Panruti, Tamilnadu

How to choose the correct breed of chicken

How to choose the correct breed of chicken

Choosing the correct chicken breed is vital for success.  The breed chosen should be based on the temperature of the area, the available space and the purpose of rearing. The chicken breeds that grow in tropical region are different from the breeds available in cold climates.  Chicken usually need heat, especially when they are young and the correct temperature should be maintained to keep them comfortable.  The chicks should be observed frequently whether they flock together around the light source or stay away from it for prolonged periods.  It is an indication as to whether the surrounding is too hot or cold.  Some breeds are adaptive in nature while certain varieties require the optimum surroundings.  Some of the breeds suited to Indian conditions are Asil chicken, Vanaraja chicken, Giriraja chicken, Siruvidai, Kadaknath and Gramapriya.

While choosing the chicken breed suited to the prevalent climatic conditions is important, another equally important aspect is the purpose of rearing chickens, whether for eggs or meat or both.  Usually poultry farm owners rear chickens for a multitude of causes but when you are tight on space, budget or any such constraints, choosing a limited variety and looking after them well is the best option.  Asil chickens for example are excellent fighters and used in cock fights.  They usually fight until death and therefore have to be kept apart.  But they are poor layers, laying just about 40 eggs a year.

Therefore, if the intention is to breed egg layers, Asil chicken may not fit the bill.  In that scenario, Giriraja chicken and Gramapriya chicken are excellent layers, with around 150 eggs a year.

Similarly, if the need is meat, broilers, vanaraja and kadaknath chickens are best suited.  Kadaknath especially is a native of Madhya Pradesh and is the only black meat breed in the country.

Available space for rearing chickens is another aspect in poultry farming.  Some breed like Asil are fighters in nature and have to be reared separately.  They require a lot of space.  Similarly some birds require just a small enclosure or space in the backyard.  Finding the spacing as per requirement is vital.

Next aspect is the availability of personnel to look after the chickens on a full-time basis.  If you are the person who goes to office in the morning and return only late in the evening, chances are that your chicks and chickens fall prey to predators.  Chickens like to roam about and confining them to cramped space for the sake of safety is not a good idea.

Every chicken breed is unique and require different kinds of temperature, heat, moisture etc.  It is not a good idea to bring chickens from another part of the world and rear in your backyard.

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