for camels in their preferred areas first i.e. near
salt lakes, in areas of new plant growth, around
the edges of clay pans (preferred sleeping areas
and first areas for new plant growth) and in
lightly wooded areas. Don't exclude the tops of
hills or ranges as camels are adept climbers.
Because the mobs of camels are scattered and the
mob size is often small it is often necessary to
accumulate two or more mobs into one and then herd
them over considerable distances to yards for
capture. Any systems to improve the chances of
locating mobs of camels and improving their
subsequent capture are financially beneficial.
Spotting camels from the air especially after
spotting for cattle requires a period of
adaptation. Camels blend into the country better
than cattle and are hard to find until the mind
accommodates the change. If you or your pilot are
used to mustering cattle then you have a
considerable advantage as the putting together of
the mob and their subsequent herding requires
experience. Camels run in a manner similar to
horses rather than cattle. This means that you
manoeuvre the herd from further away than cattle.
Bull camels in rut will fight and can disturb the
herd so leaving them out or dropping them off is
advisable. Once the travel distance increases the
herd will try to separate so the closer the yards
the better. If there is a natural barrier it is
possible to start the herd trotting along the side
of the barrier and then leave them to collect
others. Regular checks are required to ensure that
the herd stays together.
The Advantage of portable yards is the ability
to take them to the feral camels and thus reduce
the distance they are herded. The disadvantage is
that they are not as strong as fixed yards and
dont contain all the facilities of fixed
yards. To rectify these disadvantages the design of
the yard needs to be such that it will take the
initial pressure when the yarding first occurs and
then can be modified to allow drafting, loading
onto trucks etc.
Portable yards need to be set up in a location that
prevents the camels from seeing them until it is
too late for efficient evasion.
Yards should have 100 metre long wings of hessian
or similar material to help contain and direct the
camels during the final mustering process. A figure
of 8 yard design is recommended for the initial
capture. The gate areas must be firmly attached by
pickets so that the back receival yard stays erect
if the herd pushes the back yard out of shape.
Vehicles must quickly support the yard panels in
the receival yard once yarding is complete as the
pressure on the yard may lead to it breaking.
Yards must be designed to allow drafting of the
herd. Drafting off mature bulls from cow/calf herds
must occur as soon as possible after capture.
Unwanted camels are to be either released
immediately or destroyed by a humane method.
Loading of drafted camels onto trucks via a
portable loading ramp is sometimes difficult.
Covering the base of the ramp with sand to deaden
the noise of walking will assist. Modifying the
shape of the portable yard to have a long forcing
yard also assists. It may be easier to dig the
truck into the sand so the camels can be loaded
directly on to the truck. Individual camels can be
assisted onto a truck by the use of a rope placed
around the rump.
of yards, sheds, pens and loading ramps must have
surfaces that minimise slipping. Camels should
spend as little time as possible confined on hard,
abrasive surfaces that can cause injury to the foot
pad or wearing of the pedestal and kneeling
Holding yards must be designed without protruding
objects to minimise injury and be large enough to
allow all animals to lie down. If the yards are for
holding for more than one day they must be large
enough to enable adequate exercise, and provide
access to clean water.
A trap yard can be set up around a watering
point and the camels can be trained to use the yard
over a period of weeks. This is done by closing the
trap over a series of days. This allows them to get
used to the feeling of the trap on their ribs. Once
trained, camels use a trap without concern and
educate others to walk through it. A disadvantage
of trapping is that camels may not need water for
long periods. This can be partially overcome by
offering attractive foods e.g. salt licks or
The capture is then easy both on the camels and the
handlers. Trapping tends to minimise stress and is
a preferable method of mustering.
by Horses or Motor Bikes
This process is similar to the mustering of
cattle. Coacher camels assist the movement of feral
camels and should be used both in the mustering and
the yarding process.
Mustering by horses tends not to stress the camel
and is another preferred method of