VISAKHAPATNAM: Along with the heat wave, non-veg lovers, particularly of chicken and egg, of Visakhapatnam district also face troubles with high prices of poultry products. In addition, shortage of stocks also became a headache for them on Sunday.
In fact, the unabated high temperatures is causing inconvenience to both the producers and the end users of the poultry industry.
Against the backdrop of summer heat conditions, broiler chicken (skinless) was priced at about Rs 180 a kg last Sunday in the open market, and went up to Rs 210 (broiler association-BAG) on Friday which was listed between Rs 150 and Rs 160 only last month. Whereas VENCOB listed the skinless variety chicken price at Rs 195 a kg. Price of 100 eggs was also raised to Rs 370-375 from Rs 260-275 last month. When it comes to the open market, the prices are higher and consumers feel that these prices are a financial burden for them.
Increasing temperatures became lethal to the broiler/layer hens which is causing huge loss to the poultry farmers. G.Gershom, the owner of Sundar’s Poultry Traders at K.Kotapadu, attributed the recent drop in the production to the reduced intake by the birds.
“Though it is common during peak summer, this year the recent unabated high temperatures for four continuous days caused 10-15 per cent death of the birds. Due to the reduced feed intake by the chicks in the crucial growing period, they became weak and lost weight and in turn became vulnerable to diseases.
On an average, a poultry unit with 5,000 birds capacity, the death rate would be between 10-15 per cent (500-750 per 5,000 birds). That’s why it becomes difficult for the poultry farmers to produce the broilers with the expected weight,” Gershom explained.
“The drop in weight can range between 25 to 50 per cent. Generally, we produce broilers up to 1.5 to 2.25 kg in 45 days in normal weather conditions,” said Gershom. Besides, survival is also difficult for the birds in the heat, said M Kishore Reddy, another poultry farmer from Gopalapatnam.
“With harsh summer, prices of eggs and chicken have shown a noticeable increase since April. The sudden rise in prices of these poultry products is due to high temperatures in the last few days. This trend may continue for another 10-15 days,” explained T Adinarayana, the president of The Broiler Chicken Industry Welfare Association of Greater Visakhapatnam (BAG).
“Even well-grown (about 30 to 45 days old) birds are also dying in the farm due to the heat wave conditions. This is resulting in a massive loss to poultry farmers and the subsequent drop in supply too,” said Gershom.
Many experienced poultry farmers in consultation with the industry experts warn the co-farmers of the fierce heat conditions. “Normally, April and May are always dangerous for the poultry industry as the heat wave conditions reduce the total production of chicken and eggs.
There is also steep decrease in consumption also. The industry recorded a 20-25 % dip in the sales as well as in the consumption up to the first week of May.” If the farmers do not act according to the situation, loss might be more and irreparable,” said GV Reddy of Suguna Poultry of Chodavaram mandal.