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    Riek, Alexander 2011. Allometry of milk intake at peak lactation. Mammalian Biology - Zeitschrift für Säugetierkunde, Vol. 76, Issue. 1, p. 3.

    Riek, A. 2008. Relationship between milk energy intake and growth rate in suckling mammalian young at peak lactation: an updated meta-analysis. Journal of Zoology, Vol. 274, Issue. 2, p. 160.


A preliminary report on the energy intake and growth rate of early-weaned camel (Camelus dromedarius) calves

  • A. A. Degen (a1), E. Elias (a1) and M. Kam (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 September 2010

Dromedary camels (Camelus dromedarius) inhabit and are well suited to semi-arid and arid areas of north Africa, south-east Asia and India. Little attention has been given to their husbandry although they are an important livestock species in some areas. One of the limiting factors in camel production is the 2- to 3-year interval between calvings. In this study, three female calves (birth weight 32·5 kg) were weaned onto artificial milk 30 days after birth and the she-camels (400 to 500 kg) were mated 10 to 14 days later. Between 30 and 120 days of age the calves received mainly artificial milk and between days 120 and 180 they received concentrates and lucerne hay. While the calves sucked milk, intake averaged 6·9 l/day, metabolizable energy intake (MEI) averaged 19·5 MJ/day and average daily gain (ADG) was 0·87 kg. Ratios of conversion of milk intake (l/day) and MEI (MJ/day) to body-mass gain (kg/day) were 8·0: 1 and 22·4: 1, respectively, and to total body solids gain (kg/day) were 22·3: 1 and 62·7: 1, respectively. From days 30 to 120, ADG was 0·67 kg, and from days 120 to 180 ADG was 0·61 kg. The calves averaged 155 kg at 180 days and ADG to that age was 0·68 kg. All three she-camels conceived 10 to 14 days post weaning.

This study demonstrated that camel calves can be weaned early and that high growth rates can be achieved. In addition, she-camels can be mated shortly after parturition so that calving intervals can be reduced to 15 months.

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G. H. Arthur , A. T. Al-Rahim and A. S. Al-Hindi 1985. The camel in health and disease. 7. Reproduction and genital diseases of the camel. British Veterinary Journal 141: 650659.

E. Elias , E. Bedrak and D. Cohen 1985. Induction of oestrus in the camel (Camelus dromedarius) during seasonal anoestrus. Journal of Reproduction and Fertility 74: 519525.

E. Elias , E. Bkdrak and R. Yagil 1984. Peripheral blood levels of progesterone in female camels during various reproductive stages. General and Comparative Endocrinology 53: 235240.

E. Elias , D. Cohen and E. Steimetz 1986. A preliminary note on the use of milk substitutes in the early weaning of dromedary camels. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology A 85: 117119.

H. H. Mitchell 1962. Comparative Nutrition of Man and Domestic Animals. Academic Press, New York.

C. T. Robbins , R. S. Podbielancik-Norman , D. L. Wllson and E. D. Mould 1981. Growth and nutrient consumption of elk calves compared to other ungulate species. Journal of Wildlife Management 45: 172186.

R. Yagil and Z. Etzion 1980. Milk yields of camels (Camelus dromedarius) in drought areas. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology A 67: 207209.

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Animal Science
  • ISSN: 1357-7298
  • EISSN: 1748-748X
  • URL: /core/journals/animal-science
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