Production systems, milk production and composition of Saudi camels: Review

Title: Production systems, milk production and composition of Saudi camels: Review

Authors: Ahmed I El Sheikh

Source: Ruminant Science (2018)-7(2):165-167.

Cite this reference as: Ahmed I El-Sheikh AI (2018). Production systems, milk production and composition of Saudi camels: Review. Ruminant Science 7(2):165-167.


Livestock forms an important and increasing portion of Saudi Arabia’s economy and employment sector; it contributes directly to the livelihoods and food security of many people. Camels have the advantage as milk producers for longer periods than any other species held under the same harsh conditions. Saudi Arabia has good camel resources that make the country ranks first between the peninsula and the fourth in the world. This review describes various research results in Saudi Arabia concerning production systems and camel distribution as well as production and composition of camel milk. It has been observed that the highest population of camels exists in Riyadh region followed by the eastern region of Saudi Arabia. In addition, there are four main production systems for camels in Saudi Arabia and camel milk represent a valuable food for camel herders and their families in different regions. 


Abbas B, Al Qarawi AA and Al Hawas A (2000). Survey on camel husbandry, herding strategies and mortality in Qassim region, Saudi Arabia. Revue d’élevage et Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux 53(3):293-298.

Abdallah H and Faye B (2013). Typology of camel farming system in Saudi Arabia. Emirates Journal of Food Agriculture 25(4):250-260.

Abdel Galil M Abdel Gader and Abdulqader A Alhaider (2016). The unique medicinal properties of camel products: A review of the scientific evidence. Journal of Taibah University Medical Sciences 11(2):98-103.

Abu-Lehia IH (1987). Composition of camel milk. Milchwissenschaft, 42:368-371.

Abu-Lehia IH (1990). The variable contents of lactose and chloride in camel milk. Egyptian Journal of Dairy Science 18:303-314.

Abunokhila SA and Elterife AMA (2015). Effect of Parity on milk   yield    and dam body change postpartum of dromedary camel (Camelus dromedarus) under farming system in sudan.             

International Journal of Advances in Pharmacy, Biology and Chemistry 4(1):31-137.                                                                                           

Almutairi SE, Boujenane I, Musaad A and Awad A (2010). Genetic and non-genetic effects for milk yield and growth traits in Saudi camels. Tropical Animal Health Production 42(8):1845-853.

Al-Saiady MY, Mogawer HH, Faye B, Al Mutairi SE, Bengoumi M, Al-Sobayil KA, Khalil MH, Al-Jobeile HS, Mohamed KM, Salal SA (2006). Quantitative genetic analysis and evaluation for early growth performance in Saudi camels. International Scientific Conference on Camels. pp 9-11.

Atherton HV and Newlander JA (1977). Chemistry and testing of dairy products. 4th AVI Pub Co Inc, Westport, CT.

Auty RM (2001). Resource Abundance and Economic Development. Oxford University Press, UK, p 340.

Babiker WIA and El Zubeir IEM (2014). Impact of husbandry, stages of lactation and parity number on milk yield and chemical composition of dromedary camel milk. Emirat Journal of Food and Agriculture 26:333-341.

Bekele M, Alemayehu R, Bersissa K and Fufa A (2008). Performance of camels (Camelus dromedaries) kept by pastoralists with different degrees of experience in camel keeping in Borana, Southern Ethiopia. Animal Science Journal 79(4):534-541.

El-Amin EB, El Owni OAO and El Zubier IEM (2006). Effect of parity number, lactation stage    on camel milk composition in Khartoum State, Sudan. Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference on Camel. Part IV: 2173-2183. Qassim University, Saudi Arabia. 9-11.

El-Amin FM and Wilcox CJ (1992). Milk composition of Majaheim camel. Journal of Dairy Science 75:3155-3157.

El-Malky OM and Nabih AM (2017). Some studies on milk production and its composition in Maghrebi she-camel under farming and traditional pastoral systems in Egypt. International Journal of Horticulture and Agriculture 2(2):1-9.

Farah Z (1993). Composition and characteristics of camel milk. Journal of Dairy Research 60:603-626.

Faye B, Madani H and El-Rouili AH (2014). Camel milk value chain in Northern Saudi Arabia. Emirates Journal of Food Agriculture 26:359-365.

FOA stat (2012). FAO Statistical Yearbook 2012.

