The camel is probably the animal best suited for life in the desert. Scientists believe that the camel’s “ancestors” originated in North America, where they lived more than 40 million years ago, and from there migrated to the desert regions of Northern Africa and Asia.
The domestication of camels took place much later, a few thousand years ago, when incense traders began to train them for long journeys through the deserts of Arabia. In time, a strong bond was established between the people of the desert and camels, which gave birth to many traditions and customs. The camel also provided, until the first half of the twentieth century, all the transportation needs, milk, meat, wool, and leather for the people of the desserts. With the civilization of the desert areas, the camel began to have a more tourist-attraction role.
The resemblance of the waves and the swaying of the camel to the desert dunes made it known as the “desert ship”.
The camel differs from other animals due to its large size, having a height of 7.2 to 12 feet and a weight of 662 to 1,544 pounds, and by the fact that it has one or two humps.
There are three different types of camel: Wild Bactrian camel, Bactrian camel, and Dromedary.
How much does a Camel cost?
Depending on the breeding type, the cost of a camel is anywhere between $5,100 and $21,000. However, the average price of the camel in the United States is anywhere between $10,500 and $15,500, while in other countries such as Australia you will have to pay around 3000 AUD ($2,160 USD) for a camel, because of the major presence in this geographical area.
Cost of Camel by species
As we already mentioned above, there are a few types of camels you can choose from and each of them has its own characteristic features.
- The cost of a Dromedary
Extinct in the wild, this single-humped domestic camel has many adaptations to life in the desert, losing up to 40 percent of its body weight when water and food are insufficient. By allowing the body temperature to rise in hot conditions, it reduces sweating to retain moisture.
It feeds on a huge variety of plants, including salty and prickly species, as well as dried bones and shells. They form small herds of several females with their babies and a single male, who defends them by spitting, biting, and pushing his opponents.
If you are thinking of buying a dromedary as a pet, expect to pay anywhere between $5,500 and $15,500.
- The cost of a Bactrian camel
The Bactrian camel roams the dry, rocky plains and hills of Central Asia, especially the Gobi Desert, where vegetation is sparse. The two humps store fat, which is transformed into water and energy that support the camel during droughts. As the fat is used, the two humps shrink.
Bactrian camels can also drink salt water, their body being adapted to the filtration of water and elimination of salt before reintroducing water into the bloodstream. They are also adapted to withstand massive dehydration (they can lose up to 40% of their body weight), and they restore their water balance by ingesting large amounts of water in a few minutes.
So, if you want to buy a Bactrian camel you will have to pay around $10,500.
Factors that affect the price of camel
There are some factors affecting the price of Camel such as:
- their availability in a geographical area;
- the time of the year as there are seasons when camels cost more or less;
- its use and whether or not it is trained already.
The maintenance costs for a camel
Once you decided to purchase a camel you should take into consideration the maintenance costs as well. As with any other pet, you have to budget for the food, housing, training and the veterinary check-ups. We are going to talk about each of these in the next part of the article.
Although the camel is mainly characterized as an herbivorous animal, it sometimes chews bones and shells to supplement its diet. Being adapted to the hard life of the desert, the camel also eats hard and thorny plants, which other animals avoid.
The camel has the ability to store energy from water and food in the hump, so it can survive for a long time in difficult conditions. At the same time, it can drink up to 180 liters of water in a very short time.
So, you will not have to spend very much on the camel’s food. A ton of grass costs around $125 and a ton of alfalfa is around $170. On the other hand, the farmer has to make sure that the camel receives a great number of water supplements.
If you already own a farm with plenty of space you can forget about the housing costs. However, there are some things you should consider when having a camel as a pet.
A Camel needs considerable space due to its large dimensions, especially its height. Also, you have to make sure the camel is protected against rain and direct sunlight.
At the same time, you must consider putting hay on the floor so the Camel can rest comfortably.
In case you don’t have a shelter for the Camel already, you will have to invest in building one. This is an essential investment to keep your camel in safe conditions.
Be prepared to spend anywhere between $2,300 and $10,500 for building housing for a Camel, depending on the available space. However, these costs can be lowered if you build the shelter yourself or you have some friends that could help.
The Camel has to be trained in the best way possible, so it can respond to the owner’s commands. A series of techniques must be adopted in order to achieve this goal.
It is recommended to hire a professional trainer to teach your Camel how to respond to your commands. Because there aren’t so many people who own a Camel, the cost of a trainer is unknown in the United States.
On the other hand, because in Australia Camels are so popular, more and more people choose to buy one as a pet. So, there you will have to pay around 1000 AUD ($720) for 14 days of training.
As with any other pet, the Camel will need periodic veterinary check-ups to stay healthy and avoid any medical problems. So, you have to make sure you find a vet that will take care of your new pet in the best way possible.
In most cases, the veterinary costs for a Camel are similar to the ones you pay for horses and cattle.
The camel needs periodic vaccination and you have to make sure it does not miss any of these.
Can I purchase a camel?
If you have enough space and experience you can definitely purchase a camel. There are many types of camels you can choose from and most of them can be domesticated.
Though, taking care of a camel is not an easy job, especially for a new farmer that does not have enough experience with this type of animal.
Camels have a good memory and can bring you a lot of satisfaction if trained using treats or a reward system.
Things to know before purchasing a camel
Transportation costs are variable, depending on the place where you are living. Be prepared to spend a large amount of money for shipping a Camel due to its large size and the attention it needs during transportation.
The lifespan of a Camel
A Camel can live anywhere between 40 and 50 years, so during that time, you have to budget for the maintenance costs.
Purpose of purchasing a Camel
Camels are used in most cases for transportation, wool, milk, leather, or meat, but if you are one of the people that want a Camel as a pet then you should be prepared to invest a lot of money on housing.
Where can I purchase a camel from?
Thanks to the evolution of the Internet, nowadays you can find an online agency and ask about the availability of camels and their prices. However, the main marketplaces where Camels are sold are Australia, India, and Ethiopia.
If you think about going to one of these countries especially to buy a Camel pay close attention to the price charged by sellers. Because you are not one of the locals, the seller may increase the price of the Camel. It is recommended to bring a local person with you to help negotiate and make sure you’re not overspending.
As you have noticed in this article, when thinking about purchasing a Camel as a pet there are many things to consider.
We believe this article will help you get an idea of what does it mean to buy and own a Camel in terms of costs.