Dairy productivity potential of camels

Faye Bernard. 2005. Dairy productivity potential of camels. In : Current status of genetic resources, recording and production systems in African, asian and american camelids : FAO-ICAR Seminar on Camelids, Sousse, Tunisia, 30 May 2004. Eds R. Cardellino, A. Rosati, C. Mosconi. Rome : ICAR, pp. 93-104. (ICAR Technical Series, 11) ISBN 92-95014-06-5 FAO-ICAR Seminar on Camelids, Sousse, Tunisie, 30 May 2004.

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Abstract : While it is recognized that the camel has the ability to produce more milk than the cow in similar conditions, camel milk productivity is not well known. Data from the literature are scarce, mainly issued from observations in research stations, and more rarely from pastoral areas where performance monitoring is not common. Elsewhere, the data are not homogeneous among the authors: mean daily yield, total yield per lactation, herd average ... Therefore comparisons are not easy. Furthermore, there is a high variability of reported productions which leads to suppose a potential for selection on that criterion. This selection is possible but rarely achieved except in the Soviet Union period for dromedary and Bactrian camels. The world production of camel milk was officially estimated at 1.3 million tons in 2002. However, according to the high level of self-consumption and the individual potential, this production could probably be higher (Le. 5.4 million tons). The individual production varies between 1 000 and 12 000 litres per lactation according to some sources. The lactation curve is similar to bovine with a better persistence. The lactation length is very variable (from 8 to 18 months in general), i.e. longer than that for dairy cattle in similar conditions. Obviously, the feeding and seasonal conditions have an impact on those performances. Some intensified systems found in many places showed good prospects in camel milk production to supply populations from arid lands. (Résumé d'auteur)

Classification Agris : L52 - Animal physiology - Growth and development
L10 - Animal genetics and breeding
L01 - Animal husbandry

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Faye Bernard, CIRAD-EMVT-PPA (FRA)

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