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camel milk General about camel

Trends and Potential of Camel Milk in Pakistan

Here are the major ideas I discussed in my discussion at the online seminar held by the Cholistan University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences in Bahawalpur, Pakistan, concerning camel milk. Although the topic of the conference was camel udder health, I chose to concentrate my discussion on the state and future of camel milk in Pakistan.

Poster of the camel conference in Bahawalpur Pakistan
Poster of the camel conference in Bahawalpur, Pakistan

The main points of my talk

  • Pakistan is home to the world’s best dairy camels, such as Brela, Kharani, Lassi, Sindhi, and more
  • Pakistan has enough camels—above one million
  • The cameleers’ communities are still interested in the camel profession
  • Pakistani camels enjoy the highest level of welfare and well-being; they are kept by cameleers as their family members
  • Pakistani camels still have the facility of grazing; they produce very healthy milk enriched with a diversity of phytochemicals
  • Awareness about camel milk’s therapeutic power is increasing and many people are shifting to camel milk for health reasons
  • Some pastoralists move with their lactating camels and sell fresh milk to consumers directly near urban hubs
  • The camel milk business is mainly run and regulated by woman pastoralists
  • In some parts of the country, families are adding lactating camels to their family livestock; now you can see she-camels in the barn with cows and buffaloes
  • Some semi-intensive camel farming (small-scale) is being initiated to produce milk for urban hubs like Karachi and Lahore
  • Some small organizations are collecting milk from the pastoralists and selling it to consumers
Author Dr. Abdul Raziq Kakar is speaking to the conference
The author, Dr. Abdul Raziq Kakar, is speaking at the conference

Investment opportunities and sustainable development

  • Camel milk channelization: milk collected from the cameleers and safely delivered to the consumer. A clear and safe value chain will bring great success to such projects.
  • Export of high-yielding camels instead of live camels: instead of selling live lactating/dairy animals, it will be the best choice for many reasons to sell the live embryos of the elite camels for dairy purposes. It will generate jobs at the country level and bring foreign exchange in return for genetic resources (camel embryos). However, such work must be performed under a policy/regulation to protect the proprietary rights of the camel herders as the custodians of the genes. Many farmers in different parts of the world are interested in camel dairy genetics from Pakistan.
  • Camel as a family dairy animal: We should support and develop the camel as a family dairy animal. It takes little effort and awareness-raising training to convince the livestock keepers to adopt the camel as a family dairy animal. The author has already worked on this idea, and there has already been some success, especially in Balochistan.
  • No to food export policy and corporate farming: All food items, including camels (live or meat) and camel milk, should not be allowed to be promoted and used as a source of foreign currency earnings. Corporate farming and food exports are not suitable for countries like Pakistan, where ordinary people are facing a food shortage.

Constraints and Challenges

The constraints can be divided into 3 main categories

A. Shrinking grazing areas; sadly, this is a very painful fact about the present situation in the country. The demand for land is very high and there are no regulations to protect the grazing rights of the pastoralists. All government projects, conservation parks, corporate farming, land allotments, etc. are materialized on historical grazing lands. There is no policy or organization to protect their rights.

B. No policy-level support; There is very little or zero support to the pastoralists, small and medium farmers, especially the camel keepers. The issue is not only the grazing land shrinkage but also the lack of support in marketing the camel products.

C. The camel export: Camel is exported illegally; it is not recorded and not regularized, and the middleman is earning the major profit, not the farmers. Nobody knows what is going on. This area needs policy support to help in the controlled export of camels, but the profit should go to the cameleers so that the camel profession further flourishes and develops.

D. Milk Marketing and Channelization: As mentioned above, there is no support for the cameleers at any level in the country. The pastoralists strive at their capacity and level to sell the camel milk. Support in milk channelization will be a great breakthrough in the camel marketing area. I then witnessed 3 very successful camel milk channelization stories in Mongolia, Ethiopia, and Oman, I was the consultant for the projects.

Conclusion

Due to its exceptional ability to withstand weather-related disasters, camels are the greatest option for food security in the event of climate change. Camels are being used by pastoralists in various areas, particularly in Africa, to replace cattle. The camel is the most valuable livestock in Pakistan, which is in the red zone for climate change and needs to meet its food security goals. All that camel keepers need is policy assistance to bolster their industry and lay the groundwork for a sustainable means of subsistence.

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General about camel

The Palestinian Scientist who Discovered Camel Milk is a Billion Dollar Beauty Formula

Before being crowned one of Arabia’s’ most influential Arabs, Shihab used to wear a lab coat, leading cancer research at DAKO Industries. For 3 years, Shihab tried to develop monoclonal antibodies that can cure cancer, and failed, but it was also during her time as a researcher for the pharmaceutical giant that the Cambridge graduate first struck gold. “One day, a Bedouin man came by my office, and we were talking, and he told me that his daughter was cured because she only drank camel milk,” she recounts. “So I tell my professor, who is also the director of Cambridge University’s Institute of Biotechnology, about the encounter and how I’m curious to know more about the therapeutic properties of camel milk, so he encourages me to study it.”  