Ismail MD and Al-Mutairi SE (1990). Production parameters of Saudi camels under improved management system. In: Proceeding of International Conference on Camel Production, Tobruk, Libya.

Jasra AW and Mirza MA (2005). Camel production systems in Asia, FOA-ICAR Seminar on Camelids. Technical Series No. 11 May 2004. pp 37-50.

Kaskous Shehadeh (2016). Importance of camel milk for human health. Emirates Journal of Food and Agriculture 158-163.                                                                      

Khalil M, Al-Sobayil KA, Al-Jobeile HS and Salal SA (2006). Quantitative genetic analysis and evaluation for lactation traits in Saudi camels. First International Conference Qassim University, Saudi Arabia 4:1744-1758.

Korashy HM, Maayah ZH, Abd-Allah AR, El-Kadi AO and Alhaider AA (2012). Camel milk triggers apoptotic signaling pathways in human hepatoma HepG2 and breast cancer MCF7 cell lines through transcriptional mechanism. BioMed Research International 1-9. 

Kula, Jilo Tache and Dechasa Tegegne (2016). Chemical composition and medicinal values of camel milk. International Journal of Research Studies in Biosciences 4:13-25.                                                      

Magjeed NA (2005). Corrective effect of milk camel on some cancer biomarkers in blood of rats intoxicated with aflatoxin B1. Journal of the Saudi Chemical Society 9:253-263.

Mahmoudi R (2010). Caractéristiques de l’élevage camelin en Arabie Saoudite Master Report EPSED, University of Montpellier (France). p 62.

Mehaia MA (1993). Fresh soft white cheese (Domiati-Type) from camel milk: Composition, yield, and sensory evaluation. Journal of Dairy Science 76:2845-2855.

Mehaia MA (1998). Soft cheeses from dromedary camel’s milk. Eds: P Bonnet, Actes du colloque dromadaires et chameaux animaux laitiers/dromedaries and camels, milking animals, CIRAD Publishing, Nouakchott, Mauritania. pp 179-204.

Mehaia MA and Al-Kanhal MA (1989). Studies on camel and goat milk proteins: Nitrogen distribution and amino acid composition. Nutrition Reports International 39:351- 357.

Mehaia MA, Hablas M, Abdel-Rahman KM and El-Mougy SA (1995). Milk composition of Majaheim, Wadah and Hamra camels in Saudi Arabia. Food Chemistry 52(2):115-122.

Mostafidi, M Moslehishad M Piravivanak, Z Pouretedal Z and Zahra (2016). Evaluation of mineral content and heavy metals of dromedary camel milk in Iran. Food Science and Technology 36(4):717-723

Mukasa-Mugerwa E (1981). The Camel (Camelus dromedaries)- A Bibliographical Review, Int. Livestock Ctr. Africa Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Monogr. No. 5.

Musaad A  and Gar-Elnaby A (2012). Some factors affecting dairy she-camel performance. Emirates Journal of Food and Agriculture 24 (1):85-91.

Musaad A, Faye B and Abu Nikhela A (2013a). Lactation curves of dairy camels in an intensive system. Tropical Animal Health Protection 45:1039-1046.

Musaad A, Faye B and Al-Mutairi SE (2013b). Seasonal and physiological variation of gross camel milk in Saudi Arabia. Emirates Journal of Food and Agriculture 25(8):618-624.

Nagwa HI, Abou-Soliman and Elmetwaly H A (2018). Milk insulin content of Egyptian lactating camels. International Journal of Food and Nutritional Science 7(2):52-57.

Riyadh SA, Faris FA, Elsyed I, Mohammed AA, Ahmed S and Moez A (2012). Effects of production system, breed, parity, and stage of lactation on milk composition of dromedary camels of Saudi Arabia. Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances 11:141-147.

Sallal EA, Ismail B, Abdelgadir MM and Falah A (2010). Genetic and non-genetic effects for milk yield and growth traits in Saudi camels. Tropical Animal Health and Production 42(8):1845-1853.

Sawaya WN, Khalil JK, Al-Shalhat A and Mohammed H (1984): Chemical composition and nutritional quality of camel milk. Journal of Food Science 49(3):744-747.

Sohail MA (1983). The role of the Arabian camel (Camelus dromedaries) in animal production. World Review of Animal Production 19:37-40.

Yadav AK, Kumar R, Priyadarshini L and Singh J (2015). Composition and medicinal properties of camel milk: A Review. Asian Journal of Dairy and Food Research 34(2):83-91.