Native chicken production headlines DA-BAR online seminar series

Viewed live by 155 participants via Cisco Webex and Facebook Live, the DA-BAR in-house webinar held on 21 October 2022 featured native chicken production. Mat M. San Agustin of DA-Bureau of Animal Industry-National Swine and Poultry Research and Development Center (BAI-NSPRDC) served as the resource speaker. 

Native chicken, like other native animals, is known for its resiliency and adaptability. They are adapted to the local agro-climatic conditions, can find their own food and utilize farm by-products, and require minimal care and maintenance. 

San Agustin discussed the characteristics of the genetic groups of native chicken that are being improved, conserved, and utilized by DA-BAI-NSPRDC: Banaba from Batangas, Paraokan from Palawan, and Joloano from Basilan. The same genetic groups are used as foundation stock for DA-BAI’s programs and projects. 

Native chicken is a good source of quality protein and has a unique taste and flavor. With the health-conscious people as its target market, selling live chicken at a higher price of PhP 150-200 per head weighing approximately 900 grams to 1.2 kilograms is possible. Trading or selling it to consumers can range from PhP 250 to 300 per head. 

Interested individuals can also engage in selling dressed native chicken, improved day-old chicks, and breeder stocks. 

He also discussed the three production systems. First, the bahala na or scavenge-based system requires little to no inputs. Native chickens can freely scavenge for their food, and are expected to find their own shelter. Supplementary feeding can be given but depends on availability. 

Next is the free-range system wherein native chickens were given food (eg. palay, corn, formulated feeds) and shelter but are still free to forage and roam around. 

Last is the commercial production system wherein a farm production guide is followed. Native chickens are fed with commercial or own-formulated feeds. Facilities for processing and marketing are present. 

Both free-range and commercial production systems follow the all-in, all-out system wherein native chickens are grown together in groups as they move through the production phases. 

San Agustin also talked about the natural and local feed sources (ie. Trichantera spp. or madre de agua, azolla or duckweed, cassava, malunggay, Arachis spp or peanut, corn, palay, and other scrap vegetables), as well as the feeding practices for chicks, growers, and layers. 

He also discussed the cost and return analysis for a 25-head native chicken production. The total cost is estimated at PhP 72,760 while the total sales  is at approximately PhP 142,300. The total annual net income is PhP 69,540 with a net income per month pegged at PhP 5,795. 

To answer the most asked question during the open forum, “Totoong mataas ang demand ng native chicken. Ang problema ng mga gustong kumain ,[ay kung] saan sila bibili. Sa ngayon ang nangyayari sa industriya ng native chicken ‘yong mga traders naghahanap ‘yan sa iba’t ibang lugar [ng native chicken]. Ang problem d’yan hindi magkaka-edad, hindi parehas ang timbang. Ang native chicken pumapasok lagi sa niche market kaya premium price lagi. Kapag dating sa network ng mga supplier, wala tayong ganoon,” San Agustin said. 

Kapag nakilala ka na, ang tanong kaya mo ba ang i-supply?” he ended with a question. (### Rena S. Hermoso)