For details, please press the link below. 

https://thestartupscene.me/BehindTheStartup/The-Palestinian-Scientist-Who-Discovered-Camel-Milk-Is-a-Billion-Dollar-Beauty-Formula

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General about camel

Painting Fake Eyes on Camels to Protect from Predators

Fake Eye Painting Helps in Scaring Predators Away

My friend and fellow camel scientist and herder, Dr. Piers Simpkin, shared a video of his camels painted with fake eyes to protect them from lions. Some of his best camels were hunted by lions this year.  According to Piers, it was not his idea, but he saw it on the cattle on a neighboring ranch and did some research on it in Southern Africa.

Looking Forward

I can’t wait for the results and outcomes. I’m in contact with Dr. Piers, as soon as I hear good news, I’ll let you know.

Please enrich my work with your feedback.

Categories
Camel in Middle East and Africa Camel milk demand in Africa Disease and Drought Tolerance in camels General about camel

Camel Breeds in Africa

SRE, Ethiopian breed

  • Hoor or Hur breed is good for milk (7–10 liter/day)
  • Ayden breed (multi-purpose breed)
  • Gheelab (riding, transportation, and work)
  • Agawayn is good for milk 4 to 7 kg/day (longer lactation)
  • Layro (multi-purpose breed with a milk average of 2-4 kg per day

More than 90% of camels are in the pastoral system and the rest the semi-intensive (mainly for milk in the peri-urban regions).

Drought and Disease Tolerance Score (DDTS)

I have worked with traditional livestock breeds in different parts of the world, especially the livestock cradle (Balochistan province of Pakistan). Have documented native livestock breeds based on their qualitative traits such as drought & disease tolerance (DDT), drought & disease tolerance compensatory ability score (DDCS), consumer demand, liveability/survivability, adaptability, mothering ability, etc. The most important and practical qualitative traits are given a score (1-5) as 1 is the lowest/weakest and 5 is the highest/strongest.

Mauritanian camels

There are two “breeds” (?), rather varieties as nobody has studied them: those in the East, where there is some vegetation, and they are tall and heavier than those in the West where the land is more arid and salty. Here they are short and light. People here say that those camels in the East eat too much and need a lot of water, while the Western camels are much more thrifty. Even so, the commercial milk sellers buy camels from the East and feed them and water them here, either together with their small camels if they are camel-owning families, or on their own if they are just business people.

In extensive conditions, nobody knows how much milk the camels yield, since practically all the milk is left for the calf, and growing calves to sell is more important than drinking milk, particularly when there is no alternative feed. In the intensive milking-for-selling conditions close to towns, the camels that get pasture plus feed and enough water yield an average of 3 liters per 24 hours In our experience; It is very hard to get information from herders because they are afraid of the evil eye. That said, some camels yield much more than that, and in Nouakchott, they are milked three times a day and gove more. When asked how much milk a camel can actually yield (an abstract, theoretical question) they all know camels that can give 10 to 12 liters a day.

Sudani camel breeds

As a country, Sudan has reported the largest camel breeds in Africa.

Jenani, Rashaidi, Anaf, Bishari, Butana, Kabbashi, Mananish

Here is a link to an article; https://www.lrrd.cipav.org.co/lrrd23/4/isha23099.htm

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General about camel

creosote bush in North America can guarentee camel food

Located among the terrain of the American Southwest, there’s a resilient survivor known as Larrea tridentata, or more commonly, creosote. This remarkable plant has adapted to its harsh environment in fascinating ways. In this blog post, we’ll explore the incredible adaptations and curious facts that make creosote a true desert enigma.
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Camel Milk Cheese General about camel

Reasons of Molds Production on Cheese

I developed a delicious camel milk cheese with a taste and texture similar to Haloumi. I used a plant to ferment. I placed it in the fridge below 20 degrees Celsius, but for some reason, the fridge switched off, and when I opened it three days later, there were some molds on it. Do you have any ideas concerning the cheese and molds? Please provide your feedback.

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General about camel

The Importance and Uses of Camel Wool

Camel’s types and wool

A. Taxonomically, the camelids are divided into 2 genera

  1. Lama and sp. as (L. pacos, L. glama)
  2. Camelus and sp. as (C. dromedarius, C. bactrianus, C. ferus). The ferus is wild

B. We can divide camels into 2 main categories (based on their fiber quality and purposes of production)

  1. Old-World Camelids (Arabian camel and Bactrian camel): Mainly for work, riding, sport, milk, meat, skin, and fiber. The wool is coarse
  2. New-world camelids (Llama and Alpaca): Meat, wool, work etc. The wool is fine

The Old-worlds Camels’ Wool

Among the Old-world camels, the dromedary has mostly coarse wool (tent & rope and Bisht wool), except the camels in very cold areas (having more fine wool, especially the calves). Tent & rope and Bisht wool meaning, the wool is mainly used for making tents, ropes, and Bisht (mostly by nomadic people).

