Camel Milk Has Gained Interest and Sales in the US—A World Camel’s Day History and Update

The series of World Camel’s Day, these updates are sent by Christina Adam from the USA. She is well known for her initiatives ‘using camel milk for autistic patients’.

Christina Adams MFA, USA, Contact: cadams@xiqllc.com, Twitter@camelmilkinfo,

https://www.facebook.com/christinaadamsauthorautismadvocate

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Camel in Texas at Baum family farm

Camel milk for human consumption has enjoyed a recent sharp spike in the US. Trends in autism and health-related awareness led the young domestic industry from almost zero consumers to thousands in four years. Camel milk is an exciting new product, yet the lack of domestic camel history in the US means camel milk causes ‘upturned noses.’ People are afraid it will taste ‘weird.’ That’s why the sick-person market is the main target of domestic producers. Only the ill or adventurous will try it, and the per-bottle cost of $12-25 USD is a deterrent to healthy people. But autism and food allergies/intolerance in pediatric patients are insufficiently treated with mainstream medicine, so parents like these are willing to use alternative and supplemental products like camel milk– not only to alleviate these problems but for well-tolerated dairy products for baking, drinking and travel use.

Camel milk for human consumption has enjoyed a recent sharp spike in the US. Trends in autism and health-related awareness led the young domestic industry from almost zero consumers to thousands in four years. Camel milk is an exciting new product, yet the lack of domestic camel history in the US means camel milk causes ‘upturned noses.’ People are afraid it will taste ‘weird.’ That’s why the sick-person market is the main target of domestic producers. Only the ill or adventurous will try it, and the per-bottle cost of $12-25 USD is a deterrent to healthy people. But autism and food allergies/intolerance in pediatric patients are insufficiently treated with mainstream medicine, so parents like these are willing to use alternative and supplemental products like camel milk– not only to alleviate these problems but for well-tolerated dairy products for baking, drinking and travel use.

2016-06-08 16.47.57Bottles of frozen US camel milk

My son was perhaps “patient zero” in the use of camel milk for autism in the US. When he developed autism, and was later diagnosed at age 2.9 years, I learned diet was a key part of managing symptoms for many kids. When I removed cow dairy products from his diet, his language improved and his red cheeks faded within weeks. Later, it became clear that cow dairy products worsened his autism symptoms. When he was around 5, eating pizza with the cheese removed caused him to walk in circles and hand-flap (classic autism symptoms) and he stated “it feels like there’s dirt in my brain.” Back then, only time and sometimes digestive enzymes would lessen the symptoms. (His recovery process is told in A Real Boy: A True Story of Autism, Early Intervention and Recovery, https://www.amazon.com/Real-Boy-Autism- Intervention-Recovery/dp/0425202437?ie=UTF8&ref_=cm_cr_pr_product_top).2016-04-30 14.32.48.jpg

American women learn to groom camels at Oasis Camel Dairy

When he was seven, I met a man with a camel and his comment that camel milk was used in hospitals in the Middle East for premature infants due to being perceived as non-allergenic made me seek it out. After finding camel milk allergy and autism articles from Dr. Reuven Yagil, at great expense I imported raw frozen camel milk from Bedouins in the Middle East. After drinking 4 ounces of milk, my son experienced an incredible overnight improvement in his autism symptoms (outlined in my GAHM Journal article http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3865381/). It also became effective as a treatment for his negative food responses to dairy, sugar and caffeine, such as hyperactivity, insomnia, oppositional and giddy behavior, often working within 15 minutes.

 I told many people about camel milk and increased my research, so when I learned that American Amish farmers were milking camels in 2011, I went public with our experience in 2012. International articles, speaking and radio shows help me spread the word about this natural healing substance. I feel very positive about camel milk, because even when it doesn’t cause a large improvement in a given child’s autism symptoms, it offers a widely tolerated source of calcium and nutrients for children and adults ona dairy-free diet.

Word spread widely also due to a Facebook group called Healing with Camel Milk, which was started by two mothers of health-impaired kids. Online sources like these, including my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/christinaadamsauthorautismadvocate and Twitter@camelmilkinfo, have helped parents learn about the milk and find safe sources. While I’ve helped families with autistic kids since 2000, now the daily messages are due to camel milk and autism. These come from the US and people around the globe.

Camels have been a force for good, unifying sick people and those who can help them, with camel milk historically being given to the sick in other countries. I’ve been pleased to discover that camel farmers in the US and professionals camel dairies in other countries have been very sympathetic to their customers, giving discounts to the most needy and using clean production methods. In the US, there are currently around 10 camel dairies, from those milking a single camel to one producing over a thousand bottles per week. Raw is the dominant form of milk, with pasteurized a distant second. Camel milk kefir and colostrum are also sold. New technology like flash-pasteurizing and sales of imported powered milk and chocolates add to the dairy farmers’ sales. Imported camel milk will appear in additional products soon. Yet the primary fluid milk market remains autism.Camel! A One in All Creatures

The tiny US industry will certainly grow once more people become aware of the potential benefits. Due to a lack of camel history and educational centers familiar with the animals, such US awareness will take time. In the meantime, I don’t have to go to the airport and wait for midnight flights from the desert anymore. I have delicious cold milk delivered straight to our doorstep. It may be less exciting, but nothing feels as good as opening a big insulated cooler with 40 bottles of frozen camel milk, and stacking them neatly inside my freezer. It is a feeling of richness and peace, one the camel cultures of the world know well—except they don’t need a freezer. They have camels.

