JAMMU & KASHMIR, INDIA – Strong demand for day-old chicks in the region is causing concerns over poor quality birds from other areas, a situation that is threatening the industry.
With the day-old chick imports to the Valley shooting up sharply, many unscrupulous traders here have started importing poor quality chicks to make some quick bucks, sources told Greater Kashmir.
Sources said these traders were using dyes to colour the plumage and the fluff of the tender chicks to dupe the buyers. With number of people going for poultry farming increasing manifold in the Valley, experts said the import of day-old chicks from Punjab and Haryana has increased substantially over the years.
Experts said with most of the farmers ignorant about the quality of the day-old chicks they purchase, “the traders taking advantage of this situation import low quality chicks and earn huge profits”.
Interestingly, these chicks, according to experts, can threaten the entire poultry industry in Kashmir.
They explained: “The gullible farmers who are made to purchase the low-quality chicks incur huge losses due to poor viability and heavy mortality of these chicks.”
Experts said the wholesalers and middlemen purchase the chicks from the sub-standard hatcheries at throwaway prices and transfer them in the boxes of branded hatcheries already in their possession.
The Animal Husbandry Department has a checkpoint at Zig in Lower Munda set up in the wake of outbreak of avian flu in some states in India, to monitor the import of chicks into the Valley. But the experts said it was not practically possible to check all the boxes loaded in vehicles coming to the Valley owing to time limitations and urgency in delivery of the chicks to the farmers.
Local experts said: “The government should devise some other procedure to check the quality of chicks at the farms itself,” adding that the government can involve the Animal Husbandry Department its teams of experts to certify the quality and standard of chicks and keep watch on the import of the chicks by various dealers from Punjab and Haryana and regulate the daily supply to not more than 75,000 chicks.
The government should also educate the poultry farmers to make them well aware about the chicks they should use in their farms.
“The marketing of chicken and day-old chicks also need to be regulated in an organised method,” experts told Greater Kashmir.
Information ThePoultrySite News Desk