In this article, my main focus is the Dromedary wool. The main use is making the tents and ropes by the Beduins communities as the camel wool is very strong and doen’t absorb moist, so remain ligheter in weith. Bisht is made from camel wool that is spun and woven into a breathable fabric.

Both Bishts are made from the camel wool. The Bishts were gifted to us by Saudi givernement in King Abdulaziz camel festival in Rimah Riyadh.

The Bactrian Camel Wool

The Bactrian camel wool is also categorized as fine wool, especially their calves’ wool is tremendously fine. Mongolia is leading in the Bactrian camel wool business and many fabrics are crafted by camel wool. You can read about the important features of the Bactrian camel wool in the following link.

Bactrian Camel Wool Production

Fabric made of the Bactrian camel wool in Mongolia

The Dromedary Camel Wool

In the dromedary camel in its original habitat (Arabia, Saharan, and Sub-Saharan Africa, Horn of Africa, South Asia, Persia, and Central Asia) sheds its wool naturally at the start of the summer season as the wool grows faster in winter and making a densely woven blanket that is difficult to separate or sort out.

As camels have protective outer coats of coarse fiber (grow up to 15 inches). The fine, shorter fiber of the insulating undercoat (grow up to 1.5–5 inches), is the product generally called camel hair, or camel hair wool, making a dense fur to minimize moisture evaporation from camel body and protecting from the cold waves in winter.

Camel hair beautification and dressing

 Different tribes of camel keepers have different cultures related with camels in many different and unique places of the world. Camels’ innate beauty is accentuated in the Indian subcontinent by cutting their hair. The camel’s hair is styled to resemble a stunning work of art on its body. Some camel societies have a tradition of clipping contests wherein skilled weavers create exquisite artwork using the wool of the live camel. In the Great Thar Desert (India and Pakistan), these kinds of civilizations are quite alive. Art of Camel Hair Shearing~The Camels’ Attraction

Unique Idea of Camel Wool Consumption – A Mulching Agent

These days, with so many synthetic products made in China, camel wool’s use as a fabric (tent, rope, and Bisht) is low. In the early summer, a lot of camel wool is strewn out close to the camel farms. In the desert, the organically knitted woolen coat is seen tangled in various shrubs. The country is seeing an increase in tunnel farming, and the necessary organic materials, such as peat, are being imported from other places. This has led to another positive development known as the Modern Food Production Revolution. One of the most crucial steps in reducing water loss and shielding just germinated plants from pests and harsh weather is mulching. The finest material for mulching can be camel wool because it minimizes evapuration, conserves water for the plants, and naturally breaks down over time to give the plants nutrients due to its organic nature. NPK and other vital nutrients for plants are abundant in camel wool. It can shield plants from pests and take the place of synthetic fertilizer.

In order to achieve the best results, camel wool is utilized as a mulching agent in Alain, United Arab Emirates, as seen in the following photos.

Categories
Camel Physiology Dairy camels breed General about camel

The Diary Traits of Camel

Q: Can a camel be a dairy animal?

A: Yes, because of many reasons but a camel for dairy doesn’t mean the monocultural cow dairy model.

Q: What should be the salient features and goals of a dairy camel?

A: There are many characteristics that are considered the best tools to select a camel for dairy purposes.

  • A female camel with good reproductive performance like first calving (5 years of age), calving interval (2 years), zero or very low abortion rate
  • A camel owing the dairy characteristics (discussed in many articles)
  • Thriftiness (but not feed conversion efficiency like in the cow model), in camel farming we provide according to the needs but not as a reward for milk
  • Mothering ability (the connection with the calf and the presence of the calf) is very crucial for milk production in camels
  • Efficient milking ability (machine milking ability as well)
  • Social, friendly, and good in temperament (happy and friendly camels produce in stress-free conditions
  • Having an average production above 1500 kg per lactation (300 days)
  • Having a lactation of more than 8 months

Camel is a very good dairy animal in many ways, an efficient biological machine, highly adapted to climate change, and produces milk in extreme weather. https://camel4all.info/index.php/2023/11/16/the-charecteristcs-of-a-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 >20 kg per day. The udder conformation (in the following image) tells most of the dairy traits in camels.

Maximum of the dairy traits can be seen in this image. Camel is an effecient and true dairy animal.

Coordinated body parts, clearly defined organs, healthy coat, barrel shape thoracic region, spacy belly, medium-sized hump, and shining body coats are the salient features of a dairy camel. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/216145752_Camel_a_potential_dairy_animal_in_difficult_environments

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.