Unfortunately, some quarters blaming camels for spreading MERS disease which is all lie and void of scientific support. Blaming Dromedary Camel For MERS

The Camel Genetic Treasure of Iran

Most of these camels still not been identified, because for extensive rearing system and the negligence of camels in most parts of the country. The other factor is camels are often mixed together and crossbreed by the other types of camels imported from Pakistan and Afghanistan for different purposes.

Once, I asked my camel colleagues to share their country camel report as a tribute on world camel day, which is celebrated each year on 22nd June. https://arkbiodiv.com/2020/06/20/history-of-world-camel-day-22-june/amp/. As a series of World Camel Day’s gifts (information, pictures and videos etc) continue, this new report is hereby received from Mahnaz Salehi.

Mahnaz Salehi is the member of scientific board of Animal Science Research Institute Animal fibers, skin and leather camel management specialist. Her report was converted and amended briefly. Here is the report about the camel status in Iran.

The camel Genetic Resources of Iran

There are almost 150,000 dromedary camels in Iran, mainly inhibited in the southern and central regions of the country.

Most of these camels still not been identified, because for extensive rearing system and the negligence of camels in most parts of the country. The other factor is camels are often mixed together and crossbreed by the other types of camels imported from Pakistan and Afghanistan for different purposes.

Therefore they are divided into 5 main CATEGORIES

  1. Multi-purpose breeds (meat, milk, wool, work, racing/riding and recreation)
  2. Milk type
  3. Racing or riding type
  4. Bactrian camels
  5. Bactrian and dromedary crosses

1. Dual Purpose Camels

Majority of the camels in the country fall in this category. The camel types in the southeastern parts of the country are mainly raised by the Balochi nomadic tribes, are dual pupose.

The habitat of this group of camels is mainly desert or rocky dry mountains. Some camels produce more milk than others like Zahidani and Dashti and Balochi breeds. They are equally good for loading & transportation, riding in difficult terrains and racing and recreations. Balochi communities prefer to keep the camels live and productive, only sell and slaughter when the camel is no more fit in their genetic goals.

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Zahedani Camel breed, found in Zahidan region of the country and adjoining areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

a. Zahedani breed is found in Zahidan region of the country and adjoining areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan. This breed is equally good for riding and transport. Goods are transported in border areas by Zahedani camels.

b. The Balochi breed is also found in the same region but this breed is better in milk production than other tasks of multipurpose. Some specimen camels produces more than 30 kg per day in the peak yielding period of the lactation.

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Balochi Breed, a good milk animal. You can see the very strong, big and healthy udder.

Balochi camels are mainly found in central, east and south east at the border lines of Afghanistan and Pakistan. This breed is known as Kharani breed in Balochistan and very good in milk production. https://arkbiodiv.com/2012/01/04/kharani-camel-breed-of-chaghai-kharan-desert/amp/

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Dashti camel (Desert) found in the sandy desert of the Irani Balochistan

c. Dashti camel, their origin is in Boushher province (south of Iran) near the Persian Gulf. They are good riding camels in the desert and used as a transport animal in the desert.

Multipurpose Camel Breeds of the Central Regions of the Country

The camel breeds found in this region are also multipurpose in nature. Here, the top desired purpose is milk, followed by meat and transportation. These types of camels are beefy, massive and large body sized.

a. Kalkuei breed is found in the central region. The camel is massive in body size and also produce a considerable amount of the milk. The camels with huge body size produce good quantity of the milk. The body is is considered as directly proportional with the milk volume produced.

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Kalkuei Breed of camel, good milk camel

b. Mahabadi camel is found in Isfahan province of the central Iran. The breed is good for riding and milk equally. This breed is also strong and compact in nature.

Mahabadi camel in Esfahan province in central
Mahabadi Camel Breed

c. Yazdi camel found in central of country in yazd province. Yazdi camels have tremendous potential of milk as a top purpose but equally good for riding and work.

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Yazdi camel breed

Multipurpose Camel Breeds of the South West

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Arabi Camel, the unique and strongest camel

Arabi camel found in Kozestan and Boushher provinces near the Iraqi boarder. They are good racing camels as well as ordinary riding. The breed also produce a good volume of milk and some specimen are very good milker. Also, some good number of Dashti camel breed is also found in this region.

2. The Milk Type Camel Breeds

Though all types of dromedary camels are very good in milk production but some breeds are super in milk volume production both on per day basis and the lactation basis. Two types of milk breeds are found in the country.

a. Turkmani or Torkumani, raising in Gonbad and Gorlestan province in North East of Iran and the adjoining regions of Turkmenistan. This camel is widely used by the Turkmen nomadic people of the region. Tukmani type is knows as Aravan breed. Arvan breed is specialized milk breed with short age at first calving and shorter calving interval compared to other breeds. The nomads make the specialized sour milk of this breed, called as CHAL. https://arkbiodiv.com/2020/07/23/chal-a-traditional-camel-milk-product-of-turkmens-cameleers/amp/.

