CHENNAI: What if you could get a shot of protein in a single drumstick? That is what native breed country chickens offer, according to Om Prakash, professor and HoD, Poultry Department, Poultry Research Station, Madhavaram.
Speaking at a one-day state-level farmer’s seminar cum exhibition on ‘The role of Native Chicken rearing in rural economic upliftment’ on Wednesday, Om Prakash said that the popularity of native breed country chickens for their meat was increasing, and that with the government’s subsidy scheme over 200 poultry farmers across the state were breeding native varieties of chicken.
”Although there is no denying that broiler chickens are a cheap source of protein, more consumers are looking for different varieties like turkeys and guinea fowls. Given that the taste is also better, the market for the country chicken varieties is increasing and this is bound to reduce the price which currently lies at around `180,” he said.
Om Prakash added that from the `2 crore fund that the State Government had allocated for native bred poultry farming, a poultry farmer could get a subsidy of up to `50,000 to set up a poultry farm.
C K Harikrishnan, registrar and vice-chancellor in-charge, TANUVAS, said that country chickens required low investment, but the high selling price promised a good yield. “Earlier huge poultry farms housed over 1,000 country chickens, but today, the maximum number has come down to 20. However through the breeding techniques introduced by the university, the number of eggs a country chicken lays is substantial and through low cost incubators, it can be ensured that the chance of them dying is reduced,” added Harikrishnan.
The seminar brought together poultry farmers from across the State, providing an opportunity for various stakeholders to interact with each other. The exhibition of native chicken breeds also served as an eye-opener for various farmers.