1 Indian J. Anim. Res., 51 (2) 2017 : Print ISSN: / Online ISSN: AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH COMMUNICATION CENTRE Production performance and economics of CARI Nirbheek chicken for backyard farming under semi-arid ecosystem in central Gujarat, India B.S. Khadda*, Kanak Lata, Raj Kumar, J.K. Jadav, Brijesh Singh 1 and Jyoti Palod 1 Krishi Vigyan Kendra- Panchmahals, (CIAH-ICAR), Vejalpur, Godhra , Gujarat, India. Received: Accepted: DOI: /ijar.8421 ABSTRACT The present study was conducted to evaluate the production performance and economics of CARI Nirbheek chickens for backyard farming under semi-arid ecosystem in central Gujarat. The overall mean body weights of CARI Nirbheek chickens at 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20 and 40 weeks of age were ±9.97, ±16.32, ±18.24, ±26.96, ±43.51, ±49.61, ±46.35 and ±51.22 g, respectively. Differences in body weights between male and female chickens were found to be significant. The mortality in CARI Nirbheek chicken during the period from 6 to 20 weeks and 21 to 40 weeks of age was recorded and 5.09 per cent, respectively. The average age at first egg laying was recorded ±1.19 days while age at sexual maturity was recorded ±2.71 days. The average hen day egg production up to 40 and 72 weeks of age were recorded 54.94±0.41and ±1.42, respectively. The value for different egg quality traits clearly indicated that the eggs produced from CARI Nirbheek are of superior quality. The benefit cost ratio was recorded 1:4.68 per family for rearing under backyard farming system. From the present study it may be concluded that CARI Nirbheek chickens could be suitable with respect to reproductive and productive performance as well as adaptability in the semi-arid ecosystem. Key words: Body weight, CARI Nirbheek, Egg production, Egg quality, Productive performance. INTRODUCTION Intensive poultry farming has achieved impressive growth in India, but the rural poultry farming is still struggling due to their low productivity. The demand for local chickens and eggs is very high as compared to broiler and layer eggs due to their better taste, texture and flavor as perceived by the local population (Sapcota et al., 2002). The native chicken varieties adopted in free- range backyard conditions for centuries contribute about 11% of total egg production in India (Kumaresan et al., 2008). Due to their low productivity (50-60 nos. annually), the contribution to total egg production is almost static for the last few decades. Unconventional feed resources (insects, ants, fallen grains, green grass, kitchen waste, vegetable waste etc.) can be efficiently converted in to egg and chicken meat for human consumption that alleviates protein malnutrition in poor rural families. In rural areas of central Gujarat, chickens reared in backyard are mostly non-descriptive type with low egg and meat production and there is need for introduction of improved dual purpose bird having capacity to lay more eggs and gain higher body weight than the local. CARI Nirbheek chicken has better production potential, disease resistance, good scavenging behavior and multi colour plumage for camouflage. However, very scanty information is available on the performance of CARI Nirbheek chicken under backyard system of rearing in field condition of semi-arid ecosystem. Keeping these facts in view, an attempt was made to evaluate the production performance and economics of CARI Nirbheek chicken for backyard farming in field condition of semi-arid ecosystem in central Gujarat at Panchmahal district. MATERIALS AND METHODS The area of study is characterized as hot semi-arid climate. The mean summer temperature is C while the mean winter temperature is C indicating that the area falls under hyperthermic soil regime. The annual water needed or potential evapotranspiration of the area ranges between 1500 to 1600 mm, whereas actual mean usual precipitation is about 831 mm thus causing an annual water deficit of nearly 769 mm, Rain is confined to three months (July to September) with average rainy days about 31. The mean monthly maximum temperature ranges from 26 and 40 0 C, while the minimum monthly temperature varies between 09 0 C and 26 0 C. A total of 560 CARI Nirbheek poultry chicks were procured from Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture & Technology, Udaipur. They were distributed to selected farmers of Panchmahals district of Gujarat at the rate of 20 birds per farmer to evaluate the overall performance of CARI Nirbheek under field conditions of semi-arid ecosystem of central Gujarat. The chicks were brooded up to 6 weeks of age in deep litter *Corresponding author s 1 Department of Livestock Production Management, CVASc., GBPUA&T, Pantnagar.
