Many chicken farms closed because of heavy losses

Poultry farmers are grappling with poor demand and a sudden fall in chicken price, post-bird flu. Many farms in the high ranges have been closed. “Chicken price fell to Rs.45 a kilogram last week and there are fears that it might go down further,” said Littish Mathew, who runs a farm. The cost of production came to at least Rs.65, according to farmers. Moreover, poultry from Tamil Nadu is giving local produce tough competition.

“Our main customers are hotels and eateries. Now, there is virtually no demand from them,” said Jino Jose, who runs a chicken outlet.

Extreme care has to be taken to run a farm as the birds are bound to die if not taken care of properly. Chicken cannot be kept for long in the farm as they have to be sold in time for taking new orders. Mr. Mathew said he closed the farm after incurring a loss of nearly Rs.1 lakh. Though the bird flu scare had passed, regular customers were yet to place orders. According to Mr. Jose, there were times when the supply of chicken fell short of demand especially during festivals and occasions such as marriage. 

If the situation continued, almost all farms would have to be closed down, he said.