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Camel Physiology General about camel

Does the Camel Hump Originated in the Snowy or Sandy Ecosystem?

My understanding of the origin of the hump

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?

According to Natalia Rybczynski, https://www.linkedin.com/in/natalia-rybczynski-548a8845/, their iconic hump(s), containing fat, also may have been adaptive. As seen in high-latitude ungulates today, fat deposits could have been critically important for allowing populations to survive and reproduce in harsh climates characterized by 6-month long, cold, winters. She has revealed from the fossils study that the camels had hump in the ancient times. https://answersingenesis.org/natural-selection/survival-of-the-fittest/humps-key-to-ancient-camel-arctic-survival/

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/

Further reading

Categories
Dairy camels breed General about camel

The Charecteristcs of a Dairy Camel

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.

A picture of dairy camel, showing the charecteristics of a good milking camel.

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.

A beautiful dairy camel

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/

Udder, milk vein, belly and skin can tell the charecteristics of dairy camel.

The camel milk is getting appreciation from the different spheres of life. https://camel4milk.wordpress.com/tag/camel-dairy/

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Camel Meat General about camel

The Salient Features of a Meat Type of Camel

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

The Camels love Tree Vegetation
The Camels are Happy Browsers

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.

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General about camel World Camel Day 22 June

The hottest and challenging day is a camel day

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.

From the field at the eve of World Camel Day 2023


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.

https://arkbiodiv.com/2020/06/20/history-of-world-camel-day-22-june/
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

Who is the founder of World Camel Day?

What is World Camel Day?

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Camel in Middle East and Africa camel milk Camel milk demand in Africa

Higher Demand for Milk is a driver of Sustainability

A case study from the Somali Region of Ethiopia

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.

camel consuming thorny cactuses in Somali Region of Ethiopia
Camels are consuming thorny cactuses in the Somali Region of Ethiopia

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 the strange fact that the camel milk was sweeter like honey.

Camel are consuming cacti and other highly adapted native flora

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.

Categories
Camel Breed Camel in Middle East and Africa camel milk Camel Milk and Natural Health Camel milk demand in Africa

Camel Milk or Honey?

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.

A lactating camel of Hur breed, Jigjiga region Ethiopia

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

Categories
Camel Milk and Natural Health General about camel

Noble Molecule, the Lactoferrin in Camel Milk

Lactoferrin is a magical protein

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.

https://www.intechopen.com/online-first/84676

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 is a magical molecule found in camel milk

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.

https://arkbiodiv.com/2021/07/13/camel-milk-lactoferrin-against-bacterial-infections/
Not only boost immunity but increases the shelf life of the milk

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 –



Categories
General about camel

Camel Branding – Identity of families and treatment for complex ailments

The camels are marked or branded for 2 purposes;
1. Identification (family mark)
2. Treatment of ailment, especially tendons and ligaments



Identity sign

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.

Acknowledgment

The material for this post was provided mainly by Muhammad, a camel lover and activist from Morocco.

Categories
Camel Products Camel Products are Safe and Healthy General about camel

Blaming Camels for the MERS Transmission

What is the MERS?

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 has tested 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.

https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/man-tests-positive-mers-abu-dhabi-near-oman-border-who-2023-07-24/

Not a matter of concern

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.

https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/health/no-immediate-cause-for-concern-epidemiologist-tells-dte-as-mers-case-detected-in-uae-90818

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.)

Dr. Bernard Faye, Camelogist
FAYE, Bernard, famous camelogist. He is a French Veterinarian and global camel researcher.

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.

Further reading

Categories
Desert Exploration General about camel

Who is a Camelogist?

Who is a Camelogist?

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.

Bernard Faye, French Camelogist
Dr. Bernard Faye, French Camelogist

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.

2. Dr. Abdul Raziq Kakar: A Pakistani desert scientist and camel expert known for his work on camel genetics, breeding, and sustainable camel husbandry practices. Dr. Raziq is the founder of World Camel Day. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/importance-history-world-camel-day-prof-dr-abdul-raziq-kakar/

Dr. Abdul Raziq Kakar is the founder of the World Camel Day

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.

Ilse K. Rollefson, the famous camelogist and friend of camels

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.

Camelogist Dr. Abdul Raziq Kakar
Categories
General about camel World Camel Day

World Camel Day Celebration 2023

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.

Categories
Feeding dairy camels General about camel Stress in dairy camels

High milk-yielding camels recovered from complex illness with a high-energy feeding regime

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).

The dairy camels enjoying additional allownce of cornflakes at the farm. Keeping animals happy, is actually keeping the camels healthy.

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).

The camels have a personality and feelings. They always need some attention and quality time. It helps in overall wellness of the camels.

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

Way forward

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.

Further reading

Here are some important links about camel dairying in the following lines.