Aravan breeds have sub-types with a creamy color which is even more good in milk production than the others.

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Arvan breed, or Turkmani breed

3. Riding type 

As discussed before that all types of the camel can perform multipurpose tasks but some breeds are excelling in some tasks and the other in other tasks. The riding camels are used for the accessibility in the difficult terrains of the country where road network is not properly workable.

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Bandari Breed (coastal)

a. Bandari camel breed is found in south at the coastal line of Persian Gulf. These breed is divided into two sub-types, riding (Jamaz camels) and pack camels. Their origin is south or south east of Iran near the Pak-Iran border. Unfortunately, the number of camels are decreasing of this breed like other fellow breeds in Rajasthan, India. https://arkbiodiv.com/2017/09/25/a-beautiful-camel-heritage-is-sinking/amp/

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Bandari breed of Jamaz type, Sistan Balochistan

b. Jamaz of Sistani breed is actually the offshoot of the Bandari breed. Jamaz type is found in Sistan and Baluchestan, south-east along the border lines of Pakistan. This breed is also found in Pakistani Balochistan. This breed is very hardy and a good riding animal in the desert.

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RoodBari camels

c. Roodbari camel and some other types of camels are found in the Kerman province in south of the country. This breed also found in the adjoining areas of Pakistani Balochistan. The breed is highly liked for riding both in Iran and Pakistan.

4. Bactrian (two humps) Camel (endangered)

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Two hum Bactrian camels in Golestan (North of Country)
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Different color types of Bactrian camels of Iran

5. Crosses of AxB (Arabian and Bactrian) MAYA

There are also around 1000 crossbreed camel for benefit hetrosis in central regions. Such camels are called as Maya. This cross is made to harvest the power of camel for work under challenging conditions. Such crosses are common among the long traveling nomads of Central Asia.

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Crossbred (B male * D Female) in rural and station breeding farms

The pictures and data provided by Mahnaz Salehi –World Camel Day 2016, written and edited by Dr. Abdul Raziq Kakar.

The Nature Engineered Distinctive DNA of Camel to Beat the Challenge of Climate Change

Thank God, my dream came true as; specially engineered camel DNA (revealed in a recent study) makes this unique animal a solution to climate change and other challenges. The study ( the author was part of it) published in PNAS with full access here. a day before. The authors have ensured that the remarkable story over its long and celebrated history stands out like a scientific beacon. Without the camel, Arabian trade, medieval conquests, and recent communication routes would all have collapsed, changing the course of events for human civilizations as well as that incredible diversity among the camel gene pools of Asia, Africa, and even Australia.

Kohi Camel Caravan.jpg

A unique and pioneering study of the ancient and modern DNA of the ‘ship of the desert’ the single-humped camel or dromedary has shed new light on how its use by human societies has shaped its genetic diversity. DNA Sequencing Reveals Human Desert Migrations Shaped Camel Genetics.

Dromedaries have been fundamental to the development of human societies, providing food and transport in desert countries, for over 3,000 years. The dromedary continues to be vital for livelihood, food, and recreations where other species would not survive. In the current context of climate change and advancing desert landscapes, the animal’s importance is increasing and there is new interest in the biology and reproduction of the species.

In my opinion “genetic mixing and re-mixing engineered special DNA (camels) as; by constantly mixing the populations, the camels are now very genetically diverse which makes them more resilient to climate change. As predicted by the climate scientists, the mercury will go up with the passage of years, the camels will be the best choice among the others for food security and sustainable farming systems.

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The study suggests that the wild camels, which are now extinct, periodically helped restock domesticated populations. Unlike many other domesticated animals, modern camel populations have maintained their ancestral genetic diversity, potentially enabling adaptation to future changes in terrain and climate, according to the authors.

For more general articles the links are given in the ensuing lines. The links are referred in the article also.

References;

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-36252141

http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2016/05/human-migrations-shaped-camel-dna

http://www.sciencecodex.com/origin_of_dromedary_domestication_discovered-182056

How trade routes forever changed the dromedary camel’s genetic makeup

http://nhv.us/content/16056061-first-domestication-dromedaries-took-place-southeast-arabian

http://www.earthtimes.org/conservation/diversity-camels-conserved-3000-years/2938/

http://popular-archaeology.com/issue/june-2013/article/ancient-trading-networks-and-arabian-camel-diversity

A Distinctive Instrument Guaranteeing Livelihood in the Thirstiest Lands of the Ecosphere

Forgotten and neglected but the still inevitable tool of small-scale livestock keepers and pastoralists in driest lands of the world, ensure livelihood and food availability. Among the camel keepers, more than 70% are small scaled keepers, owning 5-15 camels. Amid small farmers, the camel is used for very diverse operations; water harvesting, agricultural operations and also producing milk. While for the pastoralists, it ensures their movement in hard terrains during the harsh climatic conditions. DSC01460The camel ensures food endowment (milk) in conditions when other livestock species struggle for their survival. Camel! A One in All Creatures. Camels have been playing the pivotal role as a multipurpose animal, especially in the extreme drylands of the world. The camel is a forgotten combatant, who played the role even in the development of modern countries like Australia1. With the onset of the automobile revolution, the Dark Age (1960-2000) of camel happened, the beast was almost neglected and rejected as an untuneful farm animal. Ultimately, the camel converted from a caravan animal to an animal of small scaled livestock keepers and pastoralists (nomads, Bedouins, Kochis, etc.). 11390372_10153419389789559_7790676575313165751_nThey had been using camels for very diverse goals; accessibility, food provision, cultural and heritage desires etc. Unfortunately, the camel, the main one being the lack of awareness about this unique species.  Due to prevailing droughts, climate change, interesting results from camel science, the camel has gained much attention again since the year, 2000.

