R. Bhattacharjya, A. Haribhushan, T. R Marak, T. Monika Devi, B. Ningthoujam. R.C.A. Sangma, B. Langpoklakpam, T. D. K Momin and A. Karam
Krishi Vigyan Kendra, South Garo Hills, Chokpot, Meghalaya, CAU, Imphal
Meghalaya is a hilly state with rural and tribal masses keeping poultry as a tradition for their livelihood since time immemorial. They rear desi chicken with low egg and meat production in the backyard system. For developing rural poultry farming, improved backyard poultry bird rearing is of very important. The present study has been undertaken to evaluate the production efficiency of three types of chicken varieties (Vanaraja, Rainbow Rooster and local birds 100 each) covering a total of 120 poultry farmers in the tribal-dominated Chokpot Block of South Garo Hills district in Meghalaya to assess different productive and reproductive traits of Desi, Vanaraja and Rainbow Rooster birds under field condition. Information was obtained on mean body weight at various ages, age at first egg, egg production and egg weight at different stages and mortality rate. The improved varieties had significantly (P ≤ 0.01) higher body weight than the local chicken. The mean age at first egg recorded in Vanaraja (188.45±1.05 days) and Rainbow Rooster (189.77±2.03 days) birds were significantly (P0.05) lower than Desi (205.21±2.23days) birds. The mean egg production and egg weight of Vanaraja and Rainbow Rooster birds were significantly (P0.05) higher than Desi chicken, however, no significant difference in mean egg production and egg weight was recorded between Vanaraja and Rainbow Rooster in similar ages. Significantly (P0.05) higher mortality rates were recorded in Vanaraja and Rainbow Rooster chicks, than the Desi chicks during 0-5 weeks of age. The backyard poultry system with improved birds provides a solution to Livelihood and nutritional security to the rural masses paving the way for sustainable livestock production in India.