Why African Pastoralists are replacing cows with the camels?
Northern Kenya is the paradise of camels as well as other livestock species. The landscape of the region is home to the traditional livestock keepers, we call them pastoralists or nomads. The concurrent droughts and climate change calamities forced the traditional livestock keepers to replace the cattle pastoralism with the camel one because of its hardiness and water economy. Map of the region
A comparison of Indigenous cow vs camel in water economy
I hereby share the results of a study in the region, which will help you in understanding the water economy of the camel and other livestock. The camel almost drinks 1/3rd of the volume of water consumed by the local nomadic cow in the same environment and production system (dry season). The water economy is important and relevant in the dry season.
Camel is the animal of challengesDr. Raziq
a. Dry Season
To be even more exact in N Kenya pastoral systems the water intake in ml/kg (live body weight) per day in dry seasons is 25.4 ml/kg/day for camels; 70.75 ml/kg/day for cattle and 76 ml/kg/day for goats. It means a camel with a live body weight of 500, consumes a volume of 12.7 litre of water per day.
b. Wet Season
In wet seasons it is 3.37 ml/kg/day for camels and 24.69 for goats. The cattle were not recorded in wet. Figures for reference are taken from Field, 1983. Bear in mind that camels only lactate once in 2 years and cattle every year and goats 1.5× per year but even then camels use less water.
Challenges of camel production in Samburu District, Kenya Challenges of camel production in Samburu District, Kenya