Production systems and reproductive performances of Camelus dromedarius in Somali regional state, eastern Ethiopia

Simenew Keskes, Mohamed Ibrahim, Tesfaye Sisay Tessema, Berhan Tamir, Fekadu Regassa, Tesfu Kassa, Fufa Dawo


Across-sectional questionnaire survey and focused group discussions were conducted to characterize camel production systems and to evaluate reproductive performances of camels at their natural pastoralist management systems of Somali region. A total of 100 households were included in the study during the period of October 2012 to March 2013. About 98% of Somali pastoralists preferred camels as their first choice over other livestock species and mainly kept in the society for milk and meat production. The camel management dominating in the study areas of Somali region is traditional nomadic. Camel is one of the most important livestock for Somali pastoralists’ livelihood as a source of milk, meat and draught power. Mature female camels were dominant (54.87%) in the camel herd. The ratio of male to female camel was 1:13. Mean age at first calving and calving interval were 62.16±10.44 and 23.28±3.36 months respectively. Age at first calving and calving interval can be minimized to 57±5.52 and 21.84±4.8 months by proper husbandry and health care. The mean lactation length was 11.51±1.91 months. Diseases and predators were reported as the main causes of calf mortality. In the herd dynamic simulation calf mortality rate can be reduced at least to 7% only by preventing predators attack. Diseases (66%), lack of pasture (59%) and security (47%) were the main constraints in camel production of the study areas. For the better productivity of camels, the major constraints such as disease problems, lack of pasture and tribal conflicts should be mitigated. Proper husbandry and health services can play significant roles in the long term improvement of camel production and productivity of the region.  

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