Stop What You're Doing. There's A Baby Camel Boom in QLD
There. Are. Baby. Camels. In. Pajamas. Plus camel milk vodka? Camel milk gelato? Camel milk feta cheese? What's going on in Queensland? One thing's for sure -- these Aussie dairy farmers are busting their humps.
This is camel country.
On the outskirts of Ipswich, Queensland, a dairy farm is creating extraordinary, healthy products.
With camel milk.
Summer Land Camels opened two and a half years ago with just 20 animals.
Now this camel dairy is the biggest outside the Middle East.
The camels are brought in from the wild -- mainly from central Australia where huge numbers of feral animals are having an impact in the environment.
''We needed to really start breaking down some of these problems, to solve the problems for farmers with camels coming onto their property we needed to do something of this size," Paul Martin from Summer Land Camels said.
Once they arrive they're trained and cared for.
"If we don't buy them, they shoot them," said Jeff Flood, a partner in the Summer Land Camels business.
Camel milk is known as "white gold" because of its health benefits. It has 10 times the iron and three to five times the Vitamin C of cow milk.
"It seems that anyone that has any dairy allergy at all, won't have an allergy to camel milk. That's opened up a whole myriad of opportunities," Martin said.
The team at Summer Land is now creating skin care products, gelato, cheese including feta and even the world's first Camel Milk and Honey Vodka.
"It's very very interesting," said Martin.
His business partner Flood agrees.
"The cheese is amazing, we didn't know that when we started," he said.
A smaller, family run camel dairy on the Sunshine Coast is also having great success.
Q-Camel has been approved to produce Australia's First Certified Organic Camel Milk, as well as the world's only Certified Organic Pasteurised Camel Milk.
"When you think of camels you don't necessarily think Australia. You think the Middle East and the desert. But they are so suited to our environment, milking camels really makes sense," Yasmin Brisbane from Q-Camel said.
"The milk is so healthy, a lot of Australians are getting on board."
Both dairies are in the middle of a super-cute baby boom.
One of the Q-Camel calves, Merlin, was attacked by wild dogs and is now recovering as a pampered pet inside the family home.
"Merlin was born early and then he was attacked. We've been taking care of him. He's got a lot of fight in him," said Yasmin.
Fight he will need, to help maintain an industry that isn't slowing down.