Raidi breed of camel in Balochistan

The Ancestors of Brela camel – Jathnasal or Raidi Breed of Camel

In continuation of the previous blog

Jathnasal or Raidi camel Breed

The habitat of Raidi breed is the Kachhi basin ecological zone of the province. This breed is belonging to the mobile indigenous people of the Jath community.  The breeding herds of the Jathnasal breed are usually a community owned and they share profit on a community basis. Jath community has a very strongly woven and very effective social system. The jathnasal breed is mainly used for earning a livelihood. They use the camel for family needs and camel milk is the major and only protein source for the community. They either sell the male animal which is mainly used for carting in major cities or use the male animal for draft work and earn money. They use male and female camels for luggage transportation with their families. The Jathnasal breed is presented in the figure.

Production systems and socio-economic importance

The Jath community, according to their elders originated from the Great Indian Desert. They traveled with their camel in search of foliage for their camel and reach the plains of South Balochistan (Kachhi basin). They had served the camel caravan of the pilgrim going to Makka and coming back to the Indian subcontinent. Actually, the Jath settled some 300 years back in this region. They came to the region with the Brela camel breed of the Cholistan area from Southern Punjab. The Pat region of Balochistan was then the crossroad from India to Arabia. The pilgrims were using camel for transportation and the disabled and wounded animal were being kept with the Jath community while replacing them with energetic and healthy animals. From time to time the camel of Brela was then crossed with many breeds of the sub-continent and a new breed came into being. Jaths have their own values and they never slaughter camel. They use camel milk for food and rarely eat the flash.

They travel around the year from the Jhal Magsi area of the region and travel up to the Bolan hills. They start their movement from Jhal Magsi and surrounding areas of Sind after grazing the aftermath of wheat crops and move towards the north to Bolan hills. They travel in a very wide area in a very organized way. This camel belongs to the old indigenous people of the Jath community and each tribe has its own sign of identification. They don’t keep any other animal except camel but the Asseel bird (chicken) as a game bird.

Image result for aseel bird chicken pakistan
Aseel Chicken

 Population size and trend

This breed of camel has one of the largest camel populations in the province.  The population size reaches from 60,000-70,000. The trend of the camel is stable and there is apparently no threat to the breed.  Although, limiting grazing lands because of deforestation and introduction of the canal irrigation in the habitat are the hazards to this breed of the camel.

 Breeding goal

The breeding goals of the breeders are to produce large-sized camel fit for long traveling and tolerant to the high ambient temperature of the region.  They select the vigorous male with large body sizes, long legs, and necks. The Jath doesn’t consider the color of the breed. They also select the animal for long tests and more milk production to provide a sufficient amount of milk to the newborn and also to the family. They also select the male with a hard foot pad, to resist the spines of the musket plant (Prosopis juliflora) which is predominantly found in the region.

Special traits

  • Brave in nature and loyal to the owner (Dalair)
  • Resistant to extremely hot weather in the region (up to 52 °C)
  • Resistant to diseases especially, pox and orf
  • Multi-characteristic because of the blood of many breeds
  • Resistant to foot rot because of the spine of the musket

Phenotypic characteristics

The Jathnasal breed is highly diversified, having the blood of many breeds, i.e. Breela, Kohi, Sindhi, Marrecha, Thari or Sindh Desi, and many other breeds. The color pattern is also diversified and there are many colors,

  • Black ( Sawan)
  • White (Aspaid)
  • Fawn (Sorebore)
  • Deep brown (Boor)
  • Lal (reddish) colors

The size of the breed is one of the largest in the province; the phenotypic characteristics are presented in the table and figure.

Reproductive and productive performance

The breeding season of this breed is December to January. The Male is ready for breeding at 4 years of age and the female reaches the time of mating at the age of 4 years. About 40 she-camels are normally bred by one bull camel. While the service period remains for 6 days and the estrus cycle ranges from one week to 4 weeks. The calving interval is normally two years, depending upon the availability of foliage and lactation length. The average reproductive life of a female is about 25 years.  The details are presented in the table.

Table  Biometric parameters of the Jathnasal breed (cm)

Body measurements Male Female Mean
Head Length 44 43 43.5
Head Width 20 20 20
Wither Height 187 185 186
Thoracic Girth 208 206 207
Abdominal Girth 263 272 267.5
Tail Length 52 50 51
Ear Length 12.5 13.5 13
Ear width 6 6 6
Neck Length 97 90 93.5
Rump Length 155 152 153.5
Estimated Weight (kg) 598 707 652.5

Table Reproductive and productive Traits of the Jathnasal Camel

No Traits Values
Male Female
1 Average birth Weight 60 kg 57 kg
2 Average weaning Weight* 180 kg 170 kg
5 Ready for workload 3 yr 3 yr
7 Use for heavy-duty 7-8 yr
8 Age of puberty 4 yr 4 yr
9 Average work-life 25 yr
10 Average reproductive life 25 ye 25 yr
11 Conception rate out of the herd 45-50 %
12 Gestation  period 375-386 day
13 Calving rate out of the herd 40-45 %
14 Calving interval 2 yr
15 Average milk production 12 kg/day
16 Lactation length 8-11 month
17 Wool Production 2 kg

Marketing and future economic potential

The camel of the Jathnasal breed catches very high prices from the camel carters (the person who drive the cart) of the towns and large cities of Sindh. The healthy male animal with a good body figure catches a price of up to 90, 000 Rupees. The camel herders do not sell female animals. Jath community does not sell their fertile female camels because the camel is the only source of earning and they have no lands for cultivation. The milk is used to offer to newborns and family use also.  The Jath community relies on camel milk and they like it very much.

1 thought on “The Ancestors of Brela camel – Jathnasal or Raidi Breed of Camel”

  1. Pingback: Pilgrims gave a new shape to Raidi camel breed - ARKBIODIV.COM

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