Comparative assessment of draught performance of the one humped camel (Camelus dromedarius) and Bunaji work bulls in Zaria, Nigeria
Journal of Camel Practice and Research
National Animal Production Research Institute, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria; Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria
The study was carried out to evaluate the draught performance of the dromedary and Bunaji work bulls as draught animals for ridging, ploughing and weeding operations in a sub-humid environment of Nigeria. 4 work dromedaries singly harnessed and 8 Bunaji work bulls yoked in pairs were used for the evaluation. The camel's mean weight was 450 ± 12.8 kg while a pair of bulls weighed 760 ± 15.4 kg. The animals were made to plough, ridge and weed an area of 1500 m 2 of uncultivated flat land. The absolute draught force produced by one dromedary for ridging (0.80 kN), weeding (0.36 kN) and ploughing (0.18 kN) were not significantly different (P>0.05) from that produced by a pair of work bulls (0.79 kN, 0.30 kN, 0.30 kN) for same operations, although the live weight of a pair of work bulls (760 ±15.4 kg) was significantly (P<0.01) higher than that of a single dromedary (450 ± 12.8 kg). The bulls ridged 0.23 ha of land per hour (1 ha / 4.4 hours) which was significantly (P<0.01) faster than the camel's 0.18 ha per hour (1 ha / 5.3 hours). It is thus conclusive from this study that, the one humped camel can be efficiently utilised as an alternative draught ruminant in the sub-humid savannah zone of Nigeria.
Animalia; Bovidae; Camelus dromedarius