The Tamil Nadu University for Veterinary and Animal Sciences (TNUVAS) has introduced a number of native chicken varieties for the benefit poor poultry farmers. These new breeds ensure increase in the number of eggs besides stepping up weight in the meat.

Classified into two major groups of improved varieties and hybrid varieties, these chicken fetch more income to farmers.

The University’s Regional Research Centre here has been popularising two types of native varieties of chicken — hybrid and improved varieties – to cater to different sections of farmers. The hybrid varieties are ‘Namakkal 1’, ‘Namakkal 2’, and other hybrid varieties are ‘Giriraja’, ‘vanaraja’, and ‘Swarnadhara’. The improved varieties include ‘Nandhanam 1’, ‘Nandhanam 2’, which are meant for meat,” says P.N. Richad Jagatheesan, Professor and Head of the Centre.

“Entrepreneurs should be decisive in selecting the type of trade,” says Richard Jagatheesan, indicating that those interested in egg trade should choose specific varieties.

Although a large number of farmers and women were involved in rearing chicken, it is only in piecemeal form and not structured, says A. Clement Ebanezer Henry, Assistant Professor from the Centre. He suggests that every farmer should become an entrepreneur and breed at least 500 chicks, against a meagre five or 10 chicken. The centre has been recommending the rearing of chicks such as ‘Aseel’, ‘Kadaknath’, and ‘naked neck’ varieties.

The desi chicken are prone to certain diseases particularly viral infection, new castle disease, caused mainly by sudden rise in temperature. The centre guides farmers on vaccination, says Henry.

The Krishi Vigyan Kendra at Vamban organised a training programme to benefit farmers and women members of self-help groups.