The Uses of Camels
Camel Rides are now available all over Australia, from Broome to Burnie and Cairns to Kangeroo Island. There are over 40 Camel Farms operating in Australia to primarily to target the tourist trade, providing Camel rides and Safari Treks.
On Camel Safaris, the distinctive landforms of the Australian Countryside, the wildlife and the serenity, allows the tourist a unique opportunity to enjoy and understand the environment.
Camel milk has similar chemical characteristics to cattle milk. The period of lactation is longer than cattle, however the daily production is lower. The advantage of Camels is that in arid or marginal areas, the Camel needs little or no supplementation for milk production as verses full supplementary feeding and husbandry for cattle. Milk is either consumed fresh or used to produce yoghurt or cheese.
Wool is an important Camel by-product in many Camel-producing countries. The average wool clip of males is 3.28 kg. and 2.10 kg. for females. Fibre diameter is 12-27 microns and the length ranges from 4-12 cm. Dromedary wool processes a number a valuable technological properties such as low heat conductivity, softness and strength. From Camel wool a wide range of warm fabrics are manufactured.
Processing of Camels for meat destined for human consumption commenced in Australia in 1988 at Wamboden Abattoir, Alice Springs and demand for meat has steadily risen. Camel meat is a lean meat protein source. It is high in protein and low in fat. More information on the development of the camel meat industry can be found at Camels Australia Export website http://camelsaust.com.au
The first commercial tanning was undertaken in 1992, facilitated by the CICS and Wamboden Abattoir. The hide needs to be split in half so the hump section can flatten to enable tanning through commercially available machines. Hides have been tanned both as "Fur On" to form skins and "Fur Off" as leather
Vegetable tanning produces soft leather for the craft and tourism industries. Chromate tanning produces harder leather with commercial and craft uses. It has been shown that camel's hides are very strong with a pulling strength 5 times greater than cattle hides.
Currently Camel leather is being made into Hats, riding boots and ladies fashion garments
The above information was condensed from a report, STRATEGIES FOR DEVELOPMENT, prepared by the Camel Industry Steering Committee for the Northern Territory Government. 1993. Resource information appears in, APPENDIX II on Page 57, of this document.
CHRIS O'HORA, EDITOR
WACO NEWS LETTER MARCH/ APRIL 1994