Kharani camel is found in the desert ecosystem of the Chaghai Kharan desert ecological zone. Kharani camel is one of the important camel breeds, well adapted to the desert ecosystem, and plays a pivotal role in the socio-economic and socio-cultural life of the pastoral people of that region. The breed has very deep roots in the culture of the Baloch tribes.
Production systems and socio-economic importance
The majority of the herds of camel are owned by nomadic and semi-nomadic herders. In wintertime, the nomadic and semi-nomadic owners migrate towards the east, up to the Bolan area of the province. After the rainy season of the monsoon in July and August, abundant vegetation is available there. The small farmers are mostly sedentary owners who provide supplementation in the winter season because of the low or even no vegetation availability in the region.
Kharani camel is one of the best milk producers in the world and produces up to 40 liters of milk per day. Milk is widely used in the region and therefore having high consumer preference. The milk is being used fresh, soured (Sorain), and added in tea. Strain is highly preferred and can be stored for up to one week without refrigeration. The same methodology is used in the countries of Central Asia and the product is known as camel Vodka locally.
Population size and trend
The population size estimated ranges from 9000 to 13000 and there is a speedy decline in the population. There are many factors responsible for this sad state of the situation, i.e. illegal export to Iran both male and female animals, a threat to the ecosystem of Kharani breed because of the deforestation and some herders now practice cross-breeding to produce Rodbari camel which is a good race animal in the desert. Such crossbred animal is highly liked by the smugglers which are being used for drug trafficking in the triangle of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran.
Breeding goal of the breed
The main breeding goal of the Kharani camel breeders is to produce camel with a high milk yield. The second major breeding goal is to produce camels well adapted to the desert ecosystem. The male camel is selected for breeding with the characteristics of higher milk, adaptation in the desert ecosystem, boor, or fawn color. Curly wool and hanging muzzle. The camel is medium in size with long black eyelashes. Long legs, neck, and oval foot pads are the salient feature of the breed. There are two special traits of the breed, i.e. milk production ability, drought resistance, and hardy against the high ambient temperature of the deserted ecosystem.
Table 1. Biometric parameters of Kharani breed (cm)
Table 2. Reproductive and productive traits of the Kharani Camel
|1||Average birth Weight||30-40 kg||31 – 35 kg|
|2||Average weaning Weight*||165-180 kg.||155 – 180 kg|
|5||Ready for workload||3 yr||3 yr|
|7||Use for heavy duty||7-8 yr||–|
|8||Age of puberty||4 yr||2.5-3 yr|
|9||Average work-life||25 yr||–|
|10||Average reproductive life||25 ye||21 yr|
|11||Conception rate out of herd||–||50-53%|
|12||Gestation period||–||375-386 day|
|13||Calving rate out of herd||–||45-50%|
|14||Calving interval||–||2 yr|
|15||Average milk production||–||17 kg/day|
|16||Lactation length||–||10-12 month|
|17||Wool Production||–||2 kg|
Special traits of the breed
v High milk yield in the hostile desert conditions
v Resistant to trypanosomiasis.
v Highly drought tolerant
Except for some non-descript camel majority of the camel, the population is composed of the Kharani breed. The name of this breed is derived from the famous Kharan desert. This breed is also called Boor locally because of its color (Fawn) as presented in the figure. There are many color patterns in the Kharani camel. The pastoral people know the importance of the color of a breed and correlate it with the specific trait. The colors are fawn, red-brown, white, and yellow. Phenotypic characteristics are given in a table 1.
Reproductive and productive performance
The male is ready for breeding at 4 years of age and the female reaches the time of mating at the age of 2.5-3 years. While the service period remains for 6 days and the estrus cycle ranging from one week to 4 weeks. The calving interval is normally two years and the average reproductive life of a female is about 20 years. The weight of the calf at birth is almost 30-40 kg, depending upon the sex, nutritional, and health status of the dam. Weaning weight at (12 months) is about 165-180 kg. The reproductive performance of the Kharani camel is presented in table 2.
Marketing and future economic potential
The respondents stated that the animals are sold in the local market of the town and rarely sell locally. The owners are really wise and had almost eliminated the role of a middleman. Though, the town merchant and butchers don’t pay good prices to the owners. Some smugglers buy local livestock at cheap prices and smuggle it to Iran and earn handsome money. The high milk yield is one of the best economic potentials of this breed.