The recent studies have shown that the camel is an immense candidate which can meet the milk requirements of the pastoral people and as well as other population if managed, bred and fed properly. Some planned and integrated efforts are required in camel concentration areas to undertake research and auxiliary developments on this species and its allied disciplines.10896985_628512283927255_2873814486121034170_n

The time has come to know and exploit the true potential of the camel and to find the ways to sustain this old industry for the cause of the conservation of important animal genetic resource and transform it in a modern entrepreneur in the near future. The forum Camels4Life2 is organizing communities, scientists, activists, development workers and policy makers to use the camel in sustainable development agenda and advocate for its promotion and sustainable development in future.

References;

  1. History Of Camels In Australia; http://camelfarm.com/camels/camels_australia.html
  2. Al Ain doctor sees potential in camels beyond their milk; http://www.thenational.ae/uae/health/al-ain-doctor-sees-potential-in-camels-beyond-their-milk

Dairy Camel ~ Transforming from Desert Ecosystem to Modern Farming

The old world camels (Dromedary and Bactrian) are well adapted to the harsh (both cold extreme and hot extreme) and hostile (deserts with scarce water and feed availability) ecosystems of the northern hemisphere of the globe. The centuries-long evolution and adaptation (selection for traits of choice by pastoralists) process made it unique and highly resilient animal to the calamities of its ecosystems. The pastoralists (traditional Institutions) managed and validated precious indigenous knowledge of camel husbandry, behavior, welfare, products development & management, breeding & neonatal care, health and recreation in the course of history while facing many challenges. The camel was mainly used in that period (pre-historic to the automobile) as a beast of burden (wars, pastoral transportation, desert accessibility etc), while milk, meat, and other products were used as by-products (additional asset).

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The onset of automobile industry replaced (the intensity increased with the modernization and abundance of the automobile) the role of the camel as the beast of burden. This evolution resulted from camel to turn to its original task ~ The Milk. The thin/ smart and light camel types (mostly from desert) desert were selected for racing and riding. Camel racing – (a multi-million dollar industry in the Middle East) evolved and a set of racing norms along with rules and regulations came into being. Today UAE is home to this joyful sport and camel with racing traits are attracting million of AED annually.

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The heavy camel with clear body confirmation, well-confirmed udder, milk vein etc is selected for milk production and use as dairy animals. Again a modern dairy industry is co-evolving towards a modern camel dairy in the Middle East. As camels have roots in Arab culture, both types of camel activities (racing and dairying) are developed and established in this region with the dry ecosystem.  I really do not know about the challenges being faced by the racing industry, the hurdles in the dairy industry are much obvious and easy to establish. Selection for dairy traits (its heritability) is still a dream in the emerging industry. The breeding goals for this purpose are not yet established and practice.

This shift from the old to modern camel agriculture resulted in many challenges. One of the main constraints of the modern (confined dairying) is the intensive environment (housing, feeding, milking and breeding etc) which bring many hurdles like fatigue/weakness, craving/weakness, mastitis and welfare, infertility etc. Selection for body/udder confirmation is hardly practiced while selecting/buying a camel for a dairy purpose which leads to difficulties in milking and handling in the modern milking parlor.5636501.jpg

Camel feeding is another constraint, especially in confinement. The Scientific approach is seldom practiced in this regard. In most of the cases Alfalfa or another type of hays along with some TMR and mineral mixture. I think the camel needs more (some unidentified fectors~as camel have special physiology) as camel had evolved with the unique feed requirements. Author documented more than 50 plant species as like/feed by camel in free-roaming feeding system of Suleiman Mountainous Region of Pakistan. Narrowing the diversity of feed items may cause/enhance the issues like fatigue, mastitis, and fever etc. Camel nutrition (dairy) is the utmost need issue and need further scientific research and practice.

The combination of narrowing diversity of feed items, confinement and stress (parlor along with the intensity of treatment) invite complex ailment situation which affects both the animal itself and probably the products consumers. Such challenges need to be addressed technically and scientifically with the course of time. A strange and painful factor (hiding experience) has been noticed among the camel dairy technical practitioners as they avoid to share knowledge. Some technical personnel and scientists do not want to share their experience and knowledge to keep their position strong and important.  Institutional support is lacking and research institutes prioritize cow dairy and other fields (with more research articles and subject material). University level subjects related to the camel and its modern role must be incorporated for the students of the region. Institutional support in all aspect of modern camel farming is the pivotal part of camel development. The author has suggested a scientific session on modern camel dairying and its challenges in the next ISOCARD conference (2015 Kazakhstan).