2 system with Ad lib. starter feed and drinking water. The chicks were vaccinated against Marek s disease and New Castle disease (Ranikhet). After 6 weeks the birds were distributed to the farmers who provided shelter at night time and allowed free scavenging in backyard during day time. They were provided additional feed ingredients like crushed maize and broken 30 g/bird/ day with kitchen waste and other crop byproducts to fulfill the nutrient requirements. The performance of birds at household level was assessed by collecting data on the basis of body weight at fortnight interval from 8 th week up to 20 weeks of age and thereafter at 40 weeks of age, mortality from 6 to 40 weeks of age. The other traits, age at first egg laying, age at sexual maturity, egg production up to 72 weeks of age were also recorded. Egg production Data Card was distributed to farmers to record daily egg production. Egg weights at 28 and 40 weeks of age were recorded by Mettlor and Toledo balance (nearest to 0.01 g accuracy) and egg mass was calculated using north s egg mass formula. Fresh 50 eggs of CARI Nirbheek chickens at 40 weeks of age were collected randomly from different farmers flock and were used to study egg quality traits, viz. egg width, egg length, shape index, albumin weight, albumen index, yolk weight, yolk index, haugh unit, shell weight, shell percentage and shell thickness. The shell thickness was measured at 3 locations of the egg, viz. broad and narrow ends and equator. Length and breadth of egg, albumen and yolk were measured using digital Vernier calipers (least count 0.01 mm) and heights of albumen and yolk were measured by spherometer (least count 0.01 mm). The shell thickness was measured using screw gauge (least count 0.01 mm). Shape index was calculated as per Schultz (1953) and the specific gravity was measured using brine floatation technique (Hamilton, 1982). A partial budget analysis measure was used in for expenditure and income i.e. the cost of chicks, cost of feeds, medicines and equipments were considered whereas, the cost of labour was not considered for calculation as the family members reared chicken. The cost of feeds, medicines and equipments was calculated on basis of market rate prevalent during the study period Volume 51 Issue 2 (2017) 383 Table 1: Performance of CARI Nirbheek chicken from 8 weeks to 42 weeks of age (Mean± SE) Rs.2000/q. for poultry feed and Rs. 62 per chick at 6 weeks of age. Selling price of eggs and chicken received by farmers during study period were taken Rs. 07/egg and Rs. 300/bird after forty weeks of age. The data for different traits were analyzed using standard statistical procedures as described by Snedecor and Cochran (1994). RESULTS AND DISCUSSION The means of body weight and other economic traits of CARI Nirbheek chicken under field conditions have been presented in Table 1. The overall mean body weights (Pooled) of CARI Nirbheek chickens at 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20 and 40 weeks of age were ±9.97, ±16.32, ±18.24, ±26.96, ±43.51, ±49.61, ±46.35 and ±51.22g, respectively. Comparable mean body weights at 8 weeks of age as that of the present study have been reported at RAU, Bikaner Centre of NATP. The body weight of CARI Nirbheek chickens in the present study was higher than that reported by Malik and Singh (2010) in CARI Nirbheek. However, GAU, Anand Centre of NATP reported higher body weight (640 g) at 8 weeks of age for CARI Nirbheek chickens under field conditions of Gujarat region. The difference in body weights may be due to varied in agroclimatic conditions, availability of feeding materials and management practices adopted by the farmers. The average daily body weight gain in males and females during 8 th to 20 th weeks of age was recorded to be g and g, respectively. The highest daily body weight gain was recorded during weeks of age (18.06 g) and it was lowest at weeks of age (12.15 g). The lowest growth rate of chickens during weeks of age may be due to incidence of seasonal diseases. More or less average growth rate in different breeds/ strains has amply been documented by Haunshi et al. (2009) under different agro climatic conditions. The body weights of males at different ages were significantly higher as compared to females. Sexual dimorphism for body weight in chickens is very well recognized and reported in literature (Padhi et al. 1998, Traits Male Female Pooled 8 week body weight (g) ±9.32 a ±11.26 b ± week body weight (g) ±12.91 a ±17.31 b ± week body weight (g) ±23.10 a ±19.49 b ± week body weight (g) ±35.59 a ±28.53 b ± week body weight (g) ±49.34 a 1235±42.33 b ± week body weight (g) ±62.43 a 1389±41.32 b ± week body weight (g) ±61.52 a ±46.57 b ± week body weight (g) ±54.43 a ±49.43 b ±51.22 Age at first egg laying (days) ± Age at sexual maturity (days) ± Per cent mortality from 6 to 20 week of age Per cent mortality from 21 to 40 week of age Mean bearing different superscripts differ significantly (p<0.05).
