Last month we bought three camels! Thelma, Louise and Forbian. Why? For a number of reasons. The most relevant being that they will be influential in our sustainability practices. The camels will be used to improve the biology of our farm soil and assist in the health and well-being of other animals on the property.
Not only are camels loyal, loving and gentle; and look majestic, camels are also are a wonderful attribute to a sustainable farming network, their diverse gut enzymes and a split front lip and soft padded feet are at the top of the list of positives for introducing camels into our cross grazing strategies.
The split front lip allows them to consume different flora to other animals on the farm (also gives them a lovable expression).The enzymes that come from the gut and are shared in communal water troughs has been noted to assist in improving the health and well-being of the other animals that drink from the trough.
Unlike the hoofs and trotters of other animals on our farm, a camel’s foot is soft and therefore less compounding of the soil will occur. Camels are also browsers and eat shrubs and trees that cattle cannot. Often by eating vegetation in higher canopies, more grass can grow underneath for grazing animals.
In Australia, not a lot of data has been collected on the integration of camels onto farms. So in good old Lee and Peter style, we thought we would give it a go.