strategies and techniques that could be applied for out of season pro-duction in dairy ewes under different Mediterranean conditions are described for intensive,pasture-based and mixed systems. The most common feeding strategies used during the dryseason are based on grazing post-harvest by-products or forage produced under irrigation.The criteria used to choose the appropriate forage species and to optimize the grazing tech-nique are discussed here. In addition, types of forages and feeding techniques to be adoptedfor indoor systems, along with a series of feed supplements best suited to cope with heatstress, are described. The influence of feed resources and environmental conditions on milkand cheese production are also discussed. Overall, in order to be cost-effective, out of sea-son sheep milk production systems must take into consideration the availability and priceof feed resources, especially supplements, and irrigation costs. It is concluded that out ofseason milk production could be adopted primarily by farms with highly productive breeds,access to irrigated lands and appropriate management skills.
|Numero di pagine||16|
|Rivista||Small Ruminant Research|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2015|
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