Camel Milk Competition in Cholistan


Camel milk competition concluded last evening here in Cholistan desert (of Pakistan). It was quite interesting in many ways and I felt that at least I should share some of its salient features. It started on 12th October and concluded on 14th. Some 40 camels (locally called Dachis) contested and some owners had more than one. All animals were towards the end of their lactation. The size of the calf also matched with this narration. First thing was that it was not the best time for such competitions because camels generally calve in Jan/Feb/March and better time could have been April/May.
The participants were not just the men and grownup boys as happens with our cattle/buffalo competitions in March every year. Rather families were there. Milkers combinations were man and wife or man and daughter or mother and daughter or mother and son etc. It was heartening to see these lively families. Amma Pathani (Mom Pathani) was very prominent. She contested like other men and forced even me (the chief judge) to announce results of every camel first in the local dialect, then in local language and then in national language as it was difficult for her (and other contestants, mostly unable to read or write) to wait for more than few seconds. So I had to round things for announcing and remain precise on paper. Her camel got 4th position and was given a special prize. Milk yield (once a day milking, recorded for two days) for 1st, 2nd and 3rd position camels was 17.1 (Bawali), 15.7 (Katti) and 15.1 (Malookan.  I wonder if they could produce at this level in 9-10th months of their lactation what would be the yield in 2nd month after calving. We will see next year.
 Another important yet expected information was that most of these animals were 2nd and 3rd calvers with some 1st calvers and very few in later parities. Most belonged to either Barela (the dairy breed) or a cross between Barela and Marecha (the racing and dancing breed). Very few were Sindhi or crossbred Sindhis.
Camel dances at the event were worth watching. We had to walk on sand (with camels on our back) about 2 km to the prize distribution ceremony and dances continued. People seemed drunk with camel milk as they did not stop for a second. Age was not a limiting factor. It ranged from ~4 to >80.
 An important announcement is that next year’s camel milk and dance competitions will coincide (conclude) with the camel day, 22nd June. As announced previously, camel conference is planned next year at Bahawalpur and site of milk competition is just 35 km from the city.
Camels from Pakistan are going to Gulf and even to France (for camel milk chocolate) but without a proper breeding and replacement system, my fear is that sustainability issue will haunt in future. Exploitation of camel herders is also feared. Thanks to all those who kept encouraging and were even trying to see every thing through sound waves. We will try to post on this discussion forum as the next year events unfold. Few photos are placed. More photos with videos will be posted on http://fangrpk.org.
Reported by
Dr. M. Sajjad Khan
Professor/National Project Director
Dept. Anima Breeding and Genetics
University of Agriculture Faisalabad 38040
PAKISTAN

 

5 thoughts on “Camel Milk Competition in Cholistan

  1. This period for the contest of milk in camel is not a good and appropriate choice. The lactation is in its last stage and the she camel produce less than half of its potential. March and April are the best season for milk competition in camel.

  2. Well Done
    Respected Prof. Dr Sajjad Khan
    Although I was not there but the description of the event had indicated its worth. I must congratulate you for holding such a nice camel milk competition. Such events will have long lasting impact on the promotion of Livestock and particularly, the camel population in the Asian countries. Your program also promoted the Pakistani Camel breeds around the world. If possible you may include small vidio of the show with the page for further promotion. Once again, Credit goes to you for the best show presentation.
    Thanks
    Proessor Dr. Sajjad ur Rahman
    Cornell University, New York

  3. I have my reservations about this camel milk production competition held in so called cholistan, jugaitpir farm. Was this competition for Cholistanis? Was the camels were from Cholistanis or Malgadas? Were,nt these camels purchased by an UAE invester and they were brought in competition with fake owners? With fake owner’s addresses? How many camels and camel keepers participated other then those camels which were purchased by a UAE invester? Can some one produce the CNICs of the prize winners who were announced as cholistanis and there address was of Toba Lakhan? are they paying revenue (Tirnee) in cholistan? are they alloted any Toba in Cholistan? Is a single Mareecha camel participated in that competition?
    You guys think that, for milking competition Barela and Mareecha camels falls in the same catagory?
    Shell we all say? Shame on that competition? or we take a pride in that cheating?
    All those camels were sold to a UAE national waiting transportation abroad and a competition drama was staged to show what?
    Is any winner camel is present in Pakistan today?
    Tahir

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