HYDERABAD: The country chicken, locally known as ‘natu kodi’, is in high demand in Hyderabad post lockdown with many preferring this over broiler chicken to improve immunity levels. These birds with feathers in various colours usually grow and graze in the open areas and mostly consumed in rural areas, particularly in Andhra Pradesh. Though people in Hyderabad have been eating country chicken for a long time, the consumption has doubled after the lockdown was lifted.
According to owners of country chicken farms, since mutton is costlier and broiler chickens have fewer nutrients compared to country chicken, more people are buying ‘natu kodi’. There are around 50 country chicken farms in and around Hyderabad that supply local hens to chicken outlets. Sathish Kumar, the owner of Naturo Farms, who sells natu kodi chicks, aseel chicks, quail chicks and fighter-breed chicks, said that they are selling over 3,000 country chicken birds during weekends. “Those farms, which used to sell 2,000 birds, are now witnessing a business close to 4,000 birds on weekends as the market has doubled,” he said.
The demand for country chicken is such that people are travelling to different pockets of the city in search of quality ‘natu kodi’ and Anjani Natu Kodi Chicken Centre located in Suraram is one such place, where people from Erragadda, KPHB, Miyapur and Medchal come to buy meat. The owner Subbaiah said that he is bringing country birds from different parts of Andhra Pradesh due to high demand. “Covid-19 has pushed our sales and on Sundays, we are able to sell more than 100kg of chicken. One kg live country bird here costs around Rs 550, which gives 700g of meat after cleaning it,” he added.
‘Natu kodi’ cost Rs 350 to Rs 400/kg
Naturo Farms owner Sathish Kumar said broiler chickens can be grown in a month, but country chickens should be grown for at least four months to weigh 1.5kg. These birds are sold at Rs 350 to Rs 400 per kg and prices go up depending on size and locality.