The author is a doctorate in animal science, with a special emphasis on dromedary as a potential dairy animal, I have almost 21 years of practical experience with camels in one or another way. Since 2014, I'm solely working with a camel dairying entity which is the world's first commercial camel dairy, Alain Abu Dhabi UAE. I'm a camel dairy professional, both by training and experience. In my philosophy, the camel is a magical biological model coping with the warming planet while producing health-promising milk and meat.
I know the dairy traits of camel, breeding goals, nutritional requirements, calf rearing, housing, future planning, camel milk marketing, profitable camel farm management, etc. I provide consultancies at the global level for the establishment and development of profitable as well as sustainable camel dairies.
I have training and experience in livestock ecosystem rehabilitation to revitalize depleted ecosystems because of any reason. I have acquired precious modern and traditional knowledge of sustainable livestock production and am able to provide simple solutions for complicated problems. A strong affiliation with nature, and belief in climate change adaptation and sustainability excels me from other fellow scientists. I have documented a few native livestock breeds (2 camel breeds, i.e. Kohi and Raigi) and have reported their potential production performance in a climate change scenario.
A very typical example of a high-yielding dairy camel. Udder, teats, milk vein, and rib cage of a high-yielding camel. Such signs will help you in selecting a dairy camel. This camel is producing >20 kg per day. The udder conformation (in the following image) tells most of the dairy traits in camels.
Camel milk production is stable in almost all seasons, which is very important for pastoralists when the milk of other animals is seized in the dry period. Camel intake per kg of milk produced is very low, making it an efficient biological model. Understanding the potential of the camel as a milch animal.
As a desert ecologist and camelogist, the hump is the tool, nature gifted to the camels to sustain in challenging climatic conditions. The hump (s) developed when the natural course of climate change started in Asia and Arabia (35000 years before?).
Why Dromedary has single and Bactrian have double humps?
In some regions, there was one climatic challenge (hot dry weather like Arabia), the summer season but the other regions had 2 challenges (extreme cold and extreme hot like Mongolia). Nature gifted one hump for the single challenge (Arabia) and a double hump for the camels surviving in the 2 challenges (Mongolia). Mongolian Bactrian Camel -Breeding, Milk Production, and Lactation Curve
A smart idea
D, if you turn D one step anticlockwise, it will make one hump, making dromedary camel
B, if you turn B one step anticlockwise, it will make 2 humps, making Bactrian camel
Q: Does the hump originate in the snowy desert of the sandy desert?
She says “The sediments associated with the fragments suggest this animal’s habitat consisted of forests and peat-bogs. Beaver, horse, bear, rabbit, and tiny deer fossils are also found within about six miles of the site. Though soft tissue-like humps are not ordinarily preserved in the fossil record, the modern camel hump is a fat-filled structure that would have greatly facilitated the survival of this large herbivorous animal through the Arctic winter darkness” https://answersingenesis.org/natural-selection/survival-of-the-fittest/humps-key-to-ancient-camel-arctic-survival/
In the following image, I’m going to tell you about the salient features of the dairy camel. A very typical example of a high-yielding dairy camel. Udder, teats, milk vein, and rib cage of a high-yielding camel. Such signs will help you in selecting a dairy camel. This camel is producing >25 kg per day. The udder conformation tells most of the dairy traits in camels.
Camel is a Sustainable Dairy Animal
Camel milk production is stable in almost all seasons, which is very important for pastoralists when the milk of other animals is seized in the dry period. Camel intake per kg of milk produced is very low, making it an efficient biological model. Understanding the potential of the camel as a milch animal.