Lyme (Khurarra) Disease and Camel Milk

Traditionally known as ‘Khurarra or Khulaganda’ in Pashtu, having almost the same symptoms as discussed for Lyme disease from other parts of the world. Symptoms of Lyme disease (usually a bacterial infection) includes a fawn colour coating of the tongue, halitosis, dysgeusia (an abnormal taste in the mouth), and gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal distension, gas, flatulence, cramps, diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting, indigestion, heartburn (acid reflux), and other problems.

lyme-disease-yeast-infection-oral-thrush

According to our traditional knowledge (TK), the Pashtun Pastoralists directly strip camel milk in the mouth of the affected patient. They practice it 3-4 times daily (3-5 days) and the patient recovers in 5-9 days. This practice is being used for centuries and it is very useful. Some people use goat milk in the same way for this disease.

Positive results with drinking of camel milk for the treatment of Lyme is also reported from the other parts of the world.  According to renowned Physician Dr. Millie Hinkel from the USA ‘I’m seeing such positive results with Lyme disease patients who are on the camel milk’.  The joint pain and muscle fatigue seem to disappear and the gut issues dissipate usually within a few days to a few weeks.

CAMEL MILK A NATURAL PHARMACY………..Dr. Abdul Raziq Kakar

Camel Milk can Help in Shark Conservation. Japan can be the Possible Market for Camel Milk

In Japan, health-conscious people use Shark fins for natural and good health. They think that Shark fins are rich with nanobodiesWHAT ARE NANOBODIES?. They considered the Shark fins as health promising, energetic, and aphrodisiac. This is the reason that Shark prices are very high in Japan. Fortunately, some recent studies have revealed that even better Nanobodies are found in the camel milk, considered richer than the Shark fins.Camel! A One in All Creatures

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A single-domain antibody (sdAb, called Nanobody by Ablynx, the developer) is an antibody fragment consisting of a single monomeric variable antibody domain. Like a whole antibody, it is able to bind selectively to a specific antigen.

A famous chef name Chinn (protecting Shark) even claimed “Shark’s fin soup has no taste! You take fins off a shark and you don’t really get anything. There’s no value except what you’re paying for.” Camel milk can be a good source of NB and reasonable replacement to the Shark fins. Hence, we can say that Japan and Korean Peninsula can be the new and emerging market for camel milk.

I started this debate as a brainstorming and a new thought.

shark fins

Camel Milk
Milking a camel at Sheikh Zayed Festival Abu Dhabi UAE

Camel Milk and Challenges of Modern Time; The Concept of Natural Health

One of the alarming challenges of modern time is accumulation of heavy metals in food chain. Heavy metals (lead, copper, mercury and arsenic etc) are making its way in our food chain through different routes. All our food and water come through pipes and synthetic plastic etc which affect hazardous on our health. These toxic material accumulates in the body and cause many negative affect on different functions of the body. The young are more prone to the toxic effects of heavy metals. Childhood exposure to some metals can result in learning difficulties, memory impairment, damage to the nervous system, and behavioural problems. At higher doses, heavy metals can cause irreversible brain damage. Children may receive higher doses of metals from food than adults, since they consume more food for their body weight than adults.

Severe effects include reduced growth and development, cancer, organ damage, nervous system damage, and in extreme cases, death. Exposure to some metals, such as mercury and lead, may also cause development of autoimmunity, in which a person’s immune system attacks its own cells. This can lead to joint diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, and diseases of the kidneys, circulatory system, and nervous system.

This has led researchers to seek alternative solutions for decontaminating environmental sites and humans themselves. A number of environmental micro-organisms have long been known for their ability to bind metals, but less well appreciated are human gastrointestinal bacteria. Species such as Lactobacillus, have the ability to bind and detoxify some of these substances. This review examines the current understanding of detoxication mechanisms of lactobacilli and how, in the future, humans and animals might benefit from these organisms in removing environmental contamination of food.

Interview about camel production and pastoralism to the local tv channel of ARY

In such complicated state of situation, the old food (camel milk) is realized as one of the best tool to combat. Not only a food but a gift of nature for natural health and beauty. Scientific studies revealed that fermented camel milk have wide range of lactic acid Bacteria which can be a good tool to minimize heavy metal consequences. Camel milk can be a great source of natural health for the infants in two way, i.e minimizing the risk of heavy metals and its closeness to human milk composition.

Policy Level Initiatives are Needed for Camel Milk in Pakistan

Camels4Life…. Advocacy for camel keepers is the immense need of time. They should take on board while making policies for food and agriculture, especially about camels.camel for blog

When I started camel research in 2005, very little  information was available on the camel in Pakistan. Very few among the city dwellers were aware of the peculiarities of camel milk, especially milk. There we no information available as a separate entity on camel milk in government economic survey etc. Camel milk was considered as other milk than cow and buffalo.

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The policy makers were completely blank about the camel and its role in Pakistan. I completed my research/thesis of Ph.D. on this unique animal and proved its value as a live animal, role of products and also role in culture and heritage. The camel is getting more and more importance. Pakistani camel is now well documented in breeds and their worth is well defined. Now there are many people who know about camel importance in the cities also. The camel herders already knew it since centuries. My article on a camel as unique and fascinating animal played a pivotal role in camel promotion.

