Since there has been a lot of questions coming to us lately about the economics and humane treatment of camels and the practices of a camel farm and how they differ from a typical cow dairy, I will share with you all just how a camel farm works..
Here’s a quick ramble of the difference in camel dairies and cow dairies:
In the dairy cow world as you may be aware the practices are generally repulsive, cruel and disgusting. Dairy cows are artificially inseminated at as young as 8-9 months of age, and after birth, the calf is removed from the mother. Bulls are almost always sent to a feedlot and slaughtered. Cows are fed chemically enhanced feed until they reach sexual maturity (as early as 8-9 months) and they are artificially inseminated. The gestation period for dairy cows is 9 months and the mother cows can produce milk for as long as 18-24 months after giving birth. When they 'go dry' the process begins again. Cruelty is a given in the dairy cow space.
Here's how things work in the Camel Milk world.
First and foremost, camels sexually mature at 5 years of age. There is no artificial insemination and there is no slaughter of 'useless' babies (bulls). The gestation period of a dromedary camel is about 14 months. Once the baby is born the baby camel stays with the mother for as long as 1 year...with the average being about 7 months. Camels will NOT produce milk just because they were pregnant and give birth.
A mother camel will ONLY produce milk for HER BABY. So, for the first several weeks of a baby camels life, the mother's milk is exclusively left for the baby. The colostrum is critically important for the baby and its immune system development. Once the baby begins to supplement mothers milk with solids (like grain, hay, dates), we share the mother's milk with the baby.
Typically the baby will take all or a portion of the morning milk and we will milk the mother in the evening. Keep in mind, the mother camel will not drop her milk without the presence of her baby....so the baby is right there with the farmer as the farmer milks the camel, often with the assistance of the baby who helps stimulate the mother to drop her milk. When the mother camel does drop milk, it is usually for about 90-120 seconds...a couple of liters of milk per milking session. If the mother camel loses the baby at childbirth, there will be no milk production. If the baby is taken away from the mother, there will be no milk production.
It gets even better.....if the mother camel isn't happy (either with her baby, the farmer, the conditions, the weather, etc) she will absolutely not drop milk. Also, a camel typically gives birth roughly once in a three year period. After a mother camel "goes dry" our farmers continue to care for the camel, allow her to gain strength and after a full season or more, will allow a bull camel into the vicinity of the females and the breeding process occurs naturally.
The economics of camel dairying is very different from cow dairies. Even the fact that sexual maturity in a camel doesn't arrive until roughly 5 years of age is daunting....a farmer must feed and care for a baby camel for 5 years before she can reproduce and the provide feed and care for up to 14 months before delivery of the baby camel
Our camels are treated like royalty, as they should be, and there is zero cruelty, zero hormones, and zero tolerance for abuse.
Camel milk is as potent as it is rare. There are roughly 1000 Camels in Camel Dairies Across The US. There are only about 4000 camels in the US TOTAL! For every 18,000 Cows, There is only 1 Camel.
Our camels are the happiest camels on earth (guaranteed)!