I conducted a comprehensive scientific study (my Ph.D. research program) to chalk out the lactation curve of mobile camel herds in the above-mentioned mountainous region. The study revealed that camel is a potential dairy animal (average milk 10.22 liter/day) with a lactation yield of >3,000 liters. This production was harvested from the camels depending on the natural grazing with good access to water. This yield was gained from a unique eco-friendly, low inputs, free of drugs & antibiotics production system, providing safe milk. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/precious-camel-milk-resource-unappreciated-among-policy-kakar/
Camel was originally domesticated for milk to fulfill the nutritional requirements of the people living in the desert ecosystems. Among many cultures, the camel is a very important animal and highly valued asset, therefore only sick or unproductive camels are sold and slaughtered. The camel as a source of meat is rarely studied and investigated. Though I’m a camel lover and strongly advocate camel milk globally
I have my own opinion about the salient features of a meat type of camel. Camel meat is as special as their milk because of many reasons. Camel meat is a potential alternative to red meat for human consumption worldwide. Camel meat is nutritionally as good as any conventional meat source, in fact has an edge over beef or lamb due to its low intramuscular fat, low cholesterol content, and high iron content.
Camel meat contains 76–78% moisture, 19% protein, 2.9–3% fat, and 1.2% ash with a dressing percentage of about 55–70% and is thus considered a good source of nutrients. Camel meat is much better than beef in that it has lesser fat than all the other red meats such as beef and mutton. The major fatty acids in camel meat are palmitic (26·0%), oleic (18·9%), and linoleic (12·1%), with smaller amounts of other fatty acids. Among them, Linoleic Acid is essential, and can’t be synthesized in the body. I hereby share some photographs of a camel that I consider to be fulfilling the purposes of a meat type of camel.
Right now I’m going back home from the desert camel farm. I met by chance at a grazing and roaming camel herd. It is 3 p.m. on 22 June 2023 (World Camel Day), the longest and one of the hottest days of the year. It is 45 C. You can see the camels grazing on highly adapted shrubs/bushes enjoying the challenging weather (absorbing heat now which will dissipate in the night). I’m talking from my car and making a video, already released on the YouTube channel Camelogist.
In 2009, the author conceptualized the idea of a World Camel Day (WCD) to aware people of the importance of camels as food security agents in climate change scenarios. Here is the link to read about the history of World Camel Day.
Why do we choose the date of 22nd June as World Camel Day?
In the original habitat of camel (Arabian Peninsula), 21 June is the longest and hottest day of the year. Camel sustains its performance in such harsh and hostile environments.
Further important reading about the World Camel Day
I always tried to spend my time with the camels’ related explorations and research work. This year (2023) I visited 2 important camel communities;
1. Dhofari camels in Salalah Oman
2. Somali camel community in the Somali Region of Ethiopia (Jigjiga)
Here is my take on the case study in Ethiopia
I visited 2 farms (semi-intensive camel dairies) and many mobile camel herds in the Somali Region of Ethiopia. The camels are very healthy, active, and kept at a very high level of well-being. The pastoralists and the emerging camel dairy herders are keeping camels in a very good state of situation. The camels have the freedom of roaming and grazing on natural pastures. They consume diverse types of flora, some flora are rich in nutrients for camels, some act as medicine keeping animals healthy, and some flora have higher transferability from healthy promising nutrients from the camel to the consumers through camel products, esp milk.
1. Higher demand for camel milk
There is a high demand for camel milk in the Somali region of Ethiopia, the same is the phenomenon in most parts of East, Central, and West Africa. The camel herders attain very reasonable prices for camel milk. The price per kg is 3 USD in the Somali Region of Ethiopia (SRE). The camel milk is provided to those customers who have already registered for camel milk. The milk quality is very good, coming from naturally grazing camels. The surroundings of the camel farms are very clean naturally and rich with a lot of diverse vegetation and trees. No flies, ticks, or other problems in the near surroundings were noticed. I shot many videos and images and documented a lot of facts about camel dairying in SRE.
2. Camel milk taste is driven by what they eat (sweet milk)
As for the flavor, unlike in cows, it is 100% dependent on what camels are eating. We can tell the difference between milk from camels feeding on dunes or on sebkhas (salty flats) near the sea, just a mile apart. With salty browsing, the milk leaves a pleasant salty taste on one’s lips, but from euphorbias on the dunes, it is much sweeter. When camels eat particular trees like Acacia (locally called Askaf) herders say the milk is incredibly healthy, and they love the taste, but in fact, it is a bit bitter and (to me) slightly unpleasant but the shrub grows in a particular environment and may well be as healthy as they say. Camel lactose is different from cow’s, having a different molecular structure which doesn’t cause any lactose intolerance issue. I found thestrange fact that the camel milk was sweeter like honey.
