#Himsamridhi to help the farmers in doubling their income




: CSKHPAU develops a new poultry stock to promote rural backyard poultry farming :The scientists of #CSKHimachalPradesh_Agriculture_University have developed a new poultry stock (variety) and named it ‘Himsamridhi’. It has been developed by the scientists of the Department of Animal Genetics & Breeding, #Dr_GC_Negi_Collegeof_Veterinary& #AnimalSciences.
‘Himsamridhi’ has been developed by crossing a red-colored dual purpose poultry breed (Dahlem Red) with selected native (Desi) chicken of the State. The research work on development of this new location specific poultry variety was being carried on under the aegis of ongoing All India Coordinated Research Project (AICRP) on Poultry Breeding (Rural Poultry Unit) centre at the university and its coordinating unit at Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)- Directorate of Poultry Research, Hyderabad. This AICRP on Poultry Breeding centre was sanctioned by the ICAR during 2009-10 and was further extended for XII five-year plan period. A major objective of this project was evaluation of local fowl germplasm and production of poultry crosses suitable for rural poultry farming under local climatic conditions with focus to improve rural backyard poultry farming in hilly regions.
The on-farm and field performance of ‘Himsamridhi’ has been evaluated. It has proved as a promising egg type poultry stock suitable for rural backyard poultry farming in this area. The important characteristics of this stock are; attractive reddish brown plumage colour, good growth, early feathering, adaptability, good for aging and scavenging, early start of laying, large brown shelled egg and reasonably good egg production. The adult (20 weeks) body weight in a male and female bird is 1.750 kg- 2.200 kg and 1.500 kg – 1.750 kg, respectively. The egg production in hens starts at 18-20 weeks of age. The birds are able to lay 160-180 eggs / bird in a laying year. The eggs are brown shelled and weigh 55-60 gms. This stock is being preferred by farmers in this area for rearing as colored egg type bird under backyard production.
The department has been hatching and supplying chicks of this stock DND [(DR X N) X DR] to the poultry farmers for rearing under backyard poultry with increasing acceptability. During 2016-17, the department had supplied approximately 35000 chicks of this stock to over 450 farmers for rearing. This included poultry units established in the agro climatically harsh tribal areas of the state, where these birds have survived and performed well. This new stock has been released as a new location specific poultry variety named “Himsamridhi” for further propagation in the state after approval from the ICAR.
According to Dr.Y.P.Thakur, Principal Investigator of the project, in the beginning, bench mark surveys were carried on in different areas of the state to elicit people’s preference for the type of poultry bird suitable to rural backyard poultry production and then proceed for developing desired type of stock based on survey response on farmer’s expectation. In these surveys, the farmers had preferred a coloured bird with good growth, early feathering, good egg production, brown shelled egg with large size, low mortality, good foraging and scavenging habits and ability to escape from predators. After knowing people’s choice, different improved poultry stocks available in the country were evaluated for their production performance, adaptability and suitability for backyard poultry production in this region. Based on people’s choice and after comprehensive evaluation, a cross of Dahlem Red (a dual purpose breed) and native chicken population of Himachal Pradesh having desired characteristics and favorable consumer’s preference was identified as promising poultry stock suitable for rural backyard poultry farming in this area. The breeding plan for production of this stock involved mating of improved egg type Dahlem Red parent stock birds procured from available sources in the country to selected native birds and evaluating the performance of the resultant progeny. The native birds used were initially procured from different regions of the state and subsequently selected for improved egg production over several generations. The selected first generation crosses males were than mated to Dahlem Red parent hens to obtain the terminal cross having 75% Dahlem Red and 25% native blood level. This cross DND [(DR X N) X DR)] has been comprehensively evaluated, refined, stabilized and tested under farmer’s level to develop and release as a location specific poultry stock suitable for egg type rural backyard poultry farming in hilly areas.
He told that his department intends to further increase the hatching and availability of chicks of this stock to the farmers throughout the state in the coming years which will boost backyard poultry farming in this region, where commercial scale poultry production has not yet picked up and added to the farm income of the local people. The department is also taking up characterization and genetic improvement of the native chicken germplasm present in the rural areas of the state for its recognition as a distinct chicken breed. The chicks of native birds are also provided to farmers who are interested to raise Desi birds.
Prof A.K.Sarial, Vice-Chancellor has appreciated the principal investigator Dr.Y.P.Thakur and his team including Dr Varun Sankhyan, for developing ‘Himsamridhi’ as it would improve the farm economy besides improving nutritional quality of poor farm families as these are mostly deficient in high protein diet. The Vice-Chancellor said that rearing of these poultry birds alongwith other agricultural activities would add to the family income substantially and help the farmers in doubling their income as envisaged by the Govt. of India.



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