Indian poultry breeds in industry
Broiler production in India has increased remarkably in recent years due to several factors. There has been a very significant increase in...
Broiler production in India has increased remarkably in recent years due to several factors. There has been a very significant increase in its population in recent decades, (which is mainly divided into three religions, Islam, Hinduism and Christianity, which share the sociocultural acceptance of the meat and the egg), in addition to having greater access to quality equipment, technical skills that allow obtaining better quality chicken, access to vaccines and additives, among others. The approximate annual production is about 41,000 million eggs and 1,000 million broilers, with India being the fourth largest producer of eggs in the world, and occupying the fifth position in the ranking of broiler producers. Industrial farms use similar breeds to those in most countries with a developed poultry industry. However, there is a large “backyard” production in which many families in rural areas subsist by raising chickens and hens, the majority being local breeds and crossbreeds, whose census is imprecise but is estimated at several millions.
Major indigenous breeds of India
In India there can be found various types of indigenous chickens, but most sources agree that there are only 4 pure breeds of Indian chickens, the rest being variants of these or crosses. These 4 would be the Aseel, Chittagong, Kadaknath and Busra, and both those and also most of the variants differ from each other by physical features and characters, and the location in which they are found. Most are dual-purpose breeds, fattening and laying, and therefore they coincide in two important factors: high hardiness, which makes them more resistant to various challenges, and low productivity.
In productive terms, regarding egg production, it is variable, but much lower than that of industrial breeds. Breeds such as the Aseel produce about 92 eggs a year, or the Kadaknath around 105, low values in both cases, with average egg weights of around 50 grams. For its part, the fertility rate slightly exceeds 60% and maturity is reached after 25 weeks, values lower than those of industrially farmed breeds. In terms of hardiness, it allows them to survive in quite hostile environments with little or no control, in which access to disease prevention and control measures is insufficient, but this hardiness is not enough to deal with various viral, bacterial pathologies and fungal common to all types of birds.
Perspectives of indigenous breeds
In India, despite there being an exodus to the cities due to growing industrialization, the rural population is still very high and continues to grow, so the census of these birds is expected to increase. To meet the needs of these rural areas in population growth, an improvement in the productivity of these breeds is necessary, a fact that is favored by better access in almost all parts of the country to new technologies, which, increasingly with better means they can reach even the smallest and/or backyard farms. Given the country’s humidity and temperature conditions, fungal and bacterial growth is one of the factors whose control could help increase the productivity of these native birds. Solutions based on the cimenol ring, developed by Biovet, S.A., and tested in different research centers and universities in India, have shown a marked effect in eliminating fungi and bacteria from feed, improving its quality and reducing the population of fungi mycotoxigenic. In addition, control of necrotic enteritis, one of the most prevalent diseases in India, has also been evidenced. A first step to help improve the productivity of these breeds and meet the needs of the environments and populations where they are located, in a natural and sustainable way.