Impact of various watering regimes on physiological and hematological parameters in intensively kept Marecha (Camelus dromedarius) she-camels in summer season
Background: Camel is vital to daily life as a source of food and means of transportation, and just as importantly, its milk and urine have been used as medicine for diverse ailments since ancient times for people living in the desert region.
Aim: The current study was planned to investigate the effect of different watering regimes on physiological and hematological parameters of lactating Marecha camels during the summer season.
Methods: For this purpose, 12 lactating she-camels of almost similar age (8–13 years) and parity (2–5) were selected in a completely randomized design with four animals per treatment at the Camel Breeding and Research Station Rakh Mahni District Bhakkar. The trial was completed in 60 days, while 7 days were given as an acclimatization period for adaptation. The treatments were as follows: Group-1 (G-1) considered as the control had access to water once in a day; Group-2 (G-2) had access to water once in 4 days, and Group-3 (G-3) had access to water once in 6 days. Animals were housed individually for feeding and watering in an intensive management system. The same feed consisting of green fodder (Lucerne) and gram straw (Cicer arientinum) was offered to all animals. The average ambient temperature and relative humidity were 39°C–41°C and 55%–63%, respectively.
Result: The mean values (p < 0.001) of water intake were found to be 82.94 ± 1.34 l in G-3, which was higher than G-1 and G-2. Blood analysis showed that packed cell volume, white blood cells, and hemoglobin were affected significantly (p < 0.001, p < 0.01, and p < 0.05, respectively).
Conclusion: No serious changes in complete blood count and physiological parameters were reported in this study. So, this shows that the camel is unique in its physiological adaptation in hot and hostile environments.