3. Bottling of raw milk
It is interesting that the milk is poured directly into bottles after milking, without even filtering (e.g. through a cloth). I thought a lot about asking the camel dairy entrepreneur to filter the milk after milking but decided that the cloth would not be washed or not washed well enough, so it would be more dangerous than just delivering the milk with all the dirt in inevitably in a rural desert setting it contains sand, hair, cells, insects, dust, etc. Another factor is that consumers in that sort of setting have nice strong immune systems, so there is less risk. Also, there is no H&S inspection to require any sanitary standards. I think it is optimistic to believe that there are no pathogens or insects involved, but the operation looks nicely thought out and done. Here is the link to a video about the bottling of camel milk in SRE.
I visited camel pastoralists in the Somali Region of Ethiopia (SRE), mainly Jigjiga and found very interesting and new facts about camels and pastoralism.
A very amazing piece of information about the camel population in the region is that there are 6.5 million camels in SRE. Please tell me your views in this regard. The total camel population in Ethiopia is more than 8 million. (as per oral information provided by Pastoral Bureau)
The other fact I found personally, is the taste of the milk of the Hoor or Hur camel breed in the the region. It was very strange for me as I have visited many different camel herding communities globally and tasted the milk of many camel types (Dromedary and Bactrian) but never found the taste like it was in the region. I drank camel milk in Jigjiga, and believe me the taste was like the taste of honey. The milk was acquired from the naturally grazing camels. There is a wide floral diversity and the camels consume it regularly while grazing/browsing in the rangelands.
When I shared this information in the Camel4Life International (camel advocacy forum) WhatsApp group, many cameleers from different parts of the world responded with their experience of the camel milk taste. https://www.thenationalnews.com/uae/health/al-ain-doctor-sees-potential-in-camels-beyond-their-milk-1.51957 I can easily imagine! Our milk also can be very sweet (Ilse Kohler Rollefson, a German camel lover residing in Rajasthan with the camel herds). Dr Piers (camel owner and PhD in camel production from Kenya) responded as;
“My milk in Kenya does too, almost like coconut milk sweet. I am sure that the sweet flavour is the natural flavour of all free-ranging camels that have the liberty to choose what and how much they want to eat. Depending on the natural plants and ecology it can be salty, or sometimes very bitter if they eat flowering Vernonia shrubs for example. It’s like natural honey from bees, the flavour depends on the plants. Someone should open a shop selling all the different flavours of natural camel milk over the different seasons globally.
For further good reading about the incredible camels and my camel advocacy work, CLICK THE LINKS
Lactoferrin is the second major protein after casein found in camel milk. Lactoferrin increases the shelf life of the milk, therefore the camel milk with a higher content of lactoferrin (62–651 mg kg−1) has a longer shelf life without any external support. Some references are available below.
The camel herders use this quality of camel milk (Bio-preservative) to preserve camel milk (CaM) for a longer period of time. They just store camel milk in a skin bag (sheep/goat) let it get sour (fermentation) and then use it for a very long period of time.
Lactoferrin can also be used for the biopreservation of foods such as milk, meat, fresh-cut fruits and vegetables, and their products to increase shelf life. While visiting the camel herder communities in different parts of the world, I found the unique fact that some communities use camel milk as a bio-preservative and add to other kinds of foods to increase their shelf life naturally.
CaM lactoferrin has several biological functions, including iron metabolism, promoting immune function, and providing defense against pathogens through its bacteriostatic and/or bactericidal properties. Some scientists have named lactoferrin as the micro-bullet, killing the pathogens. For further reading about the natural healing power of CaM, please click the link.
