Mortality of poultry has increased between 3% and 4% because of high temperatures
SANTO DOMINGO. The Dominican poultry industry produces an average of 15.5 million units each month and more than 5 million eggs each day, it generates 15,000 direct jobs in rural areas and moves each year US$730 million, to constitute the subsector within the agricultural sector which most contributes to the local Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The production, which is totally consumed here in the case of the “white meat”, as well as nearly the totality of the eggs (only a portion ends up in Haiti informally), permits the country to be self-sufficient in this item, according to the Dominican Poultry Association (ADA).
The president of the Association, Bolivar Cartegena, stresses that the increase in production of poultry is due to the stable prices of the commodities (the raw material used to feed the birds) which they buy overseas and also because of the purchasing power of Dominicans. “Regarding consumption, we try to adjust the supply to the consumption, because consumption varies with the prices,” said the businessman, who took part this week in the Dialogo libre, together with the directors of the ADA, Miguel Lajara and Wilfredo Cabrera.
Cartegena noted that the poultry industry is concentrated in the Cibao (Moca, Licey Al Medio, for the most part) and around Santo Domingo, especially in Monte Plata and San Pedro de Macoris, where all the poultry farms are located. The large poultry producers locate themselves near the capital, while in the Cibao the small egg producing farms predominate.
“The Dominican people consume protein because of the poultry industry which has, because it is a highly dynamic industry and which, in spite of importing its raw materials, produces in an efficient manner and produces an affordable protein, which is nutritious and inexpensive,” Lajara underlined.
At the present time according to Cartagena, the price of a pound of poultry on the farm is at RD$25.50, while eggs are sold at RD$3.00, but this price is below costs since the production cost of an egg is RD$3.45.
Although the prices are relatively low, the population does not always receive the benefit, because of the chain of intermediaries that exists. Nevertheless businessman Lajara sees these intermediates as a “great strength” of the poultry industry, since it permits the distribution of the meat across the nation.
Cabrera said that the upturn in the poultry industry – not only limited to chicken production – is also due to the incorporation of production technologies, such as for example, the improvement of the genetics and the feed. He explained that in poultry production, the country has the most advanced genetics in the world, and it has two companies dedicated to this field, which are Ross and Cobb Caribe with the latter belonging to Cabrera himself. He explained that 10 years ago, a 42 day old chicken, when it was ready for consumption, barely weighed 3.60 pounds and now, thanks to the genetic improvements, in the same time, they achieved 4.5 and 5 pounds.
The high temperatures the country is experiencing is causing a fall in poultry production, increasing the death of poultry between 3% and 4%, the ADA president revealed. He commented that generally the warmest months are July and August, but this year the high temperatures have come earlier, which sends the message that “we should be getting prepared.” He reported that a subcommittee in of the ADA met with the idea of taking preventative measures which will keep the situation from affecting the supply of the people.
How a chicken is produced
A baby chick takes 42 days to be ready for consumption
From birth, a baby chick takes 42 days to be ready for consumption. It arrives on the day it was born, and then it begins the fattening process, based on feeds such as corn, soy and vitamins. Nevertheless, in order to achieve this chicken, previously the businessmen imported into the country a lot of roosters and hens called “grandparents,” who are those that generate the egg laying hens, the roosters are used for genetic crossing and other males are destined to mass consumption. The proportion is 50-50 of each production by the hen. “Normally when they are at a productive age we have to try and see that there is no less than one rooster for every 10 hens,” explains Cartagena, and he stresses that in the country there are 28 companies that produce chicks.
May 11, 2015
Category: DR News |