Rise in demand for country chicken

With the demand for country chicken, popularly known as nattu kozhi, and its eggs picking up, many farmers have started to depend more on modern incubators to increase the production.

These birds are commonly found in backyard of houses in villages that cater to the needs of the owners. But, commercial poultry rearing of broilers for meat had put these country chickens on the verge of extinction for many years now. With increase in demand, cross-breeds and chicken reared under controlled environment started flooding the market.

Consumers prefer native breeds like Aseel and Kadaknath and its egg that are sold for ₹ 13.

R. Venkatachalam (33) of Puduvalliyampalayam village in Gobichettipalayam, who runs a hatchery unit, said that to preserve the native breed species and to meet the increasing demand for eggs and meat of country chicken, he had taken up the work two years ago.

The incubator costs around ₹ 1.50 lakh and was established with a grand of 50% from the government.

It can hold 2,040 eggs in trays and the hatching period is 18 days, he added. He said that 80% to 85% of the eggs get hatched when compared to 40% to 50% success when done naturally by the bird.

Nandanam Chicken IV, developed at Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, and Gramapriya, developed at Directorate of Poultry Research, Hyderabad, were popular chicken that produce eggs.

The meat is sold at ₹ 480 a kg in the market, he added and said that the move is to preserve the indigenous species also. With more chicks produced resulting in more rearing of birds, the demand and supply can be matched soon, he added.

P. Alagesan, Senior Scientist and Head, ICAR – Krishi Vigyan Kendra, MYRADA told The Hindu that more farmers and youths are encouraged to take up country chicken rearing and run hatching units as the demand is high. He said that besides providing grant, technical assistance is also provided to the beneficiaries.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2020 6:38:35 AM |

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