Poultry development is one of the fastest growing subsectors of Animal Husbandry. From being a household activity, Poultry farming in India has transformed into a very scientific and commercial operation. The interventions of the corporate sector along with policy environment provided by the Government of India / State Governments from time to time has led to this transformation.
The scale, technology, management and capital requirement for commercial poultry is beyond the reach of small and marginal/ BPL farmers. At the same time there is a niche market for Desi or indigenous birds reared in natural environment. Desi or indigenous birds reared in the backyard are generally poor performers in egg and meat production. With improved strain, these poultry birds, can give excellent result when raised in backyard. The activity can be taken up by beneficiaries from BPL families, SHGs, landless, small and marginal farmers for supplementary income and nutritional support. To obtain maximum profit from indigenous poultry birds, these strains have been improved and are giving excellent result when raised with low inputs. Some of the improved varieties developed are Vanaraja, Giriraja, Girirani, Krishna - J etc.
The activity provides supplementary employment opportunities and nutritional security for the rural poor under Backyard poultry production system. In India, backyard poultry, produces 30 to 35% of the eggs and is important for livelihood and nutritional securities of the rural poor. There is a scope to promote clusters or small holder’s poultry estates by backyard poultry farmers in rural areas. The lower costs of input and the higher market prices offered for local poultry, backyard systems provides better returns. Improvements in management practices by rural poor will reduce disease and mortality incidences in rearing indigenous birds and would increase their profitability and offer good scope for further development in the years to come.
Government of India is encouraging conservation of indigenous poultry breeds for producing poultry birds suitable for backyard poultry. More focus is being given to provide appropriate support to indigenous poultry farming in the form of financial assistance, genetic stocks and improved technologies, scientific advice, extension/awareness. Central Poultry Development Organisations (CPDOs) located at four regions viz. Chandigarh, Bhubaneswar, Mumbai and Bengaluru are working on improved breeds of birds for backyard poultry which can survive at the farmer’s doorstep, provide training to backyard poultry farmers and conduct feed analysis. Kalinga Brown, Kaveri, Chhabro and Chann are the varieties / strain of Low Input Technology birds (Chicken) developed by these CPDOs. Based on demand they supply hatching eggs, Day old chick of parent / commercials of these varieties to the States / UT’s and individual farmers. Some state governments have also come forword to promote improved desi poultry through backyard poultry low input technology birds. Under National Livestock Mission (NLM), the chicks/ birds suitable for rearing in the backyard are reared in the mother units upto 4 weeks and are further distributed to the BPL beneficiaries in atleast two batches under, Rural Backyard Poultry Development (RBPD).
Housing management for backyard poultry farming
A small unit for rearing of improved indigenous birds for meat purpose can be established as backyard unit by landless families, SHG members. Since indigenous birds are more resistant to diseases and adverse climatic condition as compared to hybrid birds, they can be reared in the shed made from low cost housing material like wood, bamboo, grass, thatch etc. Area of 1sqft per bird is sufficient. Overcrowding of birds should be avoided. The sheds should be constructed on well raised land and non-water logging areas. The shed should be well ventilated ands Floor should be in elevated land or above ground level (minimum 2ft) and free from water crack, easily cleaned, rat proof.
Management of birds
The birds are to be fed with good quality concentrate feed to attain the desired marketable weight. The feed can be prepared by the farmers by mixing the available feed ingredients. The feed should be stored in clean, dry, well ventilated room and care should be taken that fungal infection is not occurred. The birds are to be fed a per schedule avoiding over and under feeding. Generally these birds are having habits of scavenging for feeding. However, to avoid feed losses it is desirable to provide feed in locally available feeder. Birds are to be always provided with fresh and clean drinking water. Water should be always available at birds and it should be ensure that birds do not enter the waterers.
Financial assistance available from Banks for Indigenous Poultry broiler farming
As indicated earlier, improved indigenous poultry farming activity is accepted by small and marginal farmers, landless poor and women members of Self Help Groups as their livelihood activity.It is being financed by banks under various schemes/ programmes. Since the activity is generally taken up on small scale, investment/ capital cost required is very less. A model economics for improved indigenous broiler farming with a unit size of 100 birds in ‘All In All Out’ batches is given below. This is indicative and the applicable input and output costs along with other parameters observed at the field level may be incorporated.
Lending terms - General
Outlay: Outlay of the project depends on the local conditions, unit size and the investment components included in the project. Prevailing market prices / cost may be considered to arrive at the outlay.
Margin Money: Margin depends on the category of the borrowers and may range from 10% to 25%.
Interest Rate: Banks are free to decide the interest rates within overall RBI guidelines. However, for working out financial viability and bankability of model project, the rate of interest is assumed at 12.00% p.a.
Security: Security will be as per RBI / NABARD guidelines issued from time to time.
Repayment of loan: The loan repayment is determined, on the basis of gross surplus generated in the project. Usually the repayment period of loan for broiler farming is 5 years without moratorium.
Insurance: The birds and other assets (poultry shed, equipment etc) may be insured. Wherever necessary Risk/Mortality fund may be considered in lieu of poultry insurance.
A model project of 100 Improved Indigenous broiler birds on ‘All in All Out’ batches is given in Annexure I. This is indicative and the applicable input and output costs as also the parameters observed at the field level may be incorporated.