In this article we will discuss about the Indian and exotic breeds of poultry.
Indian Breeds (Desi Breeds):
It is an ideal table bird famous of its fighting quality. They are distributed all over India but best quality of Aseel are found in Lucknow and Rampur districts in U.P. and in Hyderabad. These birds have plentiful of flesh with a nice flavour and taste. But these have poor egg laying and slow in growth. They have stout body built, strong legs, and beak and are black and white, red black or spotted. Comb is small Face is rather long and wattles are rudimentary.
Named after the place of their origin. These are of fighting nature. They grow fast. Flesh is in plenty and tasty, generally golden or light yellow with short comb and wattles. Body is short and stout. Legs long and powerful.
Ghagus is a very good quality of bird both for laying and for table. They are highly found and grow faster, weigh more than other birds, have good taste and flavour. Generally red, bay, brown, black or grey in colour, good fleshy body long powerful legs. Short and single comb, small wattles and short ear lobes.
Originated in the valley of Brahmaputra. This bird is a heavy bodied dark and grey coloured, heavily feathered. Beak strong and stout, neck long, legs feathery and strong.
Improved or Exotic Breeds:
The term ‘improved’ is applied generally to the exotic and comparatively modern breeds of Chickens imported into this country, where they are bred and acclimatized to the local conditions.
The exotic breeds of poultry were introduced in India by early European residents such as missionaries, planters and civil servants. The exotic breeds have become quite popular here. According to the standard classification ‘Chickens’ are grouped into many classes which are further subdivided into about fifty breeds. Each breeds has several varieties which differ from one another.
These breeds can be grouped into American Mediterranean and English breeds common in India and widely used for chicken, eggs and meat can be grouped into American Mediterranean and English breeds.
(i) American Class:
The birds in this class have clean yellow shank and red ear lobes. They lay brown eggs. These are good for meat and egg laying also. The common birds are Rhode Island Red, New Hampshir, Vindote and Plymouth Rock.
(ii) Mediterranean Class:
These are smaller than American and English breed. The ear lobes are white and these lay white eggs. These are primarily used for egg laying. The fecundity is much higher, «o these are considered to be the best for poultry purposes particularly for egg business. The white leg horn is the most common and well known species.
(iii) English Class:
These are big sized birds generally white in colour and are considered to be the best table bird. The common English class includes Cormish and Australorp.
There are about 20 varieties of breads in American class of birds but out of them only few have been acclimatized in Indian environment and are used in commercial purpose.
These are the:
i. Birds of American Class:
(a) Rodhe Island Red:
One of the best among all the breeds introduced in India. These birds can with stand a variety of extreme climatic conditions. These are supposed to be the hardiest amongst all species. They lay large brown eggs. Heavily built and high fecundity is the special feature. These are generally red or brown and may have a black tail, red earlobes and eyes and yellow legs and shanks.
(b) Plymouth Rock:
Most popular and common breed can be recognized by its large size and good weight. They are good layer also. The colour is white or with bands. Beak is yellow and slightly curved, legs spotted, wattle pink, eyes large, neck covered with feathers and of medium size. They weigh from 3-4 kgs.
Beautiful in general looking body oblong, white or golden coloured with yellow legs. These are good layer and table birds.
ii. Birds of English Class:
An old and common bread of England. High fecundity and have a good amount of meat also. Range from 3-4 kg in body weight, light, spotted or red in colour. Legs, beak and feathers are white, black ribs may occur on the neck. Beak small and curved. Legs small and without feathers.
Bird of English breed but common in India. They have high fecundity and good quality of meat, eggs are bigger in size, may lay about 200 eggs per annum. The body is oblong, and broad. Feathers are loosely arranged. Legs are without feathers. They cannot withstand extreme bad climatic conditions.
A bird of Australian origin but now very common and popular in India. Can withstand bad weathers and is successfully acclimatized in Indian climate. The birds are good all round breed. They range from 3-3.5 kg in body weight. The beak is dark or black colour and legs are black or brown coloured.
(g) White Cornish and White Rock:
These are newly introduced English varieties in India and are gaining momentum day by day. These are particularly broiler type of breed and are ready in a few weeks only. They produce tasty and flavoured quality of flesh. These are the only white skinned English breeds.
iii. Mediterranean Class:
(h) White Leghorn:
One of the most popular eggs laying breed almost all over the world. They have high fecundity and the eggs are large sized white and produced in large quantity. The egg laying days are much more than any other class of breeds introduced in India.
They are most suited in comparatively drier parts of India but in rainy or cloudy areas they are not much successful. The body weight is not much and are not good for table. They weigh about 2-2.7 kg. These are white coloured, small and smart birds. Legs are long, yellow and without feathers. Beak and skin in yellow.
(i) Black Minorca:
Largest of all the Mediterranean breeds these birds are found in black and sometimes in white colours. Though they are famous for their big and tasty eggs but the fecundity is not much higher. The taste of meat is also not very good so the sale value is not profitable. These birds are losing their popularity and are declining day by day. The ear lobes are long and smooth.
(j) American Class New Hampshire:
It is relatively new breed developed in U.S.A. They can withstand the bad weather and are successfully introduced in India. They produce large sized brown and tasty eggs. The body weight ranges from 2.7-3.5kg.
These are some of the exotic breeds popular in India and it depends on the knowledge and experience of the breeder to select the breed and start the poultry. The different variety of breeds can be recognized by the breeder and used for either laying or for broiler purposes. He can select the bird according to the environment of his locality. Besides all these breeds hybrid and crossed chickens are commonly used in Indian sub-continents. These crossed breed birds as good in laying and in quality and quantity of flesh also.