Over 63,000 black giant chickens distributed countrywide
The distribution of the black giant chicken programme is moving apace, as over 63,000 black giant chickens were distributed across the hinterland regions and other parts of the country.
The distribution forms part of a concerted effort, to grow the local poultry sector by introducing a resilient breed of chicken.
Black giant chickens provide a sustainable source of high-quality protein.
It is a sizable dual-purpose bird that can produce up to 200 eggs annually and roughly 4.5 kilogrammes of meat.
While every Guyanese is catered for in this programme, priority is given to women, vulnerable groups and youths.
This was revealed by the Chief Executive Officer of Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA), Dr Dwight Walrond on Wednesday during an interview.
“If we look at the figure last year, we would have distributed a total of 63,000 plus black giant birds. Of that 63,000, 52,000 would have been distributed in the hinterland communities, in all ten administrative regions. But a lot of it went into the hinterland communities, to ensure that we can satisfy the protein needs of those communities,” DrWalrond explained.
The programme has not only helped to provide income-generating opportunities beyond poultry production. Among these are transportation, feed supply, and processing.
“But to complement what we are doing; we have 100 farmers who are registered with us as breeders. So, they are just multiplying and hatching the eggs to assist with the distribution. They are also making money in the process.
These birds can graze, forage, consume leftover food from the kitchen, and still produce in a respectable manner.
The introduction of the black giant birds, especially in the hinterland, is due to their adaptability, as well as the low maintenance cost.
Dr Walrond said, “If we decide to take broilers to those communities, the environmental conditions will not be suitable for them. These are the temperature and humidity. Then, you look at big part which is access to feed. The logistics cost in getting the feed into those communities, in some cases, would be more than the cost of the feed itself…With the black giant chicks, you are guaranteed over 260 eggs per year from each female.
One of the challenges, Dr Walrond explained is the high demand for the meat from various restaurants and other entities.
In terms of meat production, Dr Walrond noted that the male chickens will provide five to six pounds of meat at nine weeks, “For us, it is not just looking at the annual meat production from the black giant programme, but the eggs. If you look at the cost for black giant eggs compared to the Rhode Island red and the hy-line whites, it is way above because the demand is so high because they are bigger.”