NEET Biology Domestication of animals For enhancement of Food production Poultry


Category : NEET



Poultry includes the birds like chicken (hen), ducks, geese and turkey. Poultry farming deals with the rearing of them for their eggs and meat. Fowls are widely distributed as domesticated animal since time immemorial, but in the present century, it has become an important small scale industry due to modern need for palatable and nutritive food which it provides in the form of eggs as well as adult animal. An egg laying poultry bird is called hen and the poultry birds groomed for obtaining meat are called chicken or broilers. Birds especially chicken grown for meat only is known as Broiler Poultry is closely related to the problems of nutrition. Poultry and poultry products like eggs are a rich source of animal protein and a right kind of fat for good health.

India and the neighboring countries, like Burma, Sri Lanka are the original home of the red jungle fowl (Gallus gallus). It seems that Aseel or Malay fowl were carried to Europe through the Middle East about 2,000 years ago and have given rise to the present-day European breeds.


(i) Poultry farming v/s livestock rearing : Poultry birds are easy to raise, can be acclimatised to a wide range of climatic conditions, have short life span and are prolific breeders and thus poultry farming is advantageous over livestock rearing. Moreover, poultry farming requires less space and easy to manage and maintain and brings fast returns. Hens have an average yield of 60 eggs per year, but high yielding varieties can produce more than 240 eggs in a year.

Poultry contributes about Rs. 7,500 crores to the gross national product (GNP) of India. India ranks fifth in the world's egg production. Egg is one such food commodity which cannot be adulterated. The average per capita consumption is about 32 eggs and 600 grams of poultry meat a year. At present poultry is estimated to provide employment to about seven lakh families.


(ii) Raising of poultry - Fowl house: Fowls can be reared in the hills of India without houses, but in the plains, well- ventilated and illuminated, dry houses are essential. A house of  has sufficient accommodation for six fowls. An open shed or verandah must be attached to this house as run to the fowls for exercise. The fowl house may be either of wood or brick and the roof is made up of corrugated iron sheets, thatch or wood. The floor is littered with chopped straw, paddy husk, dry leaves or groundnut hulls. The fowl house must be rat- proof, with proper drainage. The house and shed should be cleaned daily. Fowls of different ages are kept in separate houses. In regions with moderate climate, they are kept in cages (coops).


(a) Feed: The quality and balanced quantity of food material are the back-bones of poultry. The feed given to poultry birds should contain all the essential nutrients like carbohydrates, fats, proteins, minerals and vitamins. The feed usually consists of mashed cereals like bajra, wheat, maize, jowar, ragi, rice bran and oil cakes. The fish meal' prepared from the wastes of fish processing industry and meat meal' prepared from the wastes of meat processing industry is also used to feed poultry birds. The skimmed milk is highly nutritive for young chicks and should be given in clean vessels. The green food as fresh tender grass, garlic, lettuce, onions, etc. are important for poultry and should be given uncooked.

(b) Breeds of fowls: The whole poultry industry is centred round the fowls so the selection of good breed of birds for particular area is essential. The selection of fowl breed should be based on the object with which fowls are kept. Some important indigenous breeds of domestic fowl (desi hens) include Aseel, karaknath, Basara, Chittagong, Ghagus, Brahma and Cochin. Desi hens are hardy (strong) and possess natural immunity against common diseases, but they are small, slow growing, and lay small- sized and less number of eggs. The average egg production of a desi hen is about 60 eggs per annum, which is very poor. Keeping this fact in mind, a large number of poultry birds have been imported, bred and acclimatised to local conditions. Some of these are excellent egg layers while others are good meat producing birds. Some of the high egg-yielding exotic breeds of hens which have been successfully acclimatised in India include white Leghorn, Rhode Island Red, Black Minorca, Plymouth Rock, Light Sussex and New Hampshire. White Leghorn is one of the most popular egg breeds all over the world. The local varieties of hen (disi hens) have been cross bred with the high-yielding varieties of exotic breeds to obtain new breeds which combine the good characteristics of both the breeds. The new improved breeds (hybrid breeds) of poultry birds grow fast, take less feed, lay more bigger-sized eggs, and are more resistant to diseases. ILS - 82, B - 77 HH - 260 are some important improved, high yielding breeds developed in India by cross breeding. The ILS-82 and B - 77 breeds lay about 200 eggs, whereas HH - 260 breeds lay more than 260 eggs per annum.

(c) Diseases of poultry: The poultry keeper should always be careful against the diseases. Some important diseases of poultry birds are fowl pox, ranikhet (viral), fowl cholera, salmonellosis, diarrhoea, coryza (bacterial) and aspergillosis (fungal) however, the most common disease amongst fowls is Ranikhet disease, caused by a virus. The disease affects the fowls of all ages. In this disease bird opens the beak, becomes thirsty, suffers from fever and yellowish - white diarrhoea occurs. It is followed by nervous symptoms like twisting of the head, circular waling and paralysis. The birds become very weak and die within two to three days. Mortality is very high about 98 to 100 per cent. But, with better management, proper housing and nutrition and timely vaccination of the chicks, the disease can be controlled very effectively.

Ranikhet diseases is found in Hens

(iii) Other poultry birds: Besides domestic fowl, other birds like ducks, turkeys, etc. are also raised. Ducks comprise about 6 per cent of the total poultry population in India. They are more abundant in the southern and eastern parts of India. Muscori, pekin, Eynesbury, Campbell, India Runner and Shyla meta are some important breeds ducks. Narfold, British white, Broad Breasted Bronze and Beltsville small white are some important breeds of turkeys in India.

(iv) Poultry development in India: Poultry is one of the important components of the farmer's economy as it provides additional income and job opportunities to a large number of rural population in the shortest possible time. Central poultry breeding farms at Bombay, Bhubaneswar, Hessarghatta and Chandigarh engaged in scientific poultry breeding programme developed high egg producing hybrids and fast growing broiler breeds. Central Duck Breeding Farm at Hessarghatta is catering to requirements of high egg producing khaki Campbell breeding stock duckling. The poultry industry has grown rapidly in India in the last twenty years from a backyard farming activity to a modern and highly scientific industry. As a result of government's efforts, during the seventh plan period, egg and broiler production registered a compound growth rate of 7.3 per cent and 18 per cent respectively. The egg production is estimated to be about 26.1 billion in 1994-95.

            (a) Broiler or fryer - The chicken use for meat.

            (b) Brooding - Living and brood out egg for incubation in particular condition.

            (c) Cannibalism - Peeking of fowls among themselves.

            (d) Cockerel - Young male fowl.

            (e) Rooster - Mature male fowl.

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Notes - Poultry
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