3 384 INDIAN JOURNAL OF ANIMAL RESEARCH Haunshi 2002). Haunshi et al. (2007) observed significant effect of sex on fourth to eighteen weeks body weight of Vanaraja chickens under intensive system. From these results it is evident that CARI Nirbheek strain performed well under semi-arid ecosystem condition of central Gujarat and has great potential for backyard farming. The average age at first egg laying and age at sexual maturity in CARI Nirbheek chickens were recorded to be ±1.19and ±2.71days, respectively. The age at first egg laying and sexual maturity in present study are more or less comparable with those reported by Kumar et al. (2008), Malik and Singh (2010) in CARI Nirbheek and Tailor (2013) for Pratap Dhan. The higher age of sexual maturity for different chicken as compared to present study were reported by Singh et al. (2000) in Aseel ( days), Haunshi et al. (2007) in Gramapriya ( ) and Vanaraja ( ). Mortality: The mortality in CARI Nirbheek chicken during the period from 6 to 20 weeks and 21 to 40 weeks of age was recorded and 5.09 per cent, respectively. However, there was no mortality after 40 weeks of age. The per cent mortality in present study was lower than reported by the RAU Bikaner and GAU, Anand centre under NATP on small farm rural poultry production. However, Malik and Singh (2010) reported lower mortality for CARI Nirbheek chickens under field conditions of Tripura region. The causes of mortality in the present study were mostly physical injuries, fighting and cannibalism during scavenging and predator attack. The results of study indicate that livability percentage of these chickens was well within the standard range per cent (Khan, 2008) which could probably be due to presence of good immune competence and disease resistance of these chickens and proper management practices followed by farmers (Reddy et al., 2002) and adaptability of the chicken under the prevailing agro-climatic conditions of central Gujarat. Egg production and quality traits: The egg production and egg quality parameters of CARI Nirbheek chicken have been presented in Table 2. The average hen day egg production (no.) up to 40 and 72 weeks of age was 54.94±0.41and ±1.42, respectively. These results are in accordance with the finding of Singh (2005), Kumar et al. (2008) and by different NATP centers. Whereas, lower annual egg production was recorded by Malik and Singh (2010). The mean egg weight at 28 and 40 weeks of age were recorded 46.37±0.26and 53.49±0.21g, respectively. Weight of eggs was increased 7.12±0.16 g from 28 to 40 weeks of age. The average egg mass of CARI Nirbheek chicken was recorded ±0.23 g at the age of 40 weeks. The means of egg width (cm), egg length (cm) and shape index were 4.19±0.011, 5.47±0.023 and ±0.45, respectively. The results of the present study are in consonance with the finding in Nirbheek (Malik and Singh, 2010), in Gramapriya, Vanaraja and Miri type (Haunshi et al., 2009), in White Nicobari (Chatterjee et al., 2007). However, lower value for the shape index was observed by Padhi et al. (1998) in Nicobari and Naked neck; Chatterjee et al. (2007) in Naked neck, barred desi, Frizzle and Brown Nicobari. Whereas higher shape index was reported by Chatterjee et al. (2007) in Black Nicobari fowls. Significant genetic variation for shape index in different breeds or strains was reported by Chatterjee et al. (2007). Table 2: Egg production and egg quality parameters of CARI