Milk Production Potential and Major Browse Species Consumed by Dromedary Camels in Tshabong

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Katsane Kgaudi
Eyassu Seifu
Demel Teketay


Dromedary camels are multipurpose animals and play an important role in supporting the livelihoods of millions of people in the semi-arid and arid zones of Africa and Asia. They provide milk and meat for human consumption though this is not fully realised in Botswana, mainly due to lack of awareness and knowledge about camel husbandry. This study assesses milk production potential of camels and identifies their major browse species in Tshabong Ecotourism Camel Park in Botswana. The research for this study was conducted from December 2013 to February 2014 and involved interviewing 26 informants using an open-ended semi-structured questionnaire and field observations. Camels are kept in the study area, mainly, for tourism, but also for milk and meat production. The average milk yield, produced under natural browsing conditions, was four litres per camel per day. This indicates the possibility of improving milk production through provision of appropriate supplementary feeding. The camels feed on natural browse species in the park, and Boscia albitrunca was reported as the most preferred browse species. The lactation period of the camels is 10 months, and the calves suckle their dams throughout the lactation period. We conclude that the camels kept in Tshabong have good potential for milk production, which can also be
increased with improved management and feeding.

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