New chicken breed to feed developing world

A hardy and highly-efficient breed of chicken which has been used in India for almost two decades is now being lauded by poultry researchers as a way millions of people in developing countries could raise incomes and improve nutrition.

The Kuroiler, developed by Kegg Farms in India, is an all rounder bird for a village environment which outperforms native birds in meat and egg production.

A study by Arizona State University Biodesign Institute presented at the American Veterinary Medical Association found the birds returned a 133% increase in meat yield and a 462% increase in egg production.

The bird is able to reach a weight of 3kg in about eight weeks compared to 1.5-2kg for natives, while over a laying cycle a hen can lay 200 eggs, compared to 40 from traditional breeds.

Naturally resistant to many diseases the birds have an 84% survival rate while it has an 80% hatch rate in eggs compared to 47% from native breeds.

The bird has already been flagged up as a breed which could be used in Uganda and other African nations to improve the livelihood of poultry keepers.

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