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MPUAT scientists develop heat tolerant chicken breed ‘ Mewari’

Udaipur : ‘Indian Chicken 1700 Mewari 12016’, an indigenous variety of chicken developed by the scientists of the Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology here, has gained recognition and registered as the 16th chicken breed of the country. National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources, Karnal (NBAGR) , the nodal agency for the registration of newly identified germplasm of the livestock and poultry of the country has registered the variety, which is the first bird breed from Rajasthan.The registration of as new breed will allow the policy makers and animal husbandry departments and other stakeholders to take suitable steps for their genetic improvement and conservation. After including the newly registered breeds, total number of indigenous breeds in the country will now be 151, which include 39 for cattle, 13 for buffalo, 24 for goat, 40 for sheep, 6 for horses & ponies, 9 for camel, 3 for pig, 1 for donkey and 16 for chicken.

Mewari chickenThis heat tolerant variety of chicken is sturdier with strong legs and wings, can thrive in scorching heat up to 45 degree Celsius and easy to breed in households. Breed registration Committee of the NBAGR in its meeting in January at New Delhi approved registration of seven new breeds of livestock and poultry and one line of chicken. This included two breeds of cattle, one breed each of goat, sheep, pig, camel and chicken. Among the chicken variety ‘Indian chicken 1700 Mewari 12016’ was included. “Mewari chicken is found in central and southern part of Rajasthan. It is reared for egg and meat under free range or scavenging system. Adult weight is about 1.9 kg in cocks and 1.2 kg in hens. Annual egg production ranges from 37 to 52. Egg weight is about 53g” Prof P.L. Maliwal, Director Research, MPUAT informed.

The scientists had taken up a research project in 2009 to assess the viability of this breed. The varsity had spent 2.5 crore rupees in the project and found the breed to be profitable for poultry purpose. Citing the benefits of the indigenous varieties, scientists claim that these are well adapted to the local climate and thrive better in adverse environmental conditions and nutritional scarcity. This breed does not easily fall prey when attacked by dogs and cats and their meat & eggs fetch five times more compared to other chicken breeds.

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