The structure of the feature image is taken from the article with the citation below. TY – JOUR, Pirkhezranian, Zana, Tahmoorespur, Mojtaba, Monhemi, Hassan, Sekhavati, Mohammad Hadi. PY – 2020/12/01 SP – T1 – Computational Peptide Engineering Approach for Selection the Best Engendered Camel Lactoferrin-Derive Peptide with Potency to Interact with DNA VL – https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10989-019-10012-7 JO – International Journal of Peptide Research and Therapeutics ER –
It is a myth that the hump is full of water. In many places, the hump is the most prized part of the animal, as it is considered fattier and more tender than the rest of the beast. Camel hump is made of fats. When camels turn fats into ATP during the scarcity of feed, water is produced as a byproduct. Metabolism produces about 110 grams of water per 100 grams of fat combustion. A hump of a healthy camel with medium size having a weight of almost 40 kg.
In some traditions, the camel herders’ communities cook their food in the camel hump’s fats (CHF). Some people eat the CHF raw as a food, energy booster, and dewormer. Some communities including the traditional healers use the CHF for some medicinal purposes by extracting the oil. In recent history, the CHF has been used for cosmetic purposes in many regions of the world.
In the ensuing lines, I shall be very happy to share some very important information related to CHF and its uses in traditional healing techniques.
CHF (oil) benefits and uses
Since ancient times, and throughout history, we found in most folk medicine books that CHF has many important uses. For ages, the traditional healers used CHF as an efficient dewormer.
Also, CHF is being used for the relief of cold pain (pain without fever), arthritis, and also to treat cold cough, asthma, whitening of the skin (dermatitis), hair care, and fattening (treatment of skiny disease) as well.
There are many benefits of fat extracted from camel hump on the human body, as can be summarized in the following points
Eating a spoonful of camel’s hump twice a day will clean the human gut from the worms.
CHF oil is the best moisturizer for human skin, especially in dry and cold weather
Traditionally, the CHF is crushed and tied to the abdomen of the woman after childbirth. It helps in strengthening the abdominal muscles and prevents the sagging of the abdomen
If massaged with the CHF oil, the pain in the hands, neck, legs, and vertebral area will evaporate
Treatment of joint pain and rheumatism, in addition to muscle tension, because it works to relax and get rid of spasms in general
Application of CHF oil on the skin prevents sunburn and darkening of the skin from the sunshine
Increasing libido in men, as it increases erection and sexual desire both by eating CHF/oil and application on the organs directly
Treating respiratory infections, specifically asthma, by eating it on an empty stomach few days (one spoonful of CHF oil)
Treating cracking and dryness problems in the feet, especially the heels and ankle area
CHF oil is one of the natural remedies for different hair problems because it nourishes the hair from the roots to the ends, and increases hair density and softness, in addition to treating the problems of baldness, specifically in men. Massaging the hair with CHF oil twice during the week, half an hour before showering will give magic results
Traditionally it has been used for childbirth difficulties in women among the nomadic people and others
How to prepare and prepare camel hump fat
2 kg of CHF is cut into small pieces. Put the small slices in the pot over low heat and leave it until the grease dissolves in whole or in part. Remove the pot from the fire when the oil has been released from the fats.
Filter the oil with a piece of Muslin cloth, it is preferred to collect and store the oil in a glass bowl. The oil is kept and used accordingly whenever needed.
Application of CHF Oil in different situations
For the treatment of asthma
Mix an amount of dissolved hump fat with a little honey, and eat it on an empty stomach, and before going to bed on a daily basis, it is possible to replace honey with a quantity of Rashad love.
Dissolving a quantity of camel hump fat on a quiet fire until it becomes like oil, and then mix it with a little olive oil or coconut oil, and it can also be mixed with any hair cream to treat hair, as it is applied to the hair twice in one week until you get the desired result.
For the Skinny disease
by mixing equal amounts of dissolved hump fat and flax seeds with sesame and peanuts, and twice the amount of almonds, with an appropriate amount of melted chocolate.
A specialized CHF product is prepared in the United Arab Emirates
Jamal Bakhit Mohammad Abdulla Al Falasi, 50, in the back kitchen of his home in Dubai’s Al Mizhar community, opens a small tub and scoops out some of its yellow wax-like filling with a small spoon, encouraging the journalist to rub it into my hand. “This cream tightens the skin, it has no chemicals. It really works like magic, and” stresses the owner of The Wadak Cream company, “you can use it anywhere on the body. It is very popular with women, especially if they’ve had children.” The details of Jamal’s story are provided in the link.
