Guwahati guy uses innovation to hatch birds
GUWAHATI: What started five years ago as an experiment has now turned a Guwahati resident into a successful poultry farmer who is breeding a range of uncommon birds. Today he is involved in poultry farming of birds like Emu, Quail, Rhode Island Red chicken (RIR) among others.
Sijubari resident Jahangir Khan had earlier owned a pet shop; this is how he ventured into this field. The idea of poultry farming clicked with Jahangir when he bought five Emu birds from Andhra Pradesh. He sold off two in his pet shop while three remained unsold.
“When the Emus gave eggs, I thought that I should not waste them. I wanted to try and hatch the eggs and started thinking of ways to make it possible,” Jahangir informed G Plus.
He then researched and came to know that he would have to procure machinery required to hatch the eggs. However, purchasing machinery was not a feasible option as it would cost around Rs 4-5 lakhs.
Determined to carry out an experiment and try his luck, Jahangir started building a machine which would aid him in hatching the eggs.
“It was impossible for me to invest so much money at that time. So I researched on the internet and built a machine using the heater available in aquariums. It has a thermostat which controls the temperature. Then I modified it a little and built the machine using an old refrigerator,” Jahangir recounted.
This is how his interest in the poultry field grew slowly but steadily. He is also responsible for making relatively unknown birds popular in and around Guwahati. For instance, he first brought quail - a small variety of bird found across Europe and Asia - to Guwahati from Odisha.
Witnessing almost negligible availability of quail in the city and the wide scope of poultry farming, Jahangir thought of starting rearing and hatching of quail.
He explained that after five years, now he is witnessing a satisfactory response from the buyers.
Stress on health benefits of meat
Jahangir’s vision was to promote and rear those birds which are clean sources of protein and which also have some health benefits.
He gradually got together with other interested farmers to make poultry farming popular among even the small-scale farmers of Guwahati.
“When we started, we decided that whatever poultry we would rear for meat purpose, should have some health benefits,” said Jahangir.
Apart from quail and emu, he also rears Rhode Island Red chicken. This variety of chicken is originally found in USA but it has now become indigenous too. Further, Jahangir said that they also breed turkey but do not promote it as much since its meat is not very healthy and is full of fats.
However, the black fowl, which is commonly known as Kadaknath, is the most unique bird he owns and rears. Kadaknath is indigenously cultivated in Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Chennai. Its skin is black in colour while the egg has a deep brown colour. It is more expensive than the local broiler chicken and is known for many health benefits too.
“Kadaknath has a variety of health benefits; it is beneficial for anaemic patients. Also, any child who lacks nutrition can be given Kadaknath’s eggs,” explained Jahangir.
Explaining the advantages of consuming Emu, he added that Emu’s meat is 98% cholesterol free. Even though it is red meat which is otherwise harmful, it has several good qualities. Quail, RIR and Kadaknath are pure forms of protein unlike broiler, he further added.
Further, the meat and eggs of RIR are used both for its meat and eggs. RIR’s egg costs Rs 7. Quail eggs, too, have a number of medicinal properties Even though the egg is smaller than chicken’s, it is rich in many vital nutrients. It is especially prescribed for asthma patients, informed Jahangir. Like Emu’s meat, Quail’s meat is also 98% cholesterol-free.
Affordable tools to other poultry farmers for conducting farming
Jahangir informed that if a small farmer wants to begin egg production on a small scale, it usually costs a large sum of money to set up the business. However, RIR is a variety which can be easily reared in the backyard of farmers.
An average poultry farmer can easily earn revenue of around Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000 per week.
“We sell eggs and birds as a coordinated process. For instance, if someone wants to rear quail, they take their baby and we also provide them with machinery for Rs 65,000 which otherwise costs close to Rs 3 lakhs in the market — price that a small farmer cannot afford,” said Jahangir.
He thus helps small-scale farmers who wish to begin poultry farming procure machinery at a low price.
On the other hand, if someone does not want to get into production, they buy the output from the customers. Jahangir added that it takes around 45 days for the quail’s baby to get ready for meat purpose; they then buy it back from them.
He added that the business of poultry farming is gaining popularity by the day and the concept is very successful.
“Now the scenario is such that the demand has increased so much that it becomes difficult to keep up with the supply,” said the poultry farmer.