Success story of a private Poultry Hatchery Farm in Samdrup Jongkhar
One of the poultry farms in Samdrupcholing under Phuntshothang geog in Samdrup Jongkhar which started as a small backyard farm is now a successful hatchery farm, meeting the demand of day-old chicks (DoCs), eggs and chicken of the eastern region.
The initiative was taken up by Ms. Keshari Maya Dhakal with support from Geog Livestock Officials in 2009. The project grant of Nu. 12,00,000/- (twelve lakh ngultrums) has been funded by the Agriculture Marketing and Entrepreneur Promotion Program (AMEPP), Research Development Centre-Khangma. The hatchery farm started functioning from July 2011. Inputs such as hatchery machine (incubator), generator for lighting incubator during power cut off, fences, graded hatching eggs were borne through the grant. The DoC breeds like Rhode Island Red (RIR) were supplied from the Regional Poultry and Pig Breeding Centre (RPPBC), Lingmethang in Mongar and National Poultry Development Centre (NPDC), Sarpang.
Such establishment has helped not only to meet the local demand of DoCs and pullets but has also helped to reduce the pressure on the Government hatchery farm in Lingmethang in supplying DoCs to the east. The farm also provides employment opportunities both to the proprietor and some of her family members contributing effectively towards poverty alleviation and helping the Dzongkhag to achieve self-sufficiency poultry products.
For efficient farm management, Ms. Keshari Maya and one of her cousins was provided a month long training in handling of DoCs, pullets feeding, watering and other related activities. The handling of hatchery incubator has till date been learned from their own observation of setting of eggs while how to maintain heat and recording was trained by the officials from NPDC, Sarpang.
According to Ms. Keshari, as of 10 February 2012, a total of eight batches of hatching have been completed with a capacity of seven hundred and ninety two eggs set in the incubator. Ms. Keshari said that most of the time out of 792, only around 300 eggs hatches DoCs, more than 50 percent turns out to be either in fertile or get destroyed. Currently, there are 550 of layers, 200 pullets and 300 broilers birds in her farm. She also added that the birds after attending 72 weeks are used for table purposes.
In terms of marketing Ms. Keshari said there is a good demand for DoCs and pullets both within and outside the Dzongkhag which is supplied on a monthly basis as far as Pemagatshel and Trashi Yangtse Dzongkhags. On the contrary, Ms. Keshari said there are only a few consumers for eggs and chicken and despite the availability of local products, she said Â some people still buy chicken from Phuentsholing. Â At present, an egg is sold for Nu. 8 while a kilo of chicken fetches Nu. 170. Another farm attendant, Bishnu also expressed his concern for the lack of proper packaging and marketing system for poultry meat.
The livestock sector is being requested by farmers for support in packaging, marketing and storage of poultry meat.
With the success of Ms. Keshari, more farmers in Phuntshothang are showing an interest in similar business. Other than her farm, there are already four layer farms developing gradually in the geog.
During the visit of Honâ€™ble Lyonpo (Dr.) Pema Gyamtsho, the Minister for Agriculture and Forests (MoAF), to the farm on 23 December 2011, Lyonpo shared some of the problems faced by the government owned farms in terms of meeting the demands for DoCs and chicken demand of the six eastern Dzongkhags. Lyonpo said, establishing private hatchery farms help reduce pressure on government farms. Recognising the consistent performance by the hatchery farm, Lyonpo instructed the dzongkhag livestock sector to provide a high capacity hatchery machine to the proprietor for more chicks to be hatched and to overcome the high demand both within and outside Dzongkhag.
Since the establishment of the hatchery farm, the proprietor has earned an income of Nu. 4.64 lakhs which will be used for farm maintenance. So far, they have supplied around 930 pullets and 520 nos. of DoCs to the neighbouring areas.
According to the Dzongkhag Livestock Officer of Samdrup Jongkhar, the incubator with a capacity of 3000 eggs will be provided soon as per the directives from Lyonpo. In addition, the proprietor will be also given a feathering machine to ease their work load.
- By Tshering Doma, ICS with contributions by K.P. Sharma, Livestock Health Supervisor, Phuntshothang. Photos by Choidup Zangpo, ICS.