Pulwama, July 27: Gallus gallusdomesticus, also known as Kadaknath, has become centre of attraction at a village in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district where it is reared by an educated youth at his poultry unit.
The unit named as Hitech Poultry is situated at Nikas village along national highway 44 and is owned by Adil Abbas Mir, a graduate belonging to the New Colony area of Arihal village.
“A flock of around 2500 bird stands sold,” Adil said, adding that the demand increased dramatically after a video of the bird was featured on social networking site, Facebook.
“Orders came from as far as Ganderbal, only 50 birds are now unsold” he said.
Adil has been rearing Kadaknath, also known as Kali Masi for having black meat, for the past three years.
Earlier this curious villager had set up a dairy farm.
His curiosity to look for high breeds of various poultry birds took him to Samana Punjab where he purchased the Kadaknath chicks for rearing at his unit.
“The dairy farm was shut down because it became sick,” he said.
He said that the bird is an agile species. However, this bird grows slowly.
“The chick takes six months to turn into an adult,” he said, adding that it has a distinct taste like that of partridge.
The bird is rich in protein and iron which makes it comparatively expensive. The bird is said to have some medicinal properties as well.
“We sell them by number, not by weight,” he said. One bird sells for 650 rupees.
The entrepreneur said that he has set up the unit primarily for egg production.
“I want to supply high protein eggs to the local market,” he said, adding that an egg of Kadaknath sells for rupees 55.
The Kadaknath hen lays 180 eggs in a year.
He finds rearing high breed poultry as a profitable profession which can address growing unemployment in Kashmir.
“Educated youth should come forward, I will provide them all guidance,” he said.
In the past couple of weeks a rush was seen at his poultry unit. Many people shot videos of this black chicken and others clicked photographs.
Kadaknath, a black chicken, is endemic to Jahuba district of Madhya Pradesh and was nearly extinct in the state a few years ago due to high consumption and fatality of chicks.
To increase the bird numbers, a poultry breeding programme was launched around five years ago by KVK’s of the district.
Many farmers in Jahuba, a backward district prone to droughts, were trained for rearing hatched chicks of Kadaknath.
The numbers are said to have improved but still low.