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Agri University comes up with organic alternative to antibiotic-fed chicken

March 27, 2018

By Mudassir Kuloo

Srinagar, Mar 26: Amid uncertainty over anti-biotic fed chicken being supplied to the Valley, the SK University of Science and Technology, Kashmir (SKUAST-K), has come up with ‘horti-poultry model’ of organic chicken.
Each year, Kashmir consumes around six crore broiler chicken fed with antibiotics that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has banned.
The Drug and Food Control Organisation has issued an advisory that the poultry farms shall stop feeding antibiotics to the birds 72 hours (3 days) before they are supplied to the markets.
For producing organic chicken, Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Ganderbal, under the guidance of Centre for Research on Poultry, division of LPM, SKUAST-K has purchased ‘Vanraja’ birds (chicken) of one moth old to implement the concept.
Dr Parvaiz Ahmed Reshi, Scientist (animal science) at SKUAST-K said that ‘horti-poultry model’ has been recently introduced in the Valley.
“It is integration of poultry with horticulture, using a standard procedure,” Reshi said.
He said the birds are being given free access to an orchard during the day and are confined to their shelter at night.
“Birds are allowed to feed on herbage, insects and other scavenging resources during the day and in the evening hours are offered kitchen waste comprising of leftover rice, vegetable waste, egg shells, and leftover pulses,” he said.
Reshi said that birds have been purchased from Hyderabad and Chandigarh and each costs Rs 25.
“In six months, it could gain a weight of 5-kilograms. It has to be raised organically without any antibiotics. It is being sold Rs 200 per kg. Seven out of 10 hens will lay organic eggs daily,” he said.
These birds, he said could adopt the tropical climate and could stay inside during snowfall for a month.
So far, the SKUAST-K has received good response from the farmers for rearing of these birds.
“People are coming in large numbers and want to purchase this bird for rearing. They don’t have to make much investment and will get good returns,” Reshi said.
He said that concept of this model was to use make full use of horticulture land.
“The model ensures to exploit the existing orchard, labour, shed optimally and therefore no additional land and material is required to implement the model. It will also help in deweeding of the orchard and revival of backyard poultry farming,” he said.
In Kashmir Valley alone, 1.62 lakh hectares of land is under fresh fruits and 58,041 hectares of land is under dry fruits.
“The land if exploited for integrated farming will yield better profitably. It is very easy to adopt the model what you need is a piece of land that may range from just half a kanal,” he added.

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