A program of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) has developed four native chicken strains with the aim of improving the profitability of native chicken for rural farmers in Regions 5, 6, 7, and 9.

native chicken strains

Four native chicken strains developed including (from top left) Camarines, Darag, (from bottom left) Boholano, and Zampen (Image credit: Livestock Research Division, DOST-PCAARRD)

Researches under the Industry Strategic S&T Program (ISP) for Native Chicken have developed breeding true-to-type populations and free range production protocols for four native chicken strains, Darag, Camarines, Boholano, and Zampen. The protocols were supplemented with a Free Range Production Module to further enhance capacities of rural farmers on production and management.

These four strains of native chicken are characterized with a more uniform physical appearance, predictable performance, and consistent product quality. Moreover, these new strains have improved average egg production performance from 100 to 120 eggs per hen per year.

The mentioned strains have also increased the number of slaughter native chicken from 20 to 55 head per hen per year.

To address the problem on mortality, ethnobotanical anthelmintics were developed to control gastro-intestinal parasitism. Moreover, local production of oil-emulsion Newcastle Disease (NCD) vaccine is also pursued to control the annual NCD outbreaks that cause about 90% mortality in infected native chicken flocks. With these S&T interventions, 11,579 head of quality breeder and 105,095 head of slaughter Darag chickens have been produced in Region 6.

Inspired by the apparent success achieved in Region 6, the Program is currently being replicated in three other regions where Camarines, Boholano, and Zampen native chicken strains are produced. Gains from these interventions are expected to meet the increasing demand for native chickens in the country.

Other accomplishments under the program include the establishment of demographic profiles of native chicken raisers, traders, and consumers in Regions 5, 7, and 9 as well as the establishment of profitability analysis of breeder and slaughter native chicken production in Regions 5, 6, 7, and 9. To promote native chicken improvement, production, and profitable utilization, policy briefs were also developed. Moreover, private native chicken breeder farm partners in Regions 5, 6, 7, and 9 were established to ensure sustainability of breeding and production of quality breeder stocks.

Along with PCAARRD, the implementing agencies include Bicol University (BU), West Visayas State University (WVSU), Department of Agriculture-Ubay Stock Farm, Western Mindanao State University (WMSU), and the University of the Philippines Los BaƱos (UPLB).

by Livestock Research Division, DOST-PCAARRD S&T Media Service