Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Today we spent the day at Sharkarosa Ranch for Wild Home School Day. More on our day in another post. Today I fell in LOVE with camels, sorry Ed. I learned so much about this amazing animal God made. One day, hopefully soon, we plan to move to the country. With the country comes livestock, at least for us it would. I always assumed we would have a horse but today my mind was changed. A camel is a grass eater like a cow so the cost of feed would be extremely low. If we had enough pasture all we would need is hay for our short winter. Camels can withstand extreme temperatures surely to love our Texas weather. But most of all, camels have the sweetest nature of any animal I have ever been around. I was shocked at how the baby camel followed my kids around begging to be petted and hugged. The same was true for the adult camels as you will see in the picture of the camel kissing on Jacob’s neck. These animals thrive to be loved and to love.
Why a camel instead of a horse.
1. Camels have the reputation of being bad-tempered and obstinate creatures who spit and kick. In reality, they tend to be good-tempered, patient and intelligent.
2. Camels can travel many days without food or water. When riding a horse for more than half a day, you always have to be aware of water sources.
3. Camels are quieter and gentler than horses. Some people who are afraid of horses will be comfortable with camels. Situations that could panic a horse will scarcely cause any concern for a camel. If a horse gets really spooked, it could bolt and run off -- a dangerous situation. Camels will rarely act in such an insensible manner.
4. Camels seem smarter than horses about getting themselves out of a precarious situation. If a horse gets tangled up in a rope, it may struggle violently and get rope burns (or worse). A tangled up camel will, after briefly testing the bonds, sit quietly and figure out what to do next.
5. Camels can carry more weight than horses. Also, a well-designed camel saddle has more room to carry whatever extra gear you are packing than a horse saddle does.
6. Riding a camel is quiet and peaceful. Camel's slipper-like feet make hardly any noise. Without the clip-clop of hooves, you can hear the wind sighing in the brush, the rustle of autumn leaves, a coyote howl in the distance on a moonlight ride.
7. Camels do not need to be shod. The cost of shoeing horses can really add up!
8. You can make money with a well-trained camel. Not so easy to do with a horse! A camel can command as much as $100-$400 per hour, or $500-$2000 per day. Although these jobs may not come along very often, the money will go a long way towards offsetting feed and purchase costs.
9. There is a certain pride in riding a well-trained camel.
10. Camels' minds seem to be more complicated and interesting than horses'. Of course, this can be a disadvantage as well!
11. Camels are a very hardy animal. They are easy to feed and vet care is minimal. They do require housing during bad weather and tall sturdy fences.
12. In many ways, camels make better pets than horses. Camels, if well treated, are more inquisitive, affectionate, and attention-seeking.
This is Batman. He is Sharkarosa's baby camel who roamed the ranch with freedom. The kids loved him.