Namakkal chicken farms severely hit owing to Bird flu: Egg production to be brought down to arrest the price slide:
Namakkal zone, the epicenter of egg production in Tamilnadu, has been dealt a brutal blow owing to the rising panic caused by bird flu. The egg prices have fallen sharply by 90paise in a single week that has gone by. To stabilize this disheartening price trend, the chicken farmers of the zone have decided to bring down the egg production.
Confirmed cases of bird flu in the famed duck farms of Kerala, and chicken farms in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh has resulted in a nationwide panic. Though effective steps are in place to manage this growing threat, this situation has impacted the egg prices in other states as well, including Tamilnadu.
Bird Flu in Namakkal
The Namakkal Zone boasts of a mind-boggling 1800 chicken farming units, that churn out 4 crore eggs. Out of these, half the production is sent to neighboring Kerala, while the rest are used to meet the local demands, and also for exports. But the current bird flu panic has adversely affected the movement of eggs for interstate trade.
It has been said that more than 2 crore eggs have been held up in these chicken farms. This has resulted in a steady decline in egg prices. Now, the prevalent price per egg has been fixed as 420 paise which is expected to go down further in the upcoming days.
To prevent the accumulation of further unsold eggs, the owners of the chicken farms have agreed to bring down their egg production. The layer hens are known to start ovulating from their 20th week and go on an egg-laying spree for a maximum of 100 weeks. Their egg-laying ability decreases post this age and they are sold to be processed for chicken meat after that.
To bring down the egg production, the unit owners have started to sell them for meat instead of sending them to egg-laying units. The chickens nearing their 100th week are also expected to be sold for meat well before that prescribed time in advance. This will drastically reduce the current egg production, it is said.
Disease prevention measures are always implemented rigorously in the Namakkal Zone. Yet, the vigil has been upped now with the bird flu panic in mind. Spraying disinfectants and measures to prevent the entry of other wild avian fauna into the units are done with haste.
Lorries carrying egg shipments from other states are not allowed inside the chicken farms immediately. They are disinfected with sanitizers and are held back for a day, and then granted permission inside.
Storing the eggs in cold storage till this bird flu panic subsides, is another option that is under consideration, according to the chicken farmers.