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Comparative growth response related to hair mineral analysis in dromedary camel calves

Asim Faraz
Abdul Waheed
Ayman Balla Mustafa
Nasir Ali Tauqir
Ahmed Omar Eldeib


Background: The dromedary camel plays a significant role in supporting the livelihood of pastoral and agropastoral systems, as well as a source of income for the national economy in arid regions. Aim: The current study was executed to check the comparative growth response in relation to hair mineral status in Marecha camel calves reared under an intensive management system and an extensive management system in Thal desert Punjab, Pakistan.
Methods: Twelve male and female Camelus dromedarius calves of almost the same weight and age were divided into two groups of 6 each (3 male and 3 female). The calves of the first group were maintained at the Camel Breeding and Research Station, Rakh Mahni, in a semi-open housing system, while the second group was maintained in available housing under field conditions. Calves in the first group were fed concentrate at the rate of 1 kg/head/day along with gram straw (Cicer arientinum) ad libitum, while calves in the second group were allowed to graze/browse for 10 hours daily along with household refusals, including kitchen wastes. Water was provided twice a day. Impressum’s digital weighing scale was used for fortnightly weighing. Data collected on different parameters were subjected to statistical analysis with 2 × 2 factorial arrangements of treatments under a completely randomized design.
Results: After the 120-day trial period, the mean body weight and average daily gain of male and female calves were significantly increased (p < 0.05) in IMS as 80.8 ± 2.7, 77.8 ± 2.7 kg and 0.67 ± 0.02, 0.65 ± 0.02 kg/days than EMS as 64.5 ± 2.6, 52.9 ± 2.6 kg and 0.54 ± 0.02, 0.44 ± 0.02 kg/days. Intake of crop residues (p < 0.05) was found to be 6.9 ± 0.45 and 6.4 ± 0.45 kg/days for male and female calves in IMS, respectively, and 3.5 ± 0.23 for male and female calves in EMS, respectively. The conversion index g/kg average daily intake was 97.1, 101.5 and 154.3, 125.7 for male and female calves in IMS and EMS, respectively. Regarding hair mineral status, Ca, Mg, Cu, Zn, Fe, and Mn concentrations were found to be significantly different (p < 0.05) among calf groups in IMS and EMS.
Conclusion: This study indicates that wool analysis and management of weight gain in camel calves should be further explored to support increased meat supply in arid regions.