The camels are marked or branded for 2 purposes; 1. Identification (family mark) 2. Treatment of ailment, especially tendons and ligaments
The mark or the mark is a specific sign that is placed on a specific place in the body of the camel so that the owner of this camel is known, and it is ironed with fire. Some tribes/families with their identity signs in the following lines. The marking on camel skin is almost equally common in all camel communities in the world.
The name of camels among the Arab Bedouins has deep connotations other than the fact that it differentiates between them. The camels are marked with a starting point after reaching a year and a half, about 18 months. It is marked in the groin or neck area, or sometimes both
Azila puts (a family name tag) that distinguishes it from the rest of the tribe.
Al-Sima had a role in preserving the camels, and the invaders, when they found the camels, had the hands of one of the strong tribes, avoiding their invasion of the power of their people.
The material for this post was provided mainly by Muhammad, a camel lover and activist from Morocco.
MERS was first detected in 2012. But since then, it has been regularly reported from multiple countries in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) is an illness that can cause respiratory infection. It is caused by a common type of virus called coronavirus. These viruses cause mild to moderate respiratory illness. But in some cases the symptoms are severe.
The Latest News (July 2023) of MERS
A 28-year-old man hastested positive for (MERS-CoV) in Alain, Abu Dhabi on the border with Oman, the World Health Organization said on Monday. The affectee had no contact with the camels.
There is no immediate cause for worry or concern, a public health analyst and epidemiologist have told Down To Earth (DTE) a day after the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that a man had been infected with the deadly Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Dr. Abdul Raziq Kakar, international camel dairying consultant, founder of World Camel Day, and Camel4Life International, who resides in Al Ain, however, told DTE that the case should not be used to villainize camels.
A MERS Case Reported was from UAE in February 2021
The case is a 39-year-old male national, owner of a camel farm. He developed a fever and cough on 18 January and visited a private hospital several times with no improvement. The condition of the case worsened, and on 24 January, a chest X-ray confirmed the diagnosis of pneumonia. On 26 January, he was admitted to a private hospital and was transferred to a governmental hospital on 28 January. A nasopharyngeal swab was collected on 31 January and tested positive for MERS-CoV by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) on 1 February at the Shiekh Khalifa Medical Center laboratory in Abu Dhabi. He has no underlying conditions. SARS-CoV-2 testing was performed more than once, and it was negative. No history of previous infection or exposure to SARS-CoV-2 was reported. The case reported a history of close contact with dromedary camels at his farm in the 14 days prior to the onset of symptoms. No travel history was reported during the same period. Currently, the patient is in stable condition. https://www.who.int/emergencies/disease-outbreak-news/item/2021-DON314
Is MERS Really Transmitting from Camel?
It is the burning question of the day. An article was published in a local newspaper regarding the presence of MERS-CoV in camel nasal discharge. As per the ‘The National’ newspaper report, the MERS-CoV is present in almost the majority of the camels in Africa and the Middle East.
Bats and Camels are the Natural Reservoirs of MERS CoV
MERS-CoV is found in Bats and camels both. Both animals are the reservoirs for it. One Chinese study revealed that it is found in the Bat only.
Conclusive Remarks of Famous Camelogists
According to Bernard Faye (the famous camelogist and veterinarian), in his camel farm in KSA, all the camels were MERS-CoV positive but there was no sign of Virus transmission among the workers. Also, no camel showed signs of infection in the 3 years period of time. (Pers. Comm.)
The author (Camelogist Dr. Abdul Raziq Kakar) has been working closely with camels for the last 9 years and has contact with at least 400 camels daily. Also, many members of my team have close contact with camels on a daily basis. We have not noticed any camel or human has shown any sign of sickness. But if we check the nasal and fecal samples, we will find the viruses and other microorganisms including MERS CoV.
