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Transformation of poultry farming in India

“The transformation of poultry farming in India from an age-old backyard venture into an organised industrial proposition is the impact of up-to-date technology and sound policies adopted by Governmental and semi-governmental (including private) organisations of the country.”

Poultry – A “Golden Egg” Industry -Future Prospectus

Poultry occupies a special place in India, as the eggs and chicken provide important and rich sources of protein, vitamins and minerals. It provides rich organic manure and is an important source of income and employment to millions of farmers and others engaged in allied activities in the poultry industry.

Poultry Industry and India

India is the fifth largest producer of eggs and ninth largest producer of poultry meat in the world, producing over 34 billion eggs and about 600,000 tons of poultry meat in 2004. In the overall market for poultry products, India is positioned 17 in World Poultry Production. And analysts estimate that the poultry sector in India has been growing at a much faster rate, along with other industries such as BPO and Securities market. Over the past decade the poultry industry in India has contributed approximately US $229million, to the Gross National Product (GNP).

Consumer Demand and Preferences

Poultry always has an increasing demand all over the world. In spite of propaganda raised by organizations promoting vegetarianism and in spite of threat of salmonella, world poultry industry is expanding, as the population is increasing. Per capita consumption is also increasing. Not only that, many countries which are not traditionally poultry – growers are giving incentives to their poultry industry. Indian Government is also giving incentives to this industry by giving incentives to small poultry farmers as well as poultry industry in organized sector as poultry industry generates employment and also provides proteins to masses.

Overall, analysts studies that the total egg consumption is estimated to increase from 34 billion in 2000 and to 106 billion in 2020, while poultry meat consumption is predicted to increase from 687 million kilograms to 1,674 million kilograms. It has been found that egg consumption has grown at a much faster pace, than the consumption of poultry meat. With the continual rise in income, it is estimated to nearly triple by 2020.

Work carried in a poultry industry

Every poultry industry carries a common set of work from hatching to culling .Each set of work can be done as a separate business and can support other vendors who are in these industries .Sometimes all set of work can be taken by a same vendor with different business units. In either case the business has a huge set of demand on every part of work.

The various work carried out in a poultry industry can be given as follows


Poultry Farm and maintenance

Egg production and sales

Poultry Feed and medicine

Culling of spent hens


A hatchery is a facility where eggs are hatched under artificial conditions,. It is used for economic reasons (i.e. to enhance food supplies ).This will help to create maximum number of chicks on a day and minimize egg breakages.

Poultry Farm and maintenance

Poultry Farm and maintenance system is a very important segment of poultry industry. It generally deals with how we house the poultries and maintain it. Poultry housing is a process followed for this purpose by poultry keepers. The housing type adopted depends to a large extent on the amount of ground and the capital available.

Depending upon the available space and cost, farmers use four types of housing..They are

a) Free -range or extensive system

b) Semi- intensive system

c) Folding unit system

d) Intensive system

In India, farmers generally use the free -range extensive system and semi intensive system. For mass production, it is advisable to go for intensive system.

Egg production and sales

The egg production period for a hen starts from eighteenth week and it ends at seventy second week. During this period, the egg production will generally follow a normal distribution pattern. The production will be peak from thirty second to fiftieth week.

Namakkal is the highest producer eggs in India. It is called Egg Hub of India. The average volume of the shipment from Namakkal, the country’s high density poultry zone, has been reported to be in the order of 20 million eggs per month.

Egg sales feed both domestic market and international market. In international market the size of the egg should not be big. Generally old bird gives big size eggs. The distribution part of egg may be carried by a third party vendor or it may go through the same persons from whom the feed is bought.

Feed and medicine

Poultry feeding is one of the important aspects of poultry science. Poultry feeds are of three types

Starting poultry feed: An all mash ration to be fed to chicks up to the age of 8 weeks.

Growing poultry feed: A ration to be fed to growing chickens after 8 to 20 weeks or until laying commences.

Laying poultry feed: A ration to be fed to laying birds after 20 weeks onwards or after laying commences.

Although we maintain a good sanitary condition for the poultry birds, it is necessary to take preventive action to save it from diseases. Some of the common diseases that affects poultry birds are given below

Fowl Coccidois : This disease is caused by a protozoan parasite of the intestine and can cause very heavy losses in poultry particularly up to the age of 12 weeks.

Ranikhet Disease: A highly infectious and fatal viral disease, it attacks poultry of all ages. Also known as New Castle disease.

Fowl Pox: A viral disease that can affect birds at any age resulting in high mortality rates.

Fowl Coryza :A bacterial disease contaminated through feed, water and by contact through carriers.

Culling of spent hens

After seventy two weeks of age, there will be drastic drop in egg production. These old hens are called as spent hens. Here the cost of maintenance is more than the cost of production.The meat of this poultry bird is tough.Hence these birds are sent as a substitute meat to beef. In India, kerala has a huge market for these type of meat.


Eggs are used to bind a dish and, when whipped, may also incorporate air making a cake or pudding very light. Vegan egg replacement powders are available from health food shops. This can be useful, especially for tricky foods like meringues.

Preference of White Meat over dark Meat

Dark Meat also called as Red meat generally refers to beef, mutton, pork and chevron. These meats are high in cholesterol .

