Poultry farming is witnessing a slump since some time now. Several poultry farms have shut down because farmers are unable to get prices to cover up their input costs. In such a situation, farmers doing Kadaknath farming are reaping profits. Due to the exotic nature of Kadaknath, its demand is escalating.
“I had always reared broiler and layer chickens. But due to hike in feed prices, the profits had shrunk. Many a times I had to sell at a loss. Then I came to know about kadaknath. When I inquired about it in the market, I came to know that it is more profitable. It is cost effective because it can be reared in the open and fed green feed,” said Gulam Mohammed, a resident of Jarwal village in Uttar Pradesh’s Beharaich district. He has been a layer poultry farmer for long, but recently has also taken to farming ducks and kadaknath.
If one is thinking of opening up a poultry farm, it is worth knowing that since past some time, farmers have also taken to Kadaknath farming besides broiler and layer farming. Kadaknath is the only black fleshed chicken in India. As against most chickens, kadaknath readies for sale in 4-5 months and fetches easily a price of Rs 1,500-1,800 in the market.
Due to its taste and health benefits, this chicken is much sought after across the country. Its uniqueness lies in the colour of its blood and flesh which is black. A native breed of Jhabua, Madhya Pradesh, kadaknath is now farmed in many other states such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Punjab. Kadaknath hatchery in Jhabua is a thriving business now.
Cost and price of kadaknath
Explaining its farming cost, Gulam said: “This chicken doesn’t require any special feed or much expense. It readily feeds upon common fodder such as berseem and millets. It can even be reared in a garden patch with a little bit of shed. It hardly calls for any expense.”
A progressive farmer, Gulam maintains the complete record of the cost and benefit of his animals and crops. Comparing kadaknath with any other chicken, he said: “One kg of chicken takes Rs 85-90 to be readied and fetches a price of no more than Rs 67 from the market. It simply means a loss of Rs 20-25 to the farmer. At the same time, kadaknath doesn’t cost anything in a garden, but in absence of a garden takes about Rs 200 per kilo and fetches a price of Rs 500-900 in the market.”
Talking about the diseases, he said: “Kadaknath is pretty hardy a breed. It just requires a bit of temperature-controlled environment in the beginning. Broiler and layer chicken require vaccination too, which it doesn’t. This chicken can easily be farmed under a wooden shed. A chicken requires about two sq ft space.”
He added: “Being an expensive chicken, kadaknath has lower rural demand than urban where it is readily sold.” Gulam not only earns a handsome profit by selling kadaknath eggs and chicken, but also additionally by selling its chicks to other farmers
Health benefits of consuming kadaknath
As per Animal Husbandry Department, Maharashtra, kadaknath is easier to rear than any other poultry breed. According to researches, its meat has lower cholesterol level and more amino acids than an average white fleshed chicken.
Dr Govind Kumar of Agricultural Science Centre, Chitrakoot, Uttar Pradesh informed, “Seeing its benefits, many farmers of UP have also taken to its farming. Every six months, the Centre offers its training to the farmers.
There has been a surge in demand for its meat and egg. Its taste is distinct from broiler and any other native breed. Its meat is extremely beneficial for cancer, diabetes and heart patients.”
Kadaknath’s 1 kg of meat has 184 mg of cholesterol whereas in other chicken it is about 214 mg. Similarly, kadaknath’s meat has 25-27% protein while other chicken only 16-17%. Kadaknath has about 1% fat whereas other chicken have 4-5% fat.
Things to keep in mind
- Kadaknath farming can be started with 100 chickens.
- Like other farms, this farm also must be set on the outskirts of the villages or town or the main road.
- Supply of water and electricity must be ensured.
- Chicken shed requires few hours’ sunlight daily.
- The farm must have adequate ventilation and hygiene. Cleanliness must be adhered to.
- The chicks or chicken must not be fed in dark or during night time.
- Two poultry farms must never be in close vicinity of each other.
- Watering vessels for the birds must be rinsed every second or third day.
If one wishes to open a kadaknath business, one can receive training in Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), Izzatnagar, Bareilly. Besides, training is also given by Agricultural Science Centers. One can get the complete information from the state animal husbandry departments.
IVRI, Izzatnagar, Bareilly 0581-2303223, 2300204, 2301220, 2310023