Nirbheek chicken (Mean± SE) Parameters Mean± SE H.D.E.P. up to 40 weeks of age 54.94±0.41 H.D.E.P. up to 72 weeks egg production ±1.42 Egg weight at 28 weeks of age (g) 46.37±0.26 Egg weight at 40 weeks of age(g) 53.49±0.21 Increase in egg weight (g) 7.12±0.16 Egg mass (40 weeks of age) ±0.23 Egg width (cm) 4.19±0.011 Egg length (cm) 5.47±0.023 Shape index ±0.45 Shell thickness 0.339±0.006 Specific gravity 1.095±0.001 Albumen weight (g) 29.66±0.48 Albumen percentage 55.44±0.23 Albumen index 0.059±0.002 Yolk weight (g) 18.74±0.23 Yolk percentage 35.03±0.29 Yolk index 0.45±0.006 Haugh unit 79.94±0.49 Shell weight 5.09±0.05 Shell percentage 9.53±0.11 Shell colour Light to dark brown The mean albumin weight (g), albumin per cent and albumen index were observed 29.66±0.48, 55.44±0.23 and 0.059±0.002, respectively. These results are in accordance with the findings of Chatterjee et al. (2007) for White Nicobari, Malik and Singh (2010) for CARI Nirbheek. However lower albumin ratio was reported by Padhi et al. (1998) in Nicobari fowl and Chatterjee et al. (2007) in Naked neck, Frizzle, Brown and Black Nicobari. The average weight of yolk, yolk per cent and yolk index were recorded 18.74±0.23g, 35.03±0.29g and 0.45±0.006, respectively. The results of present study are in accordance with the findings of Padhi et al. (1998) in White and Brown Nicobari fowl and Malik and Singh (2010) for CARI Nirbheek. Lower yolk per cent was reported by Padhi et al. (1998) in Black Nicobari and WLH and Chatterjee et al. (2007) in Nicobari fowl. However, higher yolk per cent was reported by Padhi et al. (1998) in Naked neck and Chatterjee et al. (2007) in Naked neck, Barred desi and Frizzle fowl. Contrary to this, higher estimate of yolk index were observed by Padhi et al. (1998) in Brown Nicobari and Kaur et al. (2008) in feathered shank local hill fowl. The differences for yolk weight, yolk per cent and yolk index in different study may be due to
4 different breed/strain effect and differences in climatic conditions (Chatterjee et al. 2007, Kaur et al. 2008). Haugh unit is widely used for measure of albumin quality. The mean of Haugh unit was recorded 79.94±0.49. Higher Haugh unit were reported by Padhi et al. (1998) in Brown Nicobari, Black Nicobari and WLH and Malik and Singh (2010) in CARI Nirbheek. Whereas, Padhi et al. (1998) in White Nicobari and Naked neck and Kaur et al. (2008) in local hill fowl of Uttarakhand reported lower Haugh unit. The Haugh unit is significantly influenced by different genetic groups (Niranjan et al. 2008). The Haugh unit value in the present study indicates the superior albumen quality of eggs of CARI Nirbheek(Table 3). The means of shell weight, shell per cent and shell thickness (mm) were recorded as 5.09±0.05, 9.53±0.11and 0.339±0.006, respectively. These finding are in agreement of the results reported by earlier workers Padhi et al. (1998) in White Leghorn, Malik and Singh (2010) in Nirbheek, Haunshi et al. (2009) in Gramapriya and Haunshi et al. (2013) in Kadaknath chickens. However, Padhi et al. (1998) in Naked neck showed lower value. Higher estimates for shell thickness were reported by Haunshi et al. (2009) in Miri Type chicken. Genetic variation for shell thickness in different breed/strain has been reported by Kaur et al. (2008). The specific gravity of CARI Nirbheek chicken eggs was recorded 1.095± More or less similar specific gravity was reported in Nicobari fowl by Padhi et