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Male camel behavior and breeding management strategies: how to handle a camel bull during the breeding season?

Barbara Padalino, Davide Monaco, Giovanni Michele Lacalandra.


The present article reviews male camel behavior and breeding management strategies, providing an insight into the handling procedures and the most relevant welfare issues on these topics. Furthermore, it suggests some procedures for rearing, handling and collecting semen from camel bulls, based on results that have been achieved in the last twenty years and, recently, literature published with the aim of optimizing dromedary camel breeding. Camels are seasonal breeders and their breeding season (BS) is confined to the coolest winter months of the year; during the BS, also called “rutting period” or "rut", males exhibit morphological, behavioral and endocrinological peculiarities. Short breeding season, low libido and high aggressiveness are still some of the major cause of economic loss, poor reproductive performance and injuries, for camel breeding and industry. The application of ethology to approach, to train and to study camel bulls may be useful in the future to improve camel welfare and productive performances. Strong knowledge of animal learning and correct management procedure could be useful for camel technicians, owners, breeders, but also for veterinarians and others scientists.

Key words: dromedary camel, handling, management, sexual behavior, welfare.

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