Kohi Camel Caravan

http://saves.org.pk/site/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2&Itemid=20

Yesterday I visited a camel milk shop in Karachi. It was a great pleasure for me to see a shop with camel milk. The camel is the next superfood indeed and I’m glad that the general public awareness in this regard is increasing. I am so proud and confident of my voice as strong and loud. Superfood (Camel Milk) can Beat the Challenge of Superbug (Bacterial Resistance to Antibiotics)

Camel, an incredible creature in difficult environment

English: Dromedary camel in outback Australia,...
English: Dromedary camel in outback Australia, near Silverton, NSW. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Camel, an incredible creature in difficult environment.

REGIONAL COOPERATION! An Approach for Camel Advocacy

Abstract
Camel is a precious animal genetic resource of drylands and harsh ecosystems of the globe. The camel is highly adapted to the difficult and hostile environment of its habitat. It also produces precious products, especially milk in a very low or even zero input production system. Such ecosystems and low input production model are highly hostile to other domestic animals and difficult for survival, especially the exotic breeds.
Camel has a unique physiology enabling it to survive in such hostile conditions. Feed and water scarcity is the salient feature of the regional ecosystems, minimizing our choices for other livestock production. Such conditions enforce us to work on a camel and transform it into a good farm machine rather a beast of burden. We have rare opportunities and camel is the best choice to use as a tool to beat food security challenge in the climate change scenario. Camel! A One in All Creatures
The production traits are highly variable, especially milk production which ranges from 4 to 40 kg/day. The camel products – especially the milk – are unique and of high quality. The camel milk is now well accepted for its worth at international levels. Many efforts are underway to promote camel milk. Camel dairying is getting popularity and its products are highly demanded health and wellbeing.
More than 90% of the camel in the region are kept and reared by the pastoral communities. The production system is based on open grazing and mobile herding. Pastoral peoples and other camel keepers carry the entire burden of preserving the camel for the future. They face severe difficulties due to climate change, feed and water scarcity, restriction to grazing lands, faulty livestock policies and other man-made consequences. The number of camels is declining and camel breeds are at risk of extinction, especially in this region. Scientific work on the camel is often not connected to and relevant for the camel keepers.
However, every cloud has a silver lining. The regional (Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan) camel community (scientists, breeders, and policymakers) can work for joint projects. Camel association can be organized at national levels in each country and can fabricate a regional cooperation for camel development. Camel friends need to work together and share ideas and support each other. The message about the diversity and capacity of the camel can then reach the policymakers.
As a first attempt, a review committee to review camel productions and possibilities for future development is urgent and requires pooling of available data on the camel in a systematic and uniform manner. Such committee can work on the compilation of the work done already and can give the idea for future research and development on a camel.
Keywords: future, global, joint, policy, review, camel

The camel is a  food Security Animal in Climate Change Scenario

Camel is well in position to beat the challenge of food security in the climate change context. Camel produces milk and meat for human consumption. Camel meat is praised for its good quality, especially if it is derived from the calf. The major meat contents i.e. moisture, protein, fat, and ash are reported as 71, 21.4, 4.4 and 1.1% respectively (Kadim and Mahgoub, 2006). Camels are good potential meat producers especially in arid regions where other meat-producing animals do not thrive. Camel meat, especially from young animals, contains low fat with low cholesterol as well as being a good source of amino acids and minerals.

Many factors drive the slaughtering rate of the camel. Though camel meat is preferred in some countries, but not often slaughtered due to high prices and slow herd growth rate. Camel is mainly slaughtered on special occasions, like festival, wedding, mourning, physical damage to the animal, for preying and the arrival of guests (Mehari et al, 2007). But in recent times, the camel meat is attracted many people in the Middle East and the number of camel slaughtering is increasing. Such trend resulting in camel decline in the horn of Africa and Sub-continent.

Camel milk is the major and special product for human consumption. Camel was originally domesticated for milk following the move to use as a beast of a burden, especially for armies. (Raziq et al, 2008). Camel is no more the animal of the old world, but an animal which may be used to combat the growing desertification and to feed millions of people living in those areas. The camel produces in harsh and hostile conditions where another animal may not survive. A camel can provide 15-20 liters of milk per day for a lactation period of up to 18 months, making it a very good farm animal. Studies conducted in the horn of Africa revealed that the camel produced more milk than the other types of tropical animals compared on the basis of kg/TLU/year (Schwartz and Dioli, 1992).
Globally camel produces about 2 % of the world total milk and that milk is mostly produced by pastoral people and consumed locally (Raziq et al, 2008). The camel sustains its productivity in difficult conditions and comparatively lesser affected by the adverse factors like lack of feed, water, season and length of lactation (Raziq et al, 2011).Pashtoon nomads and camel