al. (2003) and in improved strains such as Gramapriya and Vanaraja by Haunshi et al. (2009). The shell colour was observed light to dark brown. It is considered as a good characteristic of egg for obtaining higher price in market. Economics of CARI Nirbheek chickens: The recurring cost i.e. cost of feeding and medicines and income from sale of eggs and chickens are presented in Table 3. The results of study revealed that the average expenditure on rearing of Volume 51 Issue 2 (2017) 385 CARI Nirbheek chicken per respondents was calculated Rs. 20,255. The total gross and net income earned from sale of eggs and birds for rearing of CARI Nirbheek chickens were Rs. 94,837 and 74,582, respectively. The benefit cost ratio was recorded 1: 4.68 per family, which appears to be very much economical and viable for rearing under backyard farming system. From the present study it may be concluded that CARI Nirbheek chickens could be suitable with respect to reproductive and productive performance as well as adaptability in the semi-arid ecosystem. Table 3: Economics of CARI Nirbheek chickens per family under backyard production. Particulars Cost involved Cost of chicks (Rs.) 1,240 Cost of feeding (Rs.) 17,015 Cost of medicines and miscellaneous (Rs.) 2000 Total cost of rearing (Rs.) 20,255 Av. no. of eggs produced 1987 Av. no. of eggs consumed at home 415 Av. no. of eggs sold 876 Av. no. of eggs spoiled during brooding 215 Av. no. of eggs hatched by broody hen 346 Av. no. of birds died 60 Av. no. of birds sold 286 Total income from eggs (sold and consumed) 9037 Total income from birds (sold and consumed) 85,800 Gross income 94,837 Net income 74,582 B:C Ratio 1: 4.68 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The authors are thankful to the Director, CIAH Bikaner for encouragement and providing facilities. Authors are also thankful to Professors, Department of Animal production RCA (MPAU&T), Udaipur for their suggestion in conduction of the study. REFERENCES Chatterjee, R.N., Rai, R.B., Kundu, A., Senani, S. and Sunder, J. (2007). Egg quality traits of indigenous breeds of chicken of Andaman. Indian Veterinary Journal 84: Hamilton, R.M.G. (1982). Methods and factors that affect the management of egg shell quality. Poultry Science 61: Haunshi, S. (2002). Prediction of parental genome proportion using microsatellites in BC-1 chicken population under marker assisted introgression of naked neck gene. Ph.D. Thesis, Deemed University, Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar. Haunshi, S., Sexana, S.C., Biswajit, D. and Bujarbaruah, K.M. (2007). Comparative performance of Vanaraja chicken under backyard and intensive system at climatic condition of Meghalaya. Indian Journal of Animal Sciences 77: Haunshi, S., Doley, S. and Shakuntala, I. (2009). Production performance of indigenous chicken of north eastern region and improved varieties developed for backyard farming. Indian Journal of Animal Sciences 79: Haunshi, S., Padhi, M. K., Niranjan, M., Rajkumar, U., Shanmugum, M. and Chatterjee, R. N. (2013). Comparative evaluation of native breeds of chicken for persistency of egg production, egg quality and biochemical traits. Indian Journal of Animal Sciences 83: Kaur, N., Kumar, S., Singh, B., Tanwar, V.K., Singh, B., Kumar, A. and Pant, D. (2008). Egg quality traits of local hill fowl and commercial layer stock. Indian Journal of Animal Sciences 78:
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