Many other colleagues (camel owners, farmers, workers, and more) said that they had not noticed any such infection. According to a very reputable research study conducted by Dr. Wernery and his team (Wernery is the scientific director of the central veterinary lab of Dubai), the virus is rarely transmitted from camel to human.
Some very important and conclusive remarks/findings
Only there is very little chance of transmission for those who are already very weak and sick and facing immuno-depression.
It does not affect the camel’s health either.
Only nasal discharge can be noticed in newborn calves infected with MERS
The virus is found in nasal discharge and transmitted via nasal way, therefore studies conducted used nasal swabs as the source of the virus
The camel products, especially the milk and meat are 100% safe as this virus has no viability below 4C and above 20C
Also, the virus is not discharged in milk and meat. There is no reason to consider that camel milk or meat could be a way of contamination as the virus is excreted only by the respiratory way
The deep reality
When I read much more about MERS and camels, I reached the conclusion that blaming camels for MERS is a political/business motive to terrify the people and sell vaccines in the future. In business, there is no rule at all.
The take-home message
So there are no worries, do not avoid camel products. Please use camel milk as before. Camel milk is a natural pharmacy, that boosts immunity and keeps infections at bay.
A desert explorer in the UAE, commonly known as a “camelogist,” is someone who specializes in the study and understanding of camels and their behavior in desert environments. These experts have extensive knowledge of camel physiology, behavior, and their adaptations to survive in arid regions. They often work closely with local communities and organizations to promote sustainable camel husbandry practices and conserve camel populations. Camelogists may also play a crucial role in camel racing events, camel milk production, and research related to camel health and genetics. Their expertise contributes to the overall understanding and conservation of camels in the UAE’s desert ecosystems.
While camelogists may not be as well-known as some other fields of study, there are several notable experts and researchers who have made significant contributions to the field.
Here are a few well-known camelogists
1. Dr. Bernard Faye: A renowned French veterinarian and camel specialist who has extensively researched and worked with camels in various regions, including the UAE and Africa.
3. Dr. Ulrich Wernery: A German veterinarian and researcher who has focused on camel diseases, camel reproduction, and camel milk production in arid regions.
4. Dr. Ilse Köhler-Rollefson: An ethno-veterinarian and camel advocate who has worked with pastoral communities in India and Rajasthan, promoting sustainable camel husbandry and conservation.
These are just a few examples of individuals who have dedicated their careers to studying camels and their role in desert ecosystems and human societies. There are many other researchers, veterinarians, and experts around the world contributing to the field of camelogy.
Like before, World Camel Day was celebrated this year in different parts of the world. The author of this important day (Dr. Abdul Raziq Kakar) participated in the events held in Alain and Dubai of the United Arab Emirates.
Visit of the Camel Lovers, activists, researchers,s and businessmen to the Alain Farm (Camelait Milk)
The Camel Post Cards in Camel Day Event Dubai
The speakers talked about camel and camel milk
Some random clicks from the event
Some very important but basic information about the World Camel Day.
Practical experience with a big herd of dairy camels
Practically, I have been working with camels since 2004 ((almost 18 years). For the last 9 years, I’m working as a technical manager with an entity of camel milk production farm in the UAE. We have very high-yielding camels, and some of them are producing extraordinary quantities (>15kg/day).
Feeding regime for the lactating camels
In routine, we provide Alfalfa hay (adlib) plus TMR (total mix ratio with 15% CP and 75 %TDN) about 5-7 kg/lactating camel. The camels producing up to 10 kg of milk can fulfill their nutrient requirements (esp. CP and energy) from this feeding regime but the high yield (10 and above) can’t fulfill their requirements, especially the energy and vitamins.
For a lactating camel who produces up to 10 kg of milk per day, the net energy (NE) and crude protein (CP) requirements are 95 MJ and 200 g respectively.
The high-yielding camels go to a negative nutrient balance (energy), usually, the camel gets sick, mostly because of ketosis (to fulfill the energy requirements from fats, ketone bodies are produced) which depress the immunity. Many blood tests become positive, enzymes are up and down, fever, off-feeding, etc. happen. Usually, the Vets misunderstand the situation and follow the results of the tests. They inject high doses of antibiotics, antiprotozoal, and others, resulting in the body’s mechanism collapse.
