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V.K. Choudhary
Rajasthan University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Bikaner - 334001
Rajasthan University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Bikaner - 334001

The present investigation was conducted in arid region of Bikaner district of Rajasthan. Two tehsils Bikaner and Sri Dungargarh were selected. From each tehsil, four villages were selected randomly and from each village fifteen camel keepers were selected thus making a sample of 120 camel keepers. The study revealed that majority of camel keepers 95.83 per cent belong to Hindu religion, whereas 64.17 per cent camel keepers belong to backward caste and 54.17 per cent respondents live in nuclear families. The family size of surveyed respondents was more than 5 members in 64.17 per cent families and 54.17 per cent respondents were in 35-60 years age group. Overall 63.33 per cent camel keepers were illiterate. The main source of irrigation was tube wells for 64.17 per cent respondents. Overall 53.33 per cent camel keepers were get media information. Majority of camel keepers at 67.50 per cent were depends on Agriculture and Animal Husbandry as an occupation. Survey results indicated that overall 97.50 per cent respondents were land holders. Maximum camel keepers at 50.83 per cent earned annual income from camel rearing occupation was recorded as Rs. 20000-50000 and again 50.83 per cent respondents got overall income Rs.30000-80000. Survey revealed that maximum operations like feeding, grazing/browsing, milking, sale of animals, care of young stock, breeding, care of sick animals, control of ecto-parasites, control of endo-parasites, ploughing and carting were carried out at 47.50, 74.16, 88.33, 94.17, 44.17, 81 95.83, 60.83, 67.50, 89.17, 92.50 and 76.67 per cent, respectively by men whereas, only cleaning operations in majority was performed (59.17 per cent) by female members of family. Results show that the role of womens and children in camel management was observed to assist men to complete the operations. Most of the camel keepers at 67.50 per cent housed their camels in house attached to their residence and had not constructed any type of shed (97.50%) with no boundary wall (79.17%) and no floor (84.17%) with not using any roofing material (95.84%). Most of the camel keepers did not have water trough (97.50), and feeding manger (56.67%) in camel houses. Majority of camel keepers at 85.00 per had not provided protection against cold. Significant effect of herd size was observed on site of housing, source of drinking water and housing of breeding male. Semi stall feeding was adopted by maximum respondents at 55.00 per cent and camels were usually grazed on community pasture land for more than 5 hours daily. Most of the camel keepers 65.00 per cent preserved the tree leaves. The green fodder was not offered by 82.50 per cent camel keepers. Only 15.00 per cent of camel keepers provided 1-2 kg concentrate to their camels and used cereals as concentrate. Maximum camel keepers were not aware to provide mineral mixture and comman salt feeding. Significant effect of camel herd size was observed on mode of feeding, grazing hours and concentrate feeding of animals. The majority at 51.67 per cent of camel keepers were not aware about heat detection. The age at first mating was recorded as 40-48 months maximum in 56.67 per cent she camels. Only natural service was used for breeding due to non-availability of artificial insemination services in camels. Maximum respondents at 70.83 per cent have their own breeding male. About 95.00 per cent respondents reported heat during winter season. Maximum camel keepers 60.83 per cent confirm the pregnancy in she camels by enlargement of abdomen. Pregnant she camels were also housed with other animals and send for grazing in pasture with other animals. Most of camel keepers at 80.83 per cent used their camels in rutting period. Physical appearance was used as a criterion for selection of breeding male by 53.33 per cent camel keepers. The association of herd size with keeping and selection of breeding male and housing of pregnant female was highly significant whereas, association with rest of the breeding practices with herd size was nonsignificant. Majority of camel keepers at 51.67 per cent practiced deworming while 28.50 camel keepers did not adopt control of external parasites through scientific measures. The effect of herd size on health care practices viz. isolation of sick animals, deworming and sanitization were significant while, on rest of practices was non-significant. Most of camel keepers preferred to sale their animals in own village round the year on the basis of physical appearance and maximum camel milk was used by owners for their home consumption. Marketing practices like marketing of camel and time to market the animal were significantly affected by herd size. 82 Maximum camel keepers at 58.33 per cent were not aware about Cleaning of calves after birth and only 6.66 per cent were well aware about disinfection of naval cord. Colostrum feeding to calf and suckling of calf for more than 3 month was practiced by 98.33 and 96.67 per cent camel keepers, respectively. About 55.83 per cent respondents were keep camel for carting purpose. Herd size was affected significantly by housing and stage of grazing of calf. The most serious constraints perceived by the camel keepers in the study was lack of grazing area followed by high cost of veterinary aid, Inadequate price for animal, and non-availability of green fodder respectively in the area surveyed.


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