Chicken prices on rise as mercury level shoots up

Chicken prices on rise as mercury level shoots up

Hyderabad: Prevailing severe heat wave conditions is taking a toll on poultry industry in Telangana. Chicken production has dipped to an all-time low due to non-availability of water required for rearing birds. As a result, dressed chicken prices in the state have shot up to Rs 200 per kg.

Many poultry farms are closing down as the managements are finding it difficult to procure water to keep the sheds cool to protect chicks from heat. Most of the borewells around the poultry farms have gone dry. Mortality rate is also high among the surviving birds due to scorching heat.

Telangana has over 10,000 major poultry farms with about 70 million (7 crore) live birds of broiler and layer breeds. Speaking to The Hans India, Telangana Poultry Federation leader D Sudhakar said the heat wave conditions had an adverse effect on chicken production. It has gone down by 20 percent to 30 percent.

In the normal season, chicken production would have been around 3.5 crore kg per month in Telangana districts. Under the influence of the heat, bird weight was not increasing up to the expected mark. In the normal weather conditions, each bird would grow up to 1.5 kg to 2 kg weight.

But now it is less than 1.5 kg, Sudhakar explained. Most of the poultries are located in Ranga Reddy , Warangal and Nalgonda districts which bore the brunt of severe water crisis this year.”Birds cannot withstand a high temperature of about 40 degrees and we were helpless in bringing down the temperatures in the poultry farms,” Sudhakar said.

Sudden decline in chicken production has resulted in steep hike in the prices of chicken. It has now touched Rs 200 from Rs 150. Though chicken consumption is low in summer, scarcity of the commodity has led to abnormal increase of prices across the state. The heat wave had similar effect on egg production.