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Mortalities Rise with Temperature in India

by 5m Editor
10 June 2009, at 7:05am

ANDHRA PRADESH, INDIA - High temperatures are causing increasd mortality in poultry flocks.

Poultry breeders in Andhra Pradesh are facing an increased bird mortality rate caused by soaring mercury levels, which went up to 42 degrees Celsius in May, reports Food & Beverage News from Mumbai. Most poultry farms had to use water sprinklers and fans to keep temperatures low. In the process, they incurred high costs of running generators.

The farm gate price of chicken is currently 68 rupees (INR) per kilo, which is considered high. But the increase in expenditure in maintaining poultry, coupled with higher bird mortality, is eating into profits, according to members of the Poultry Breeders Association of Andhra Pradesh.

According to a report in Business Standard, it is normal for hatcheries to have a bird mortality rate of 0.2 per week. The broiler parents are the worst hit and the mortality rate due to the heat is as high as 1.5 to 2.0 per cent. As a result, production has dropped by 15 per cent. Broiler parents weigh 3.0 to 4.5 kg, making it difficult for them to cope with the heat. Commercial broilers, which weigh around 2 kg, deal with heat more effectively.

Food & Beverage News reports that hatcheries have been incurring a loss of about INR 5 per bird per month on broiler parents and 75 paise on commercial layers, which weigh around 1.7 kg. Big hatcheries are racking up power bills in the region of INR 800,000 per month, in addition to INR 300,000 for diesel to run generators, which are needed in view of the frequent power cuts. The poultry breeding industry is preparing to renew its demand to recognise it as part of the agriculture sector and for an extension of the power subsidy to bring it at par with the agricultural sector.