Poultry Farming dates back to centuries old by hunting of jungle birds and domestication through backyard keeping and at present commercialization.  The main purpose of rearing birds is for egg and meat production. India is a producer and consumer of poultry products.

Today poultry farming has been industrialized with huge mechanization. There are several factors caused these improvements which include development of improved breeds and strains of birds, providing balanced feed, diseases control, better marketing channels, integration of poultry management practices etc. Now days there is a great demand for value added products such as egg powder, ready to cook meat and their quicker transportation to the places of demand.

Growth of poultry industry in Karnataka

Karnataka state has very congenial atmosphere for growth of poultry industry. The factors responsible for growth include better climate, presence of natural wealth, availability of skilled and unskilled labourers, technical expertise, access to modern technology such as computer software, spreadsheets etc. The availability of advanced equipments for automation, good quality feed and substitutes of feed ingredients at lower prices have all added to reduce the cost of production of birds.

Karnataka ranks 5th place in both egg and meat production in India.

Many new strains of chicken have been produced to cater for various types of poultry farming such as commercial and backyard farming.

Transport facility for production and supply of parent birds and fertile eggs has been established.  The districts leading in broiler chicken production include Bangalore rural, Tumkur, Kolar and Chikkaballapur. The districts popular in chicken egg production include Bellary, Chitradurga, Davangere, Raichur and Koppal.

Integration in commercial broiler chicken farming-A recent trend

Many National and Multinational companies have invested in the recurring expenditure on contract farming for broiler chicken production by providing financial assistance through material supply to the entrepreneurs to take up contract poultry farming. In contract farming, a batch of day old chicks are supplied along with feed, medicine and technical expertise. The grown up broilers are procured at appropriate short time and prevailing agreed price. The farmer will arrange for poultry housing, equipments, water, electricity, labour and other miscellaneous expenses. The farmer gets a good amount of profit in return. Contract farming has helped large number of rural farmers in improving their livelihood.


The present day chicken have originated from Red Jungle fowl. Based on their utility the breeds are classified into Broiler and Layer breeds.

Broiler breeds

Most of the broiler breeds are derived from American Plymouth rock birds. The day old chick within a span of 5 to 6 weeks will attain marketable body weight of 1.8 to 2 kg by consuming about 3.5 kg of feed. (Average feed conversion rate (FCR) is 1:1.8)

These birds also maintain good health with very low mortality rate of 2%

Egg Layer breeds

Most of the Layer breeds are derived from White leghorn, a Mediterranian breed. The layers convert most of the feed consumed for producing eggs. Annually these birds produce 325 to 350 eggs. The birds consume an average of 1.5kg feed to produce 12 eggs.

Backyard poultry breeds (chicken) for rural conditions

Two strains of birds viz., “Giriraja” and “Swarnadhara” have been developed and released by the KVAFSU (Earlier under UAS (B)). These birds possess local breed characters of color feathered plumage, disease resistance and are adaptable to various climatic conditions. They can survive on local feed stuffs and on the larvae of insects available in manure etc. (Scavenging habit). The special character of scavenging habit with improved meat and egg production capacity have been included to develop the said strains adaptable to our rural conditions.


An attractive bird with color plumage as that of local breed. Has special features of

  • Scavenging habit of feeding and easy to manage in village.
  • Adjusts to varied situations in rural conditions.
  • Fit for low input management in feeding and does not need special housing.
  • Body weight gain and egg yield is two times more than that of local bird, 3.5 kg to 5.0 kg and 140 to 150 eggs per annum.
  • Good disease resistance, however needs to be vaccinated against Rani khet disease at 5th week and 20th week of age.