Production Performance of Vanaraja Birds Under Traditional System of Rearing in Manipur

Suresh Kr., S.V. Ngachan, G. Shyam Sunder* and N. Keinatombi Devi
ICAR Res. Complex Manipur Centre, Imphal, Lamphelpat – 795004
* Project Directorate on Poultry, Rajendra Nagar, Hyderabad -30 ( A.P.)

VANARAJA is a dual purpose, multi-coloured bird for family poultry production evolved at the Project Directorate on Poultry, Hyderabad. The male and female parents are the strain crosses, evolved by blending of genes responsible for egg and meat production from Indigenous and Exotic sources (colour population). Manipur has nearly 76 % of its population living in rural areas vis-à-vis the indigenous chicken (non-descript) which are extensively raised in the backyards constitutes 70 % of the total poultry population in the state. This traditional system of backyard poultry keeping with indigenous birds predominates and it was the only means to fulfill the demands of eggs and meat for rural farm families and urban supply as well as the most important cash income source during economic difficulties. Efforts are being undertaken to produce more eggs and chicken meat to meet the needs of growing human population through introduction of VANARAJA – which yielded more eggs. Their performance is being studied since 2000 under the agro-climatic condition of Manipur. Manipur is flanked with hills all around, lies between 93.03 o E to 94.78 o E longitudes and 23.80 o N to 25.68 o N latitude with altitude varying from 790 m to 2425 m MSL. The average annual rainfall is 1467.5 mm spread from May to October round the year. It has sub-tropical temperate climate. The normal maximum temperature fluctuates from 21 -29 o C whereas minimum temperature fluctuates from 4-21 oC. The feed ingredients available viz. maize, rice-byproducts, oil cakes, surplus grains may be mentioned. Compared to exotic commercial strains, VANARAJA does not perform very efficiently in terms of eggs and meat production. However, meat and eggs of VANARAJA are preferred by the local consumers. This hybrid is also readily accepted by the rural farmers owing to its similarity of the typical appearance of the local birds and characteristically very low operational cost but significant returns under the existing methods of rearing in the rural areas.

The village record indicate that VANARAJA male attained average body weight of 1.57 kg at the age of 10 weeks, for the female, 1.12 kg, by which time the carcass rate is about 63.13 %. In an average, female weighs 2.24 kg 2.58 kg and 3.38 kg while the male, 2.75 kg, 3.15 kg, and 4.35 kg at 20, 40, and 72 weeks of age respectively at 20, 40, and 72 weeks of age respectively. The average age at sexual maturity was 171 days, and the average egg production of 147 eggs /hen/annum with an average egg weight of 58 g. The pullet weighs 2.53 kg The percent fertility and hatchability was 71.13 % and 72.6 % respectively. The above level of production was achieved by providing broken rice or maize, rice–byproducts, household wastes, surplus grains, crop byproducts etc. It can be suggested that this variety has potential to perform well under the agro-climatic condition of Manipur where natural vegetation would be of excellent source of food with low/ no expenditure on its maintenance.

Source : IPSACON-2005

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