ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 78 Number 3
Growth rate of the one-humped camel in semi-nomadic households in Errer Valley, eastern Ethiopia. (206)
Productivity aspects of camels (Camelus dromedarius) kept under pastoral management conditions at Errer Valley, Ethiopia, were monitored from October 1997-December 1999. Female immature camels (1-4 years old) showed significantly (P < 0.01) higher daily weight gain (59.40 ± 0.61 g) than males of the same age (33.24 ± 0.50 g). Furthermore, significantly (P < 0.01) higher daily weight gain (63.12 ± 0.45 g) was recorded for camels of 1-3 years of age than for camels of 3-4 years of age (29.52 ± 0.54 g). Likewise, a significantly higher (P < 0.05) daily weight gain (50.68 ± 0.54 g) was observed during the wet season than during the dry season (41.96-± 0.54 g). The average annual herd growth and commercial animal offtake rate (total number of animals sold within a year + the average number of animals within that year x 100) of the monitored camels were 10.66% and 4.65%, respectively. The mortality rate of calves below one year was higher than the mortality rates of immature camels and adults.
Keywords: Camel; Weight gain; Herd growth; Season; Ethiopia