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Camels, truly named camelids, belong to the Camelidae family that includes the seven species. They are domesticated and wild animals just like horses. Camels are commonly referred to as camelids that also include llamas, alpacas, vicunas, and guanaco.
Camels have been used by humans for the purpose of travelling and transportation in old times and during the warm days. But with the advancement of technology and science, the world moves forward and makes its own cars and planes for travelling.
Camels are commonly kept as livestock, for the purpose of food(milk and meat), and textile means. It also plays an important role in cargo transportation and passengers traveling.
The cute look of camels still makes them star of the eye for many animal lovers. The young camels have a very charming look, that attracts the viewer’s attention and makes them think about owning a camel.
In this advanced world, there are still many people who know the value and benefits of growing domesticated animals on their farms. Such people have a keen interest in buying a camel but they don’t have any knowledge that how much does a camel cost and what do camels eat?
That’s why I build this guide on the cost to buy a camel and their feeding habits as well the consideration before buying a camel. All aspects of buying a camel are explained in this guide. Make sure to read the whole guide before buying a camel.
Let’s get started!
How much does a camel cost?
In the United States, the price of a camel ranges between 5,000$ to 20,000$. You can easily get a camel from any camel breeder in your state.While a dromedary camel costs around $500-$3,500 AUD in Australia. The less cost of camels in Australia than in the U.S is due to more number of camels in Australia
Distribution of camels
The camelids are commonly distributed in three sub-species that are all part of the Camelidae family. The subspecies are Dromedary camels, having one hump, and Bactrian camels, having two humps. The third subspecies is a wild Bactrian camel that is separate species but endangered nowadays.
Male camels are known as a bull while the female camel is referred to as a cow.
Dromedary camels originated in 35 countries including Asia and Africa. 50% of the camel population is present in Africa while the biggest countries in Asia having camels includes all arid countries like the Mediterranean Sea to India including Arabian countries.
According to cabi Outside from the originated areas, the camels are present in large amounts in Australia. Some developed countries like Western Europe and North America kept them for leisure.
Buying a Camel
Buying a camel looks pretty simple like other domesticated animals i.e. horses or cows. But it’s not just their looks that matter, they also have the temperament, nature, and natural abilities, unlike other animals.
Make sure to consider all of these things prior to making a final decision of buying a camel.
Owing a camel is a life-changing decision due to its uncommon requirements. They are sensitive creatures and good at working. But to gain all these benefits, you will need to train them accordingly.
The other major factor that impacts the buying of a camel is the high costs of camels.
Factors affecting the camel cost
A camel cost varies from region to region and specie to specie. The age of a camel also impacts the final value of a camel. So make sure to confirm the specie before finalizing the purchase.
These are some common factors that impact the camel cost:
- Breeding: The breed of camel has a major influence on its cost. The dromedary camels are far inexpensive than Bactrian camels.
- Training: The cost of the camel can varies by the training level of a camel. Training of a camel costs a huge amount of money, so a well-trained camel absolutely costs a bit higher than other ones with no training.
- Age: The age of the camel shows the training level of the camel. The younger one camel of a few months age has less training to feed, housing, and behaving with humans. While the aged camel needs less care of training so the age of the camel also impacts the cost of a camel. Camel humps and two camel humps or single also play an important role.
Buyers guide to buy a camel
Here are some common things to keep in mind while thinking to buy a camel.
- Camels are better in pairs: Camels are herd animals so it is better to keep them in pairs otherwise they will get annoyed and harm you or others.
- Bull camels (males) – can be dangerous: Bull camels or the male camels can be dangerous as they have less temperament so it is preferred to keep the cow camel or the female one for domestic use at the farm level.
- Young bull camels are safe: The best practice is to allow the young bull camel to grow into themselves before exposure to your vet neuters. This age comes after 3-4 years while some camels grow quicker. If neutering is done before full growth, complications will occur.
- Female camels are a bit more pricer: The use of female cows in the dairy industry also enhances their importance and this fact has increased the keen interest of people in female camels. That’s why the female camel prices are higher than male camels.(Resource)
Consideration prior to buying a camel
Getting ready for a camel
1. Be prepared for higher responsibilities and commitment
If you have planned to keep a camel then be prepared for more responsibilities as they need extra care for training and irregular feed habits.
Also consider a cash flow in the form of food, equipment, and vaccinations. You will need to pay extra money if the camel is untrained.
2. Purpose of camels
You will need extra preparations according to the purpose of the camel you are using for. It is better to ready these preparations ahead of time.
