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Breeds of Livestock

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An Alxa camel in black and white with thick hair.The camels of China are all of the bi-humped, Bactrian type. Camels are mainly distributed in the high plains, deserts and semi-deserts of the north and northwest China. The Bactrian camel is a multi-purpose animal, mainly used for working and producing wool, meat and milk.


Camels can tolerate extremely hot weather. They can suffer thirst, going -without watering for 7-8 days, even under the sun, and may lose as much as 221 lbs of water which is about 22-25% of their body weight.


The camel can travel 25-40 km per day for one month. A load of 330 lbs can be carried for 7-8 hours a day at the ordinary speed of 25-35 km per day. One camel can pull a load of 1650 lbs or 3300 lbs by two, per day at normal walking speed.


The total production of wool is 11 lbs from the undercoat. As a percent of the carcass, meat ranges 25-42%. Camels can be milked when nursing young, lactation lasting about 14-16 months. The Alxa camel can produce 3 lbs daily plus the milk suckled by the young.




Cheng, P. (1984) Livestock Breeds of China. Animal Production and Health Paper 46 (E, F, S). Publ. by FAO, Rome, 217 pp.

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