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Bactrian Camel and Bactria Camel in China and Mongolia

Mongolian Bactrian camel -Breeding, Milk Production, and Lactation Curve

Visit of Mongolian Bactrian camels and their Ecosystem

In April 2018, the author visited Mongolia, especially the Gobi desert to visit the Bactrian camel herders and explore the potential of camels in their unique ecosystem. The details of the survey report can be read at the link. https://arkbiodiv.com/2018/06/21/the-camel-milk-story-from-the-gobi-desert-mongolia/

Types of camel

There are 3 types of Bactrian camels in the region, i.e.

  1. Galba Gobiin Ulaan (Reddish-colored camel)
  2. Khaniin Khestiin Khuren (Brown colored camel)
  3. Thukhum MTungologiin kKhos Zogdott Khuren (double line neck hair)
IMG_5761[1]
Beautiful Bactrian Calf

Breeding Season

The breeding season starts in October and reached its peak in December and slowly declines and ceases in April. Usually, one Bull is enough for up to 70 she-camels. The details of the production traits are given in the table below.

Table: The Production Traits of the Bactrian camel in the region

MonthsConception Rate (%)Calving %ageAvg. Milk (kg)
Jan25250.1
Feb15160.15
Mar450.175
Apr230.2
May210.3
Jun111.2
Jul111.8
Aug121.6
Sep321.5
Oct540.5
Nov16150.17
Dec25250.1
Breeding season, Percentile of fertility, and milk production

The milk production potential and the lactation curve

Though the Bactrian milk production potential is lower (1-3 liter/day) compared to the Arabian camel (5-15 liter/day), the Bactrian milk is thicker (up to 14% total solids) and full of energy to give special strength to the calf to survive in challenging cold environment. The average milk production based on my survey is 640 ml/day (< 1 kg/day) with a lactation yield of 233 kg. The lactation here is calculated on the annual basis but in actuality, the camel produces for up to 8 months, producing 185 liters in 250 days. Here milk production means the milk which was harvested by the milker keeping in view the calf requirements.

Bactrian camel milk composition

No.ComponentAvg. %Highest level
1Protein3.54
2Fat3.55.5
3Lactose45
4Ash0.80.85
5Total Solid1214
6pH6.36.6
Milk composition derived from scientific literature for Bactrian

Physical-chemical characterizations of Mongolian Bactrian camel milk

Components %Bactrian (BCaM)Arabian (ACaM)
Specific gravity1.0141.017
pH Values6.436.77
Total Solids14.2312.74
Fat5.394.47
Protein3.23.2
Casein2.52.5
Lactose5.14.95
Ash0.80.7
Comparative composition reported from Mongolia by GansaiKhan et al 2011

Some Important Notes about the Bactrian camel Milk

  • The BCaM has higher contents of long chain (polyunsaturated) fatty acids (Mostly C18:1), safe for our heart and circulation system.
  • The BCaM has higher contents of Vit. A and Vit. C, providing additional vitality and survivability to cell life and health.
  • BCaM is rich with Immunoglobulin (considered as supper immune bullets) enabling our health to resist all types of infectious microbiomes.
  • The above facts are equally true for Arabian camel milk (ACaM).

Camel Milk Products

The nomads use camel milk as fresh directly. The surplus is converted into a fermented product (Hormook). The Hormook is used very widely and some products are available in the market in Ulaanbaatar. For further details about Bactrian milk, you can go to the link Detailed Nutritional Composition of Bactrian Camel’s Milk

img_55361.jpg
Hormook

The surplus Harmok is converted into CM Vodka and the residues are used to make Curt. Curt and Vodka are offered to the guests as a unique product of the Gobi.

The Attachment of Nomads with camel

The nomads love their camel very much. They call it Themeh in the Mongolian language. They use camels for milk, riding/racing, festivals, wool, and also for meat (in rare cases).

Categories
Bactrian Camel and Bactria Camel in European Countries

A 200 Years Tradition, the Camel Wrestling in Turkey

My friend from Turkey, Dr. Atakan Koc Koç (animal scientist) wrote some details to me explaining somehow the details of camel wrestling in Turkey.

He writes as; We also have a similar tradition for more than 200 years in Turkey. But we call it “Camel Wrestling”, not fighting. The procedure of wrestling is elaborated in the following bullets.

  • First of all, wrestling takes place under the supervision of the referee and assistants.
  • Secondly, before wrestling, camels have their mouths tied so that they do not hurt each other, so they are not allowed to suffer.
  • Thirdly, wrestling only takes 10 minutes. If one does not dominate the other, it ends in a draw. Most wrestling ends in draws anyway. If it is understood that one camel is superior to the other, wrestling is terminated.
  • Fourth, 30-40 thousand people come to watch wrestling in some places. They watch wrestling in a picnic setting. The whole family comes and joins the wrestling.
  • Wrestling is usually held on Sunday. At least 50-60 wrestling/games are played. Camels are matched according to their wrestling style. They can do a lot of different wrestling games.
  • The evening before the wrestling day, a dinner party called “Carpet Night” is organized, and the wrestling camel owners participate in this entertainment. A social event for wrestling camel owners.
  • They come and join wrestling 350-400 km far from the wrestling place. It is strictly forbidden to give any doping substance or performance enhancer to make their camels win.
  • There are camel wrestling associations where wrestling camel owners are members.
  • The camel wrestling association has organized a wrestling federation. The federation is responsible for the organization of camel wrestling, the assignment of referees and their assistants, as well as servants.

Camel wrestling is also a symbol of love for camels

Animal rights advocates do object, and rightly so in their own right. In fact, wrestling camels are very well cared for and fed. However, most camels will have to be slaughtered if camel wrestling is banned. Like a member of the family. There are even those who bury them in a suitable place when they die and some of them built graves. As a result, not camels are not allowed to fight, they are allowed to wrestle in Turkey.

Camel wrestling attracts thousands of local people and tourists each year in Turkey and provides a great opportunity of recreation to the people and a way of camel conservation in the country as I always quoted ‘Utilization is the best conservation’.
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Arya Warsha Bactrian Camel and Bactria

Camel Ensures Sustainable Productivity

The atrocities of climate change are emerging with multi-dimensional outcomes in different parts of the world with different intensities and level of losses. The historical Bactria region1 (Also, Arya) is one of the worst affected ecosystems. 800px-Greco-BactrianKingdomMapThis region is the historical home place of some very precious livestock species and cradle of domestication2. The region is the birthplace of Bactrian camel, Yak, sheep, goat, and horses. The regions are well known for its sheep and cattle culture mainly depending on grasses. In the due course of speedy climate change, the rangelands of the region lost many grass varieties and quantity produced per unit of land. Low rain falls, erratic rains, rains beyond proper timing are the main drivers of the climate change and hot spells are catalysts in this regards.camel pic

The sheep and cattle industry of the indigenous breeds is under threat. The drought cycles hit the region resulted in the loss of the sheep and cattle. Three species like Camel, goat and donkey are the most resilience to this climate change. Camel is unique because of the long walking ability and resistance to water & feed scarcity as their special traits. 254498_10150251489644743_5372734_n

A camel can be a good player if explored to ensure food security in such a climate change scenario because of special traits. Unfortunately, the policy makers of the region have never placed camel at its proper place while fabricating policy regarding agricultural development. Authors have striven for years to bring camel in the mainstream of the policy makers but yet need more to be done.

For further reading;

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20141107170939-85443832-a-precious-sheep-culture-is-under-threat

References

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bactria

2.http://livestockscience.in/wp-content/uploads/2011/slutversion_after_revision_av_Raigi_camel_till_J_Livestock_science.pdf