- If you are going to keep a camel as a pet animal, then you will need a pasture with a strong fence and three-walled shelters. Furthermore, the area of two acres of land per camel is also needed.
- If you are planning to use the camel for riding, you will a saddle, a rope, and a peg with blankets. Additionally, a camel stick may be needed.
- In case of using a camel for transporting stuff, you will need a rope and sturdy stacks.
3. Proper nutrition plan
Before buying a camel, take a look at the food needs of camels.
They need alfalfa hay and oat hay. You can also feed them corn or oat.
Camels also need salt in their daily diet and selenium. Make sure to add selenium as a supplement to camel food. Camels can survive without water for a long time but the food schedule is important.
4. Do paperwork
You will need to clear the paperwork from the authorities of your state to own a camel. In case you are living in the UK, you will need a DWA license for keeping a camel.
Choosing the right camel
Before making the final decision on buying a camel, make sure to consider all these factors in a camel.
1. Breed of camel
Camel breed does only shows the number of humps but also impacts the fur and size. The dromedary camel has one hump and taller and best for desert.
While the Bactrian camel with two humps has a stocky build and thick woolly coat and making it idle for colder regions.
2. Strong and healthy camel
The camel should be strong and healthy to carry supplies and humans easily. To check that the camel is strong, check the knees while it stands up. Confirm that they don’t shake.
Now check how it walks. If a camel limps during a walk, it is a sign of weakness.
An unhealthy camel will cost high in the form of veterinary medicines.
3. Young aged camel
The other thing to consider while choosing the right camel is the age of the camel. Make sure to get a camel having age between four to eight years. These aged camels will be strong and healthy.
Food Uses of Camel
Camel milk is a highly nutritious food and commonly used by desert nomad tribes as a meal. This nomad can live for a month on camel milk.
This milk is rich in protein, vitamins, glycogen, and other nutrients making them essential in the diet of many people.
Camel milk is used commonly in many human foods in many forms i.e. yogurt. This nutritious food is used for many treatments.
Camel meat is a famous food item and around 3.3 million camels are slaughtered each year for meat. The camel carcass can provide a huge amount of meat.
The high nutritious value of camel meat puts it in high demanding meat item as it contains rich proteins and vitamins.
The dromedary camels are best for meat production and quality.
Feeding Cost of Camels
Camels eat grass and hay. Camels are ruminants and they regurgitate food as eat, re-chew, and swallow again. Dry hay is preferable to feed a camel as it does not cause bloating. Camels do not require as much feed as other domestic animals but they require an adequate amount of alfalfa and oat hay.
These are some cares to follow while feeding a camel
- Alfalfa grass should be avoided as it cause bloating
- Selenium should be present in the diet plan of camel otherwise they will die of selenium deficiency
- Never overfeed a camel as it will lead them to obesity and difficulty in movement
- Commercial horse feed is also good for camels
- Growth promoting ingredient foods are poisonous for camels
- Ensure the presence of salt and minerals in their daily diet
- Clean water is a better and free supply for getting healthy camels
Raising cost of a camel
Training a camel is similar to train a horse but it costs a bit higher. Camels are easy to get used for food but take longer to get used to humans.
Training will need the proper trainer and getting used them touching their head to develop intimacy while feeding grains.
Once the camel being tied, now it’s ok to start lending the animal.
The whole process can take several weeks to months depending on the age and training level of the animal.
Housing a camel
Pet animals, including camels, need proper shelter to sleep and protection from harsh weather conditions like heavy rains and direct sunlight. Shelter of camels is prepared such a way to protect camels from wind, sun, and pests.
Regular cleaning of shelters is necessary to protect them from any pest or disease attack.
Camels should be allowed to freely move in pasturelands.
Camels do not need any special veterinary care. Vet care is almost similar to cattle and horses.
- They need regular vaccinations like Clostridium CD/T vaccine to protect camel from Leptospirosis and West Nile virus
- Rabies vaccination is also done
- Regular worming is also needed against whipworms e.g Panacur. Worming is done at regular intervals of two months.
Care should be taken while giving medication to camels as they are more susceptible to kidney failure from hard medications.
- A blood antibody check is necessary for newborns
- Plasma transfusion is done in camels to boost immunity
A camel costs around 5,000$ to 20,000$ in the U.S while the same camel costs around 500$-3,500$ AUD in Australia. The pricing can vary from region to region and also varies by breeding, training, and age of camel.
The cost of a camel could be higher for a well-trained camel over an untrained one as it costs much to train a camel.