Chitwan poulterers resort to molting

Chitwan, December 1

Poultry farmers in Chitwan have started to practice molting due to scarcity of chicken feed caused by the Nepal-India border blockade.

According to Nepal Chicken Feed Association former chairperson Dr Tilchandra Bhattarai, molting is practiced on hens — both parent and layers — that are more than 45 weeks old by letting them shed the fat in their body.

“As per the method, we gradually reduce the level of feed the hens are provided with to zero in a week. After keeping them without any feed for one more week, the hens lose weight by up to 30 per cent,” Bhattarai informed, adding, “Once the targeted weight is lost, the hens are gradually fed again.”

According to Bhattarai, the practice will help save up to 15 days’ feed while also increasing poultry production and production period. “As 10 to 15 per cent of diseased hens die during molting, it saves the feed,” Bhattarai said.

Poultry entrepreneur forum Chairperson Shankar Prasad Kandel rued the border blockade and its effects on poultry farming. “On the one hand, there is shortage of chicken feed as raw materials are imported from India, and on the other, despite somehow producing eggs and chicks, it’s very hard for us to sell them,” he said.

As per data with Hatchery Industry Association, production of chicks has dropped by 30 per cent since the beginning of the border blockade.

Similarly, Nepal Eggs Production Association Chairperson Shivaram KC presented data of 25 per cent reduction in egg production.