Milk "let-down" in camels

R. Yagil, C. Van Creveld, G. Abu-R'Kaik, U. Merin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Calf suckling in camels consists of a period of suckling and then a period of drinking. The first period elicits milk let-down and the second the milking period. The "let-down" reflex in camels is startling and visible. After a short period when the calf suckles, the teats suddenly swell becoming much larger than before. Milk can then be extracted but the let-down lasts only for a short time, about one-and a half minute. This explains the phenomenon why two people milk a camel, one on each side. In an attempt to verify that oxytocin is responsible for the milk let-down in camels a synthetic oxytocin preparation was injected intravenously.The effect was compared with calf suckling stimulus and hand massaging stimulus.The injection elicited a much more rapid and much greater effect on the teats than suckling. Hand massaging did not elicit let-down.The let-down following the injection did not last longer than normal. It is concluded that oxytocin is the endocrine controller of milk let-down in camels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-29
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Camel Practice and Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jun 1999


  • Lactation
  • Let-down
  • Milking
  • Oxytocin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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