Bhubaneswar, Oct. 21: The Central Poultry Development Organisation for eastern region at Jaydev Vihar has recovered most of its poultry breeds, which were lost during the culling operation in February 2012.
While it has recovered many prized varieties through collection of hatching eggs from the other three organisations across the nation, the famous Kalinga Brown variety is yet to be recovered.
“We have received the original parental line of the Kalinga Brown as it is a cross between the male of While Leghorn and female of Rhodes Island Red. We have received the hatching eggs from the Bangalore centre and started the work. Through intensive cross breeding we can have the variety within five years,” said institute director Prasanna Kumar Panda.
Developing parental line of a hybrid variety takes 10 to 15 years. Culling had already caused a severe blow to the old stock and it will take nearly a decade to come with all the varieties with similar genetic and physical features.
Kalinga Brown, developed by the Bhubaneswar centre, is a sought after variety. The Indian Council of Agricultural Research had named Kalinga Brown variety the Pride of India.
India has four central poultry development organisations. While the eastern region institute in the city is for the northeastern states, Bengal, Bihar and Chhattisgarh, the Chandigarh institute is for the northern region, while Mumbai for the western region and Bangalore for the southern region.
Panda said: “On March 3, 2012, the state government asked us to stop the work for at least three months due to post-operative surveillance programme after the culling. We started collecting eggs in September and the poultry chicks were available by first week of October.”
The institute has also included many precautionary measures such as wheel dips for each vehicle getting inside the facility, so that chemicals placed near the gate sanitise the tyres.
Chemicals are also sprayed on vehicles carrying feeds and other things to the campus. Other vehicles are barred and not allowed entry.
Baripada resident Kedar Singh, who regularly buys Aseel breed from the institute, said: “The variety is a fighter species, and traditionally in Mayurbhanj district, we have a huge demand for it. I want to start a small rearing unit at my hometown to supplement my income.”
The institute director, however, said turkey, the most susceptible variety to H5N1 virus, is not included in the new list of the poultry varieties. The ducks, which are the carrier of the virus, are also out from our list for now.
“As we don’t want to take a chance, we are not including guinea fowl though it is neither carrier nor susceptible to the virus,” he said.
The central institute has to face the culling as directed by the Centre as bird samples collected from the institute were also found to have the avian influenza virus H5N1 last year in January.
The poultry research unit at Odisha University of Agriculture Technology has also started reviving its lost coloured bird variety with eggs from the Central Avian Research Institute.
Prasanna Kumar Mishra, head of the department of poultry science at the varsity, said: “We have developed around half of the stock we had lost to culling. But Phailin has damaged a portion of the hatchery. However, we were able to transfer the bird stock before the cyclone.”