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Zero mortality – Good management practices do pay back

by ruchita last modified Jan 08, 2014 04:34 PM

Dec 12, 2007

Gauri Naushkar lives with her family of four comprising of Goshto her husband, Devdas and Devika her son and daughter respectively. They live in a dilapidated hut with a tin and bamboo roof. The walls are made of brick and cement up to two feet and thereafter of palm leaf matting. The roof leaks during the rainy season and Gauri would like to get the house in better shape but cannot as she has no funds. Goshto buys potatoes in bulk and retails them. The income from this enterprise is barely sufficient to meet the family’s basic needs. They own one bigha of land where paddy is cultivated, primarily for home consumption.

Gauri had seen poultry being reared since her childhood and moved from rearing desi birds to the Kuroiler after seeing these birds at her maternal home. She bought her first flock three years ago and so far her experience has been positive. She has not lost a single bird. She takes good care of her hens by allowing them to scavenge for some time (about an hour) and then confines them to the shed. She feeds her birds with onion, garlic, mustard oil and green chilli paste at least four times a week. She also gives them a Dolkolmi (Ipomoea) herb to eat and claims that its medicinal properties keep the birds immunity high. (Ipomoea is locally eaten by people as an anti-malarial and liver tonic). Her birds are trained to eat algae at the pond. Paddy and kitchen leftovers are also given as main feed.

Gauri is of the view that Kuroilers are easy to maintain and ensure a regular supply of eggs and chicken to the family. While layers are sold at 2-2 ½ years, other birds are sold at 5 months of age and the money is used for her children’s education.

She sometimes also buys herself a sari. She can use the income from poultry rearing as she pleases. All decisions related to her Kuroiler flock are taken by Gauri.

Gauri is also the leader of an SHG under the Swarnjayanti Gram Rozgaar Yojana (SGSY). Being a group leader, has improved her standing amongst her peers. She saves Rs 30 every month and can avail a loan of Rs 2000/- at 2% rate of interest. She had taken a loan to help out her husband in his business and had managed to repay it on time.

She had attended a 10 days training program on poultry management run by the government and is aware of bird flu and other poultry diseases. She keeps her poultry shed clean by sweeping and washing it occasionally with phenyl. Presently, Gauri’s poultry flock is housed in a partitioned section of her kitchen, though she wants to build a proper shed and thereafter increase her flock size to atleast 50 birds. At present she does not have additional cash to invest

Gauri considers poultry rearing a relatively easy activity. Kuroilers do not need much space and their feed requirement is also less compared to other livestock. In her view, work load increases if goats or cows are kept as they have to be fed twice and the shed has to be cleaned daily. She sources medicines from veterinary centres in Julpia and Amtala directly and has no trouble in accessing these facilities. 

Gauri insists that she won’t get her daughter married at an early age and would wait till she is at least 20 years old.

Contributed by – SA PPLPP Coordination Team (2007)

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