Complex stress in dairy camels
Complex stress of high yielding and a lower energy intake almost kills the camels. The last straw is overdosing on medicine (chemicals and drugs) for the so-called treatment. In such conditions, additional energy allowance, feeding of herbs (native plants), and giving special care to the individual camels are really very practical and helpful. The camel is like birds (the birds and camels have the same Hemoglobin, oval shape), very sensitive to the fungus in feed, and highly reluctant to drugs (especially injections and infusions).
Recovery after high-energy diets and feeding with native plants additionally
In some cases with high-yielding elite camels, I restricted the treatment with drugs but only systematic treatment (antipyretics and vitamins) was allowed. We put them separately and provided cornflakes or date syrup with salts and desert plants (Detrigium glaucum, Zygophyllum qatarenses, Calligonum comosum). Such a feeding cum boosting mechanism really helped and the camels started recovering in a week. Here is a video of a very high-yielding camel that recovered in a week, from zero milk to 20 kg/day again.
A bunch of native herb provides more nutrients and medicine than a cartoon of factory made drugs.
Dr. Raziq Kakar
Keeping the animals (especially the camels) stress-free and happy is actually keeping the camels healthy. Better to void stressful treatment with antibiotics and shifting such high-yielding camels to energy-rich feeding mechanisms really helps. The local herbs (flora) really help and provide unknown health-promising nutrients.
Here are some important links about camel dairying in the following lines.
The facial design and structure can’t predict the milk production potential
The camels look different based on their phenotypes (visual appearance) but they almost have very similar traits for the production. The visuals are from the milking camels at the milking parlor in Alain, apparently, they have different faces, nostrils, eyes, eyelids hair but they all are producing almost the same quantity of milk. Based on the record, their milk is more than 10 liters per camel per day. Maybe to some extent, we can guess the high-yielding camels by their face (imagining the breed for high yield) but with little accuracy. Here is a short video of the faces.
Dhofar is centric on the frankness trade and history of the region. Almost 60% of the Omani camels are inhibited in the Dhofar region which is predominantly comprised of the Dhofari or Khawar breed followed by MAHALI (a thorough crossbred of Khawar, Majaheem, and Brela). Such a combination is also called a MUHAJAN or Majajan. Khawara is resistant to mange (to a high level), beautiful in color, docile, and a good milch breed. A rich color diversity, having dark brown, light brown, fawn, reddish, white, and creamy red colors, color diversity comes with the diversity of landscapes and ecosystems. With a medium-sized head, the breed has a deer’s mouth (Their lower lip is not hanging like other fellows of the desert). They have a medium head with a medium-sized neck and ears.
Like other camel fellows, Khawarah is a multipurpose animal, performing many tasks for their owners but milk production tops the other features in the Khawarah camels. There are some very important arguments proving it is a fashoosh camel. Fashoosh means a friendly camel with highly desirable teats and udder with very easy milking.
Habitat of Khawara or Dhofari camel breed
Mostly found in the Southeastern Arabian Peninsula. True specimens of the breeds are found in the Dhofar region, especially Salalah. The nucleus herds of the breed with purity are found in the mountainous region of Salalah, where they can browse on good woody vegetation of combtree (anogeissus dhofarica), Acacia, and other trees and shrubs.
Khawar is one of the dairy queens
Based on my personal long experience with dairy camels, our best high-yielding and easy-milking camels are mainly from the Khawarah breed. I have been working with the world’s most modern and pioneer camel dairy in the world. They have medium-sized teats with strongly attached but deep udder. The teats are conical in shape and very well fit for the machine milking. They have very good milking ability and shorter actual milking time (AMT) in the machine milking because of their behavior and well-fit teat size.
The cameleers have maintained the pure genetic line of the breed and they have strong oral and traditional knowledge about the genealogy and husbandry of the breed. Here you can find the best specimens of the breeds with a promising yield of milk up to 35 kg/day.