Production, pastoralism, and conservation
Camel production is still switched to nomadic and semi-nomadic people. Camel plays the role as the tool of survival in arid and semi-arid lands of the earth. Camel is crucial for the livelihood earning of such communities and ensure their food security. As a consequence of the climate change and drought, some cattle pastoralists substituted cattle with the camel to ensure the existence of the drought conditions. A new phenomenon of camel dairying is getting popularity and increases, though the growth is not appealing yet. The efforts of last decade like that in Mauritania (Tvisky), Kenya, India, and the UAE (Alain Dairy and Camelicious) are now following the newly camel dairying, especially in the Middle East.
Pastoralism safeguards conservation and development (evolution) of camel genetic resources in the world. The pastoral people developed and evolved specialized breeds of livestock for food and agriculture and camel is the one among them. Camel herders evolved the present day’s breed with the continuous selection for fitness and survival traits with the help of their indigenous knowledge in the long run of history. Such efforts resulted in the well-adapted genetic resources for food and agriculture, which can survive in harsh and hostile conditions (Köhler-Rollefson, 2005). Hence efforts for conservation and sustainable use of camel, the role of pastoral people cannot be neglected.Camel Barbering Sindh Pakistan

Regional cooperation
Camel can be the solution for many difficult questions, i.e. climate change, drought and food security, especially for the region like ours. Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan are under the severe threat of many challenges like water and feed scarcity, climate calamities, deforestation etc. In such conditions, the importance of well-adapted livestock species like camel increases manifolds. Unfortunately, camel erosion is a challenge in the region. There are many reasons for this decline, all are manmade. Camel is being neglected in research and development sectors of the region and no integrated efforts had been made to address camel issues. The camel conference of Mashhad can be a milestone for a regional cooperation and development of camel R&D in the region. As a beginning, universities, research institutions, and breeders communities can initiate camel cooperation which can proceed at ministries levels in the days coming.
A committee of scientists can be organized here at the end of the conference to make a comprehensive report on the present situation of the camel in the region, i.e. population, breeds, trends, communities, utilities etc and also to review the research work already performed and published. The committee will point out the gaps in the research area and will suggest research work to the universities and institutions. The committee can collaborate with the international camelid organization, especially ISOCARD to ease its work and broaden the horizon of camel research and development.
We have announced an international camel conference in Pakistan next year under the patronage of the camel association of Pakistan (CAP). The committee may have a meeting at such occasion and can discuss its progress and future plans.

brahvi-breed

Conclusion
Camel can be a tool to combat desertification and to fight the calamities of climate change. Camel ensures food security in the arid ecosystems of our region. Unfortunately, camel is under threat and still neglected among the R & D sector of our national governments. A regional cooperation and coordination can be a silver lining in the cloud. Cooperation among the universities, camel herders, pastoralists and other stakeholders can bring cool breeze in the camel world of the region.

References

  1. Bengoumi M. and Faye B., 2002. Adaptation du dromadaire à la déshydratation. Sécheresse. 13 (2) 121-129.
  2. Bengoumi M., Riad F., Giry J., De La Farge F., Safwate A., Davicco M.J and Barlet J.P, 1993. Hormonal Control of Water and Sodium in Plasma and Urine of Camels during Dehydration and Rehydration. General and Comparative endocrinology. 89: 378-386.
  3. Hjört af Ornäs A . and M. Ali Hussein, 1993.Camel herd dynamics in southern Somalia: long term development and milk production implications. . In: A. Hjort af Ornäs (Ed.),The multipurpose camel: interdisciplinary studies on pastoral production in Somalia., EPOS, Uppsala University, Sweden, 31-42
  4. Kadim, I.T. and O. Mahgoub. 2006. Meat quality and composition of Longissimus thoracis from Arabian Camel (Camelus dromedaries) and Omani beef: A comparative study. In: First conference of the international society of Camelids research and development (ISOCARD) (pp. 118).
  5. Köhler-Rollefson, I. 2005a. Building an International Legal Framework on Animal Genetic Resources Can it help the drylands and food-insecure countries? LPP. http://www.pastoralpeoples.org/docs/int_legal_framework_an_gen_res.pdf
  6. Mehari, Y., Z. Mekuriaw and G. Gebru. 2007. Camel and camel product marketing in Babilie and Kebribeyah woredas of the Jijiga zone, Somali region, Ethiopia. Livestock Research for Rural Development 19 (4).
  7. Raziq A, M. Younas, M.S. Khan and I. Iqbal. 2011. Milk production potential as affected by parity and age of the Kohi dromedary camel. J. Camel Pract. Res. 17(2): 1-4.
  8. Raziq, A., M. Younas and M.A. Kakar. 2008. Camel~ A potential dairy animal in difficult environments. Pak. J. Agri. Sci. 45(2): 263-267.
  9. Schwartz, H.J. and M. Dioli. 1992. The one-humped Camel in Eastern Africa. A pictorial guide to diseases, health care and management. Verlag Josef Margraf, Scientific Books PO Box 105 D 6992, Weikersheim, FR Germany.
  10. Yagil R., 1993. Renal function and water metabolism in the dromedary. Moving Points in Nephrology Contrib. Nephrol. Basel, Karger. 102 :161-170.

Barela Camel is the Milk Line of Riverine Pakistan

The camel is a unique and special genetic resource and a great gift of the nature to ensure livelihood in difficult situations. Camel! A One in All Creatures. The camel keepers all over the world had evolved a certain type of camel for a specific purpose, i.e. walking ability, adaptation to the certain environment, milk production etc. The Barela camel was mainly evolved for milk and meat to ensure food availability in the dry and hot ecosystems of its habitat.

