VIJAYAWADA: You have given up red meat because you are conscious about your health. You don’t want the cholesterol level in your blood to increase. Some suggested chicken to you. You are in two minds now. You may try black chicken! Kadaknath or black chicken is local to Madhya Pradesh? You may ask. Now its available right here, in Krishna district. According to sources, Kadaknath chicken a type of fowl, which is available mainly in Madhya Pradesh, is now being bred in Krishna district and poultry farmers here, are getting good profits for rearing the black variety. Interestingly, even customers from West Godavari, a place known for its mouth-watering chicken dishes, are sourcing black chicken from here.
Compared to normal chicken, the cholesterol content in Kadaknath chicken, sources said, is significantly low. It has other health-enriching qualities as well. Not just the plumes, the flesh of Kadaknath chicken is also black, giving it its name - black chicken. Not only the chicken meat, the eggs of the chicken too have high protein, iron and vitamin content and are supposed to be beneficial for those suffering from asthma and heart-related diseases. However, the prices of this chicken (meat) and the eggs are substantially higher than those of the normal varieties available in the market.
Inti Pradeep (29), an area manager in an MNC, who hails from the city, is rearing this unique chicken breed in his native village Guntakoduru near Gudivada in the district since July 2017. Selling the birds at `2,000 - Rs 2,500 apiece, Pradeep earns a good profit for his efforts. However, farming this unique variety of chicken is no child’s play. The young manager looks after the birds with great caution and has built three coops exclusively for those. The cool, shady farm located near ponds, provides a nurturing environment for healthy growth of the birds.
‘’Right from my childhood I had a passion to lead my life in a way that would provide employment to people in and around me. After working in an MNC company, I developed an interest to begin rearing this unique chicken variety after I came across the bird in the Internet. Then I immediately bought 500 chickens from Madhya Pradesh, as the bird had been gaining attention, primarily due to its health benefits, such as it being free from cholesterol and chemicals (otherwise fed to normal chickens),’’ he said.
When asked about the bird’s survival, he said that it took at least five months for the bird to develop into a full-fledged chicken, whereas a normal chicken took only 35 days before it was sold in the market. ‘’The advantage of rearing the Kadaknath breed is that they roam freely in the coop, while the broiler chicken are never let out and are fed with as many as 20 types of chemicals before they arrive in the market,’’ he said. Pradeep also sells the eggs of the black chickens at `50 apiece. These eggs contain more protein than normal eggs, he said.
‘’At least 5,000 chickens can be sold during the festive seasons like Sankranthi, Dasara and Christmas at Rs 2,000 - Rs 2,500 per bird. Many people are now being advised by the doctors to avoid meat to prevent rise of cholesterol. However, this black chicken variety is the best remedy for it,’’ he said. Though several poultry farmers are showing their interest to rear this unique bird, they are finally backing out because of the high price of the bird, he said.
The young entrepreneur has appealed to the State government to provide subsidy to the poultry farmers and make setting up of hatcheries to rear this unique bird. ‘’We are receiving plenty of orders from the hotels and individuals for supply of black chickens,’’ Pradeep said.