People always ask the question ‘if camel milk is free from Lactose, I always reply with a big no because camel milk has the same quantity of Lactose as a cow (4%). Camel milk is misunderstood as low lactose milk which is wrong. Camel milk has the same quantity of lactose as cow milk but the lactate produced (from the camel milk lactic acid bacteria fermentation) in the gut is 100% L-lactate which is not intolerant as D-lactate. Cow milk synthesizes the highest level of D-Lactate, therefore intolerant to some guts (lactose intolerance).
“Camel lactose is strictly the same as cow or goat lactose!! It is probably the product of lactose fermentation (D or L- lactate) in relationship with the camel milk lactic bacteria strains which could be the different response of famous camelogist Dr. Bernard Fay”
Lactate is a product of lactose fermentation in the gut, but the natural microflora of camel milk facilitates the production of L- lactate. Here is the link to my article, you can read the comments as well. Please share your feedback and opinion.
The idea of the Global Camel Research and Development Network has already been floated. Many members from different quarters of the world have joined. The camel scientists working in the field are part of the network. The organization will work in 4 main areas; 1. Supporting research with small grants and technical support (supervisory help) with at least 2 scholarships each year. 2. Developing training material for research and products development 3. CAMEL magazine quarterly, the website camel4all.info will be the posting domain 4. Bi-annual zoom meeting and a conference once in 2 years (physical)
The Body of the Network
A body of working groups will work together to smoothly run the network and support the camel research and development.
APresident and general secretary: President will be responsible for the whole organization and the general secretary will keep the communication and record of the whole interactions and happenings
BProposal review committee: Each year, the committee will call for small grant research proposals, 2 research will be allocated with grants. The president will send the fund in 2 episodes. The researchers will communicate with the head of the committee, and satisfy the committee members.
CEditing and reviewing committee of the CAMEL: Each quarter, the CAMEL magazine will be released. The editor and his team will perform this task. At least 3 articles/field reports, first-hand information of the field, etc will be posted and the maximum can be 6 reports
D Training material production and reviewing committee: The committee will be responsible for finalizing training material for each task like milking, product development, etc.
Please come, join and play your role
I invite you to join our network and play your role in the camel research and development area. Just joining will not help the camel production and research but playing an active and useful role will certainly be useful. Please share the link in your circles and find support for the network. We are not earning from networking, all working voluntarily. The author has already sponsored the first small grant for the research.
The idea of a scientific network on different aspects of camels (production, conservation & management, ecosystems, heritage & culture, and very specific about milk production, product diversification, camel milk business, promotion & advocacy, etc.) is already motivated and the network is organized (though very basic and virtual).
The First Step is Done and the Way Forward
The first step is to manage an email list and WhatsApp group (which we did already done). Scholars, camel scientists, camel milk business/dairy, and products research/diversification professionals are welcome to join. Also, I request the camel milk business entities fund the research proposals. The next step is having a zoom meeting, and organizing a fund for small grants scholarships, a research proposal format, and a committee to review the proposal and accept the scholarship.
Please support the camel research and development
We need support from you all in reviewing, organizational management, fundraising, organization registration of the network, etc. Please note that there is no use in just joining, every member has to invest in 2 ways in the network as; either time for managemental and review work or have to fund for the research grants. Global Camel Research and Development Network (GCRDN), the main thinktank behind this organization is Camel4life International (advocacy group). We already have a very strong WhatsApp network (more than 250 members) and a website; camel4all.info. Soon we will be calling for a small grant proposal, which will start in 2023, and arrangement for publications. We are going to start a quarterly camel magazine as well for camel news and general articles. I need your help and support. Please give your suggestions about the zoom meeting timing and schedule.
The Camel milk business is worth > 11 billion US dollars annually, 70% of camel milk is consumed by camel owners and never reaches the market but some companies (farmers, cooperatives, and corporations) process and market the camel milk. Because of the availability of camel milk in the market, the consumption of camel milk is increasing, and is an ever-increasing demand for it mainly because of health reasons.
I have hereby compiled the names and their origin of some important and significant companies. Here are the names.
Important companies of camel milk at the global level
Camelait, produced by Alain Farms for Livestock Production, Alain Abudhabi, UAE