16 reasons for low fertility in camels
Fertility in camels is much lower as compared to other farm animals. However this can be improved by good management although cannot exceed 70%. The range of fertility is between 34 to 70%. Some of the causes of low fertility are:
- Late calving – the first calving is at advanced ages. Sexual maturity can be as late as 3 to 5 years for females and as late as 6 to 8 years for males.
- Males only serve seasonally.
- Males ability to serve is hampered by loss of appetite, diarrhea and loss of weight.
- Males must be assisted in the penetration of the female
- Females are also seasonal with long pregnancy periods.
- The calves are delicate therefore high prenatal mortality; also postnatal mortality from diseases and predators.
- Calving interval is long, after every 2 to 3 years on good management.
- The prevailing management is not to standard
- Colostrum is not fed to calves for fear of diarrhea which contributes to high calf deaths. In other places colostrum is used for human consumption.
- People keeping camels do not know the danger of inbreeding which brings about abnormalities and reduced hybrid vigor.
- Males are herded together therefore libidos of weak males are suppressed.
- Breeding males are heavily worked leading to frequent abortions and still births.
- Herdsmen are usually unskilled therefore cannot assist the animals during reproductive problems like assisting males to females.
- Calves are weaned very early.
- Diseases affecting camels
- Frequencies of multiple births are rare.