Camel Milk Australia camel milk soaps are produced locally in Queensland's South Burnett
We purchased our initial herd of females in 2005 primarily for weed control.
These camels have since produced calves which then created our interest in the milk.
Milking a camel proved to be a very interesting learning process, definitely not impossible but requiring a lot of care and patience and in the end very rewarding.
They like a routine and quickly become used to your habits.
We have found them to have a very high intelligence level, they make a fantastic life long companion, loving and trusting, responding very quickly to kind treatment.
Care should always be taken with a mature male camel, during the mating season they can become quite aggressive. We have found the younger males and our gelded males to be just as easy to manage as the females.
Camels transfer a gut microbe to cattle via mutual water sources.
We have noted that when ingested by our cattle this microbe stimulates their rumen, the cattle appear to eat a lot more of the dry vegetation aiding in approx. 10% weight gain during drought conditions.
They are run very successfully with our cattle with only a 10% – 25% cross vegetation.
Their main diet is weed based, purple flowers from the Pattersonâ€™s Curse a favourite, along with cactus, which they attack ferociously. They nibble at the new growth on the suckers there by reducing it in size requiring far less chemical application to control.
With the arrival of a larger female herd from Northern Australia we hope to significantly reduce our need for weed control chemicals.
Camels are widely grazed in Queensland for effective natural resource management. Small mobs are grazed from, Brisbane to as far north as Ingham along the coastal grazing areas and then west into all areas of the rangelands of Queensland. Discussions with over 20 primary producers, camel trainers, musterers and tourist operators including government agencies involved in different aspects of the camel industry have given a unique insight into the use and outlook for camels in Queensland. Camels have been grazed in Queensland for over 30 years. A significant increase in the number of primary producers grazing camels has occurred in the past ten years. Camels are grazed and co-grazed with cattle for natural resource management in Queensland. Documented evidence in this study suggests that managed camels can significantly decrease the threat of invasive weed species such as Parkinsonia and Prickly acacia (refer: Parkinsonia Management – Wambiana Trial Nth Qld Tropical Weeds Research) the cross vegetation of camels and cattle is 10 – 25 percent (15% average); camels primarily eat weeds, shrubs and forbs. Anecdotal evidence suggests that a gut bacterium transfer from camels to cattle through a common water source will increase cattle weight by up to ten percent in drought (refer Dorges & Heucke 2001).87 percent of the land mass of Queensland is rangelands, the majority of which is used for either pastoral grazing or agriculture. In 2006-07, 93 percent of Queensland agricultural businesses reported undertaking NRM activities to prevent or manage weeds, pests and soil. In total, undertaking these activities cost $572m or $20,067 per agricultural business or $4,139 for each 1000 ha under management (refer Natural Resource Management on Queensland Farms, 2006-07 – Australian Bureau of Statistics). Approximately 5,000 – 10,000 (Desert Channels, Queensland) managed camels exist in Queensland. General consensus of all primary producers interviewed during 2008 confirms the suitability of grazing and co-grazing camels in Queensland. The majority of camels are grazed in the rangeland areas but some are providing effective natural resource management on the coastal areas (Charlie Faust – Proserpine Station pers. comm.).Some of the documented woody weeds and ground weeds that are utilised by camels in Queensland are: Prickly Acacia, Parkinsonia, Buffel Grass, Athel, Pine, Galvanised Burr, Rattlepod, Mesquite, Giants Rat’s Tail, Grass, Castor Oil Plant, Prickly Pear, Mimosa Bush, Leucaena, Milkweed, Guava, Sensitive Plant, Rhodes Grass, Flannel Weed Information obtained from interviewees who manage camels in Queensland gave a positive response to managing camels, general comments included: easily managed, easy to train, did not need additional staff to assist in management, co-grazed easily with cattle, watered cattle and weaner calves with camels to increase weights, reduced weed spread, have turned woody weed into feed for camels, significant reduction in the cost of weed management, would welcome abattoir availability to supply camels, would not consider destocking camels under any circumstances, no significant increases in environmental impact when stocking rates increased with camels.