Poultry Development

Poultry keeping is very common as a subsidiary occupation of the large section of the population both in the rural and urban areas. The general mass who cannot indulge in other Lucrative business, requiring very high capital, usually prefer this industry as the capital investment is very low and return anticipated within a short period of time. But in general poultry rearing is continuing in the traditional way as practiced earlier except in a very few cases, where improved types of birds are maintained in scientific manner. The open or free range system is the common practice of rearing poultry and ducks all over the State, whether in the rural or in the urban areas. Proper housing, management, feeding and breeding for local poultry are not cared for in general. The birds which include chicks, adults and growers are let loose in search of feed and water from the field. Ducks rear in the ponds and other water logged areas. So the local poultry of the State, in general, has very low productivity yielding on an average a maximum of 105 eggs per layer in comparison to the improved birds yielding 200-230 eggs per layer or even more. The Poultry Development Programme of the State has, therefore, been directed towards increasing productivity of the poultry of the State by introducing improved breeds, Efforts are also underway to put the Poultry Industry on a commercial footing by providing easy marketing facilities to poultry farmers. The Department has set up 10 Poultry Farms. One of these farms is the Regional Poultry Breeding Farm, Kyrdemkulai and the rest are the District Poultry Farms. The objective of these farms is to serve the purpose of experimentation, demonstration and production of eggs beside the main purpose for rearing chicks for distribution amongst the poultry rearers. One Broiler farm has been set up at Kyrdemkulai to produce one lakh broiler chicks annually for distribution to the District Poultry Farms and private farmers to meet the requirement of broiler meat in the State. Considering the requirement of poultry meat and eggs as well as the high cost of poultry feed ingredients the department have introduced low input breed of birds which can thrive well under the Meghalaya village conditions with a good return. This breed of bird is very much resistant to diseases and hence very much preferred by the villagers as economic loss is negligible. At present Poultry Farm Umsning and Rongkhon are producing low input breed of chicks and supplying to the farmers. Another such Farm is being established at Jowai.