Farmers Test New Poultry

BANGALORE - Local farmers have started to rear successfully turkeys, ducks and emus.
calendar icon 19 November 2008
clock icon 4 minute read

Poultry consumers will soon have a wider choice of dish, according to The Hindu. The poultry industry is now gearing up to introduce exotic birds into their inventory. The poultry register, which was characterised by a few varieties of birds such as broilers, country chicken and some hybrid varieties such as Giriraja, Giri Rani and Tyson will now have other birds.

The recently concluded Krishi Mela had these birds on show and the poultry farmers were more than eager to rear them.

According to Deputy Director of Central Poultry Development Organisation (CPDO) Mahesh P.S., the line-up of birds includes emu, turkey, ducks, quail and Punjabi broilers. The CPDO had started distributing hatching eggs, hatchlings and even parent birds to farmers.

While ducks and Punjabi broilers were available in adequate numbers, emu, turkey and quail were in egg distribution stage.

Dr Mahesh explained that farmers are enthusiastic about the new varieties and many had trained in rearing these birds, especially emu and turkey. These were large birds and yields came in large chunks which gave good returns to farmers at regular intervals.

In the case of emu, it was not certain if the Indian consumers were ready to accept it as a table variety as it was red meat. This bird was highly adaptable to Indian weather and was robust in health and highly disease-resistant. But the CPDO advisor said farmers should have a large fenced farm as these birds were nomads and wander around in a wide area.

They run at a speed of 50 to 55 km an hour for hours together. It would take not less than about four years for this breed to reach the cultivation stage, he added.

The dispersal of turkey as table variety had been faster in the country. The CPDO had distributed 150,000 parent turkeys among farmers and the reproduction level had reached a healthy level. It would take not less than two years when the turkey meat would be available at the corner poultry shop.

Quoting the experience of farmers and that of the breeders, Dr Mahesh said good progress had been achieved in turkey production through controlled breeding and management.

From 1997 to 2004, the systematic approach of 'turkey activities' had resulted in good market with the annual demand at 50,000 birds.

The two varieties of ducks were popular among farmers. The Khaki Campbell, an egg-type parent birds, yields up to 300 eggs in one cycle, and the White Pekin from Viet Nam is well adapted for Indian conditions.

According to P. Nallappa, Manager, Poultry Sciences, at the CPDO, India produced 48 billion eggs per annum which worked out to 140-160 million eggs a day, which made it the world's fifth largest producer of eggs. The country produced 2.2 million tonnes of chicken meat. The poultry industry contributed 350 billion rupees to the Gross National Product, he told The Hindu.

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