1. Animal Husbandry

Broiler Prices Crashed to Rs 72, Poultry Business Badly Hit in Tamil Nadu

Dimple Gupta
Dimple Gupta
Broiler chicken prices fell at Rs 72per kg

The Broiler industry in western Tamil Nadu is worth more than Rs 4,000 crores with over 5,000 farms operating in Palladam, but rains and onset of Tamil month Karthikai, when Iyyappa devotees go vegetarian have affected poultry farm sales in Tiruppur, as the wholesale price of broiler chicken fell to Rs 72 per kg in the previous month. 

According to Broiler Coordination Committee’s data, “The wholesale price of chicken was around Rs 123 per kg in June, Rs 133 in July, Rs 116 in August, and Rs 120 in September. It dropped to Rs 110 on October 20 and Rs 100 on October 25. Now, it had nosedived to Rs 72 per kg.” 

Sales dumped over the last two weeks since rains started and there is very less off-take from Coimbatore, Nilgiris, Dindigul, Erode, and Tiruppur districts. Many farmers are in shock as the stock for one week runs into a few hundred crores”, an office-bearer from Palladam broiler farm owner’s association said. 

Eswaramoorthi, a poultry owner while explaining the production cost said, “A chicken attains 2 kg in 45 days. Soy and maize are the primary feed, and they have turned costly. Add to this cost of vaccination, power, and labor, the input cost comes around Rs 90 per kg”, and when asked how retail prices are fixed, he said “The wholesale price is based on the weight of live bird – 2.25-2.5 kg whereas it weighs 1.5 – 1.8 kg after culling and cleaning. Retailers add Rs 40-50 per bird towards labor and other costs and sell meat at Rs 180-190 per kg. In order to clear stock, poultry owners are selling birds at Rs 72 per kg.” 

Rajesh, a chicken stall owner in Iduvampalayam said “I used to sell 20-30 birds a day as both live chicken and meat. However, the number has gone down to just five a day for the last 15 days. If the situation continues this way, I don’t know I will pay my workers. Every year, November-December (Karthikai) sees a drop in sales. This time rain has played a big part.” 

Shanmugam, a poultry owner in Palladam said “I used to sell 12,000-15,000 birds a week to buyers from Coimbatore and Kerala. But for the past few weeks, heavy rain crushed my business. Due to a sudden drop in demand, I could transport only 3,000-5,000 birds in two weeks. The tumbling sales added to the burden of poultry farmers as now they have more birds to feed. The birds cannot be culled.” 

K Chinnasami, Secretary of Broiler Coordination Committee (Palladam) said “The transportation of chickens to retail shops had been stalled by two weeks of intense rains and flooding in most parts of Tamil Nadu. Hundreds of chicken stalls were closed as people stayed indoors” while noting the fact that transportation is the key component in the poultry business. 

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