Kohi mean mountainous - Kohi camel of Suleiman mountains of Balochistan

Kohi – A Camel Breed of Suleiman Mountainous Region

Kohi Breed of Camel, Calf care

Kohi Breed of Camel

Kohi camel is predominantly found in Suleiman mountainous region of Balochistan, Pashtoonkhua and Punjab provinces of the country. Some specimens are also found in the Paktia province of Afghanistan. But 70% of the breed is found in the Balochistan province.

 Production systems and socioeconomic importance

There are three major camel production systems in this region viz; nomadic, transhumant or semi-nomadic and sedentary. Socio-economic importance of camel is closely associated with existed production systems. These systems are largely determined by climatic conditions, a topography of the land, plant growth phenology, water sources, etc. As the camels are always on the move, they hardly spend more than one month at one place.

The Kohi camel plays a pivotal role in the socio-economic activities of the region. It is used in the high mountains of Suleiman mountainous series for the transportation of various items. The animal is well fit for work in that hilly land and the broad wide cannon bone make it well to do in that habitat. Camel is also used for the pastoral migration and milk production. Mangrota camel fair is one of the largest camel’s socioeconomic and cultural activities of the camel herders of Kohi breed. The herders manage camel movement and migration pattern according to the onset of the fair. 

Population size and trend

The Kohi camel breed is one of the major camel breeds in the country. This breed is found in the other provinces of the country also. The estimated number of this breed in Balochistan province is almost 70,000 head. This breed still has the importance for transportation and milk are the byproducts, nevertheless, it produces an average of 10 liters of milk per day. The breed is growing and there is no threat to the population of Kohi camel, though the ecosystem of the breed is under threat.

Kohi is an excellent draft animal in the mountainous ecosystem of Suleiman region.
The wild palm leaves are loaded on Kohi camels

 

Breeding goal of the breed

One of the major breeding goals is the production of vigorous and compact animal for work in the mountainous region. The breeders select usually male camel and there is no choice for female. All the females are being bred, as the breeders believe that male animal play role in the breeding of the camel. Milk production is the second major breeding goal because more milk is the security for the healthier calves and ultimately production of the vigorous camel. The other traits of selection are the white color, beautiful muzzle, curly wool, strong wide cannon bone and wide chest.

Special traits of the breed

  • Compact body, strong hindquarter, wide cannon bones and strong foot pad making it specially fit for mountainous ecology
  • Survival in cold weather without housing
  • Browsing in the small area when vegetation is available (easy care and accessible)
  • White nails and yellowish eye color
  • More weight per unit body area (Compact)
  • Highly resistant to diseases locally called as syed
  • Its white color is the phenotypic marker for more milk yield
  • The animal is very loyal and loving to the owners

 Phenotypic characteristics

The Kohi camel is predominantly white in coat color but some animals locally are known as Spole color (light brown with white legs) are also found. The Kohi camel has white nailed either it is white or Spole coat color.  The animal has a compact body, wide cannon bone, big beefy head and short neck. The herders believe that the white color of Kohi camel produces more milk than Spole (brown body white forelegs) animal and a part of this study proved it valid. The phenotypic characteristics of the breed are presented in table 9.

 

two-type-of-kohi-camel.jpg
The 2 lines of Kohi camel, the white Kohi and the Spole Kohi

Reproductive and productive performance

The male is ready for breeding at the 4 years of age and female reaches to the time of mating at the age of 3 years. About 50 she-camels are normally bred by one bull camel. While the service period remains for 6 days and estrus cycle ranging from one week to 4 weeks. The conceived she-camel changes her behavior on the 6th day of service and shows a different behavior as erecting her tail when an animal or a person comes near to her. Calving interval is normally two years, depending upon the availability of foliage and lactation length. Average reproductive life of a female is about 20 years. Conception rate of a camel is higher with appreciable calving percentage and rare abortion. A weight of the calf at the birth is almost 35-45 kg, depending upon the sex, nutritional and health status of the dam. Weaning weight at (9 months) is about 155-180 kg. The reproductive and productive characteristics of the Kohi camel.

 

Table Biometric parameters of the Kohi breed

Body measurementsMaleFemaleMean
Head length42.2334.1638.20
Head width22.602021.3
w.H176.61176.13176.37
T.G206207.86206.93
A.G234.15241.5237.825
TL50.8848.1049.49
EL12.0411.7711.905
EW6.636.996.81
NL88.8586.1887.515
BL140141.25140.63
Est. wt440.69439.30439.995

Table Reproductive and productive and traits of the Kohi Camel

NoTraitsValues
MaleFemale
1Average birth Weight32 – 40 kg31 – 40 kg
2Average weaning Weight*160 – 185 kg155 – 180 kg
5Ready for workload3 yr3 yr
7Use for heavy duty7-8 yr
8Age of puberty4 yr3 yr
9Average work-life25 yr
10Average reproductive life25 ye21 yr
11Conception rate out of herd50-53%
12Gestation  period375-386 day
13Calving rate out of herd45-50%
14Calving interval2 yr
15Average milk production10.7 kg/day
16Lactation length8-11 month
17Wool Production2.5 kg

Marketing and future economic potential

The animals are grazing in uplands of Suleiman region since March to the end of the September and after that, the animals who ready for sale are moved to the (male) fair of Mangrota, while rest of the animals are moved to the lowlands of Suleiman region and the adjoining areas of Sibi region, where they spend the autumn and winter season. Mangrota animal fair is the biggest of the area and the biggest sale point for the Camels.

The Kohi camel has very good economic potential in future. The camel meat has good taste because of the nature of the vegetation browsed. The Kohi meat is already famous in the pastoral families and has very good potential for export.

References

6 thoughts on “Kohi – A Camel Breed of Suleiman Mountainous Region”

  1. Dear Raziq

    I appreciate your comments on Kohi Camel. This is a very valuable breed of the Sulemain Mountain region. Bread and butter of many keepers depends on these animals which are used for transportation, ploughing and carting. During your PhD studies, we explored this breed extensively. You better upload your papers so that all attributes of this breed can be brought to limelight.

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