White meat is generally fish and chicken,. They have less content of cholesterol. It is cheap in price compared to dark meat. In today’s environment, taste and preference of customer plays a crucial role in setting the demand of the product..This taste and preference greatly depends on health consciousness factor and price .

As the white meat has a good nutritional value and is less in cholesterol, it is greatly recommended by doctors , physicians and other health inspectors. Also the price is comparatively low with dark meat. These factors generally make a higher performance for white meat over dark meat.

Poultry market In India

In India,Namakkal is the major contributor of Indian market. This major poultry producer of India, has been witnessing a positive change in the recent years. The district alone accounts for about 75 per cent of the birds produced in the TamilNadu zone of the National Egg Coordination Committee. The poultry industry in India is vibrant despite a plethora of problems facing it. The zone produces about 2.5 crore eggs a day, with Namakkal contributing 1.75 crore of the total production. The labour-intensive sector provides direct employment to over one lakh people.

The two issues confronting the sector are the ban imposed by some West Asian countries on the import of table eggs from India and the spiralling cost of poultry feed. The volume of export dropped to 20 lakh eggs a day from 50 lakh after some Gulf nations banned egg import in the wake of the outbreak of bird flu in some parts of India. The poultry farms in Namakkal zone have adopted bio-security measures and carry out regular vaccinations. There is a proposal to establish a disease research laboratory for the poultry industry. This would boost the table eggs export from this part of the State.

Export prospects

According to Dr P. Selvaraj, Chairman of the National Egg Coordination Committee’s Namakkal Zone, that the buoyancy of the export trade and the market potential opening out for the Indian table eggs in the West Asian market has thrown greater opportunity for the layer egg producers in the region.

World Survey on poultry

In a magazine, World-Poultry, an international magazine of poultry business ,a survey was conducted to study the prices of eggs and prices of poultry feed in 45 countries. The prices were converted into U.S. dollars. Conversion ratio that is an index of conversion of feed into eggs was given due weightage. In was certainly an in-depth study of poultry business in the world. The report points out that eggs are cheapest in India, even though feed costs are not cheapest.

Finance for poultry

For the self sufficient poultry industry with complete sophistication in the fields of production, breeding stocks, high quality feeds, pharmaceuticals, medicines, poultry vaccines and equipment, the National Agricultural Bank and Rural Development (NABARD) along with commercial and cooperative banks are financing a large number of poultry schemes all over the country for increasing production of eggs and broiler meat. The NABARD refinance for poultry was about Rs.8.08 crores in 1983-84. This increased to Rs. 26 crores in 1985-86. This increased to Rs. 26 crores in 1985-86. This indicates the role that is being plated by banking institutions in poultry development. The NABARD provides refinance assistance for poultry development for the following purposes.

Schemes for poultry breeding including financing of pure line poultry projects to produce grand parent stocks.

Financial assistance to hatcheries to produce commercial one day old broiler or layer chicks from poultry breeding stocks.

Financing for the setting up of commercial egg production farms of different sizes by small, medium and large farmers.

Financing for the setting up of commercial egg production farms of different sizes by small, medium and large commercial broiler farmers.

Financial assistance for the manufacture of poultry medicine and vaccines.

Financial assistance for egg marketing, broiler processing, preservation and marketing of poultry meat.

The production of eggs has now reached an average of 300 eggs per year per bird. The broiler growth now reached the stage of 1.75 kg per bird within 6 to 7 weeks. It is expected that the average growth in layers industry may be around 7 to 8%, while in the case of broilers industry, it may be between 20-25% annum in the next decade.

The transformation of poultry farming in India from an age-old backyard venture into an organised industrial proposition is the impact of up-to-date technology and sound policies adopted by Governmental and semi-governmental (including private) organisations of the country.

Feed Cost all over the world

Major cost as production of eggs is for the feed. The feed cost for producing one kilo of eggs is lowest in Zimbabwe , It is 18 cents. Feed costs are highest in Philippines , i.e 45 cents. In India, the figure is 44 cents. In USA it is 15-50 cents The cost in other countries are as follows Pakistan 25 cents, Sri Lanka 24 cents, France 25 cents, and great Britain 24 cents.

Advantages in India

These feed cost can be reduced. India is gifted with natural sunshine, cultivable land, and sufficient rains. And there is millions of unemployed .Even by providing water to thirsty lands , we can make poultry feed that can be sufficient for the world poultry. Even by controlling post harvest losses of food grains we will be able to feed world poultry and world diary.

Many countries have to import feed for their poultry industry. India is lucky. We export 24 million tonnes of soya bean cake to Europe, which is the main ingredient of poultry feed. We can export eggs or chicken meat instead of soya bean-cake.

Indian Overview and Conclusion

Indian poultry industry is on cross road – considerable progress is already made but we have to go to miles. Most of the global brands are available in India , still there are some opportunities for technology transfer particularly organic brand . And processing is as good as non-existent .There is a great potential which is yet to be tapped.

The market research report ” Vision for Indian Poultry Industry: Current Scenario and Future Prospects” predicts a relatively strong growth for the egg and poultry meat industry, in both the urban and rural areas, in the next two decades.

Future of poultry industry depends on Government and Indian Entrepreneurship. There is lot of scope and future prospects for poultry industry in India. If the market of this industry is rightly tapped by the entrepreneurs, it is a “Golden Egg” industry for the future.

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