Barela camel
This camel is very beautiful and a real milk line of the Barela breed

Barela camel is another important camel breed of the riverine region of Pakistan, especially Punjab. Actually, Berela is the camel of long traveling camel breeders of the region. The originate their travel from Thal desert of Sindh and reach up to Cholistan desert. Barela camel is good milk producing an animal in Pakistan. Many Brela camels are exported to the Gulf region for milk. Some were exported to the Horn of Africa. The genes of the Barela camels are found in wide and far regions of the dryland of the world.CHOLISTAN (A Future Food Basket)

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Some are darker than others. The darker type is better in milk than the light fawn

Barela camel is mostly reared in the Lesser Cholistan and on the fringe irrigated areas of district Bahawalpur, Bahawalnagar, and Rahim Yar Khan area. The Barela camels have heavy strong built and large body frame. The coat color varies from light sandy to dark brown with short coarse hair. Dark brown colored animals are preferred by local people.

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Barela camels have a muscular body with dome-shaped head. The head is heavy, with a well-defined looking. The neck is medium sized with the marked curve. Eyes are bright, round with alert look and are protruding. Nose is thick, lips pendulous and ears are rounded and coarse.download

Shoulders are strong, broad and well set to the chest. Hump is very well developed in males and is placed in the center of the back. The chest pad is well developed and its touching ground evenly shows good confirmation. Legs are strong, bony, stout and well separated so that legs do not rub while walking. Hind legs are slightly weaker than forelegs and are inward curved. The foot pads are medium sized and soft. The milk vein is zigzag, wide and prominent. Milking capacity of the female camel is around 10 liters in an ordinary grazing system. The selected and well-fed animals can produce up to 35 kg of milk per day with a lactation yield of up to 12,000 kg.

Brela Breed Bull
Heavy and massive body.

 

Barela camel Herd

Beautiful Barela camel
A young camel herder with a Barela camel

A beautiful Barela camel with her family
She is the boss and the central force of the herd. She is the leader camel

Beautiful herd of Barela camel

Barela camel herd with different types of color and faces.
we can see a Marrecha camel with special ears in the Barela herd

The Barela camel Pastoralist,
Usually, they have very attractive and beautiful eyes

Barela camel pastoralist explaining the salient features of Barela camelA cropland farmer passes with a Barela camel herd

Barela camel
The heaviest and longest camels

Beautiful Barela camel

A big herd of Barela camel breed
The camel move in a big herd from place to place

Cholistan desert
Barela camel breeders

Cholistan camel breeds and pastoralists
An overnight stay of the Barela camel Pastoralists in Southern Punjab, the vicinity of the Cholistan desert

Barela camel herd but the first looking camel is more visible to Marrecha camelDSC_0495

These Breela camels won the milk competition in Punjab Pakistan
These Brela camels won the milk competition

Reference

Jathnasal or Redi Breed of Camel

In continuation of the previous blog.

Jathnasal or Raidi camel Breed

The habitat of Raidi breed is Kachhi basin ecological zone of the province. This breed is belonging to the mobile indigenous people of Jath community.  The breeding herds of Jathnasal breed are usually community owned and they share profit on the community basis. Jath community has very strongly woven and has a very effective social system. Jathnasal breed is mainly used for the earning of the 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 camel both for luggage transportation with their families. The Jathnasal breed is presented in the figure.

Production systems and socioeconomic 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 to 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 in the region with the Brela camel breed of Cholistan area from Southern Punjab. The Pat region of Balochistan was then the cross road 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 new breed came into being. Jaths have their own values and they never slaughter camel. They use camel milk for food and rarely eat flash.

They travel round the year from 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 with very organized way. This camel belongs to the old indigenous people of Jath community and each tribe has their 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 the camel has one of the largest camel populations of 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 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 size, long legs, and neck. The Jath do not consider the color of the breed. They also select the animal for long tests and more milk production to provide sufficient amount of milk to the newborn and also for the family. They also select the male with hard foot pad, to resist the spines of musket plant which is predominantly found in the region.

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Special traits

v  Loyalty to the owner (Dalair)

v  Resistant to extremely hot weather of the region (up to 52 °C)

v  Resistant to diseases especially, pox and orf

v  Multi-characteristic because of the blood of many breeds

v  Resistant to foot rot because of the spine of 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, i.e. Black ( Sawan), white (Aspaid), fawn (Sorebore), deep brown (Boor) and red (Lal) colors. The size of the breed is one of the largest in the province; the phenotypic characteristics are presented in table 5 and figure 3.

Reproductive and productive performance

The breeding season of this breed is December to January. Male is ready for breeding at the 4 years of age and female reaches to 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 estrus cycle ranging from one week to 4 weeks. Calving interval is normally two years, depending upon the availability of foliage and lactation length. Average reproductive life of a female is about 25 years.  The details are presented in table 6.

 

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 herd 45-50 %
12 Gestation  period 375-386 day
13 Calving rate out of 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 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 good body figures catches a price up to 90, 000 Rupees. The camel herders do not sell the female animals. Jath community do 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 use to offer to the newborns and family use also.  The Jath community relies on the camel milk and they like it very much.