An assessment of the productivity for meat and the carcass yield of camels (Camelus dromedarius) and of the consumption of camel meat in the eastern region of Ethiopia

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Author : M.Y. Kurtu

Year : 1994

A survey on camel meat productivity and consumption was conducted in Jijiga and Harar towns in 1999. Almost all the camels slaughtered were adults, predominantly males. Measurements of height, hump girth and thoracic girth were used to estimate the live weight. All the measurements were significantly greater in the male than in the female camels. Average live and carcass weights were 400 and 211 kg, respectively. Males were significantly heavier (p < 0.05) and had better dressing percentages than females. The carcasses contained averages of 76% meat, 12% fat and 20% bone for both males and females. The difference between the males and females was not significant for the ratio of meat and bones, except for fat, which was higher in the males. Camel meat is regarded as a high-quality food with medicinal value and as a least-cost source of meat. Camel meat is preferred to that of any other livestock by some people, particularly by the Somalis in Jijiga town. It is also more available, especially during the dry season when beef is in short supply. Hence, camel meat is a socially acceptable, economically viable and environmentally adaptable alternative source of meat, consumption of which should be encouraged.