Biology IX | Improvement in Food Resources | Part 4

Improvement in Food Resources | Part 4

2. Poultry Farming

The poultry industry with its production in the form of eggs and meat is of particular importance in providing balanced diet for the human population. Poultry birds serve human beings in various ways. They are not only efficient converters of agriculture by products, particularly of wastes into high quality meat but also providing egg, feathers and rich manure. Proper management of poultry includes improved methods of hatching rearing, housing, sanitation, prevention from diseases, and a sound marketing a arrangement.

An egg laying poultry is called egger or layer and the poultry reared for obtaining meat is called chicken or broiler. Poultry farming is undertaken basically to raise domestic fowl for egg production and chicken meat.

Poultry Breeders

In India, available poultry breed are included in following three categories :

1. Desi or indigenous breeds. We have only four pure breeds of indigenous or desi fowls. They are Aseel, Kadaknath, Chattisgarh and Bursa.

2. Exotic breeds. Exotic breeds mean varieties of other countries or foreign breeds. There are present numerous exotic breeds of poultry which have been successfully acclimatized in India. The following two exotic breeds of poultry are most popularly used in our country :

(i) White Leghorn.

This very popular exotic breed of fowl produces long white eggs. Since white leghorn has small body size (body weight 2.7 kg of cock and 2.0 kg of hen), so need less feed for its maintenance. Thus, its farming proves quite economical.

(ii) Rhode Island Red.

This breed of fowl was developed on the farm of Rhode Island in U.S.A. This is a dual type of breed, it is fairly good egg layer and also meat yielding (broiler). Some other exotic breeds of fowls in our country are Black Minorcha, Plymouth and Light Sussex.

(iii) Cross breeds or Improved breeds of poultry.

The majority of the present day chickens used for production of egg and meat are the crossbreed blocks. In India, a number of research programmes are going on to produce improved quality commercial egg layers and broilers through cross breeding. Some improved crossbreed strains of fowl are HH260, IBL-80, B-77 and IIS-82.

Variety Improvement

The programmes of cross breeding between Indian (indigenous) and foreign (exotic) breeds for variety improvement are focused to develop new varieties for the following desirable traits :

1. Quantity and quality of chicks;

2. Dwarf broiler parent for commercial chick production for summer adaptation capacity / tolerance to high temperature;

3. Low maintenance requirement;

4. Improvement in hen housed for egg production and reduction in the size of the layer with ability to utilize more fibrous, cheap diet formulated using agricultural by products.

3. Fish Production

Fisheries are the occupation of catching fish. It has been pursued by human beings from the times immemorial. Fisheries primarily started as capture fisheries in natural waters such as seas, rivers, lakes, ponds, estuaries, etc. Cultural fisheries or fish culture is a recent addition to fisheries. Production of fish in a given body of water such as a pond, lake or reservoir, using scientific methods of feeding, breeding, etc., so as to enhance the output is called fish culture.

Based on the water sources of fish production, following three types of fisheries can be recognized.

1. Marine Fisheries. They include capture fisheries of oceans and seas.

Ex. 1. Pomphrets 2. Mackerels 3. Tuna 4. Sardines 5. Bombay duck 6. Eel

2. Fresh water fisheries. They include capture and culture fisheries in freshwater systems such as rivers, canals, lakes, reservoirs, tanks, ponds and paddy fields.

3. Brackish water fisheries. They include fishing activities in brackish water (slightly salty) such as estuaries (last part of river that gets tidal water from sea), lagoons (shallow salt water lakes separated from sea bank, coral reef, etc.) and mangrove swamps (tropical trees growing in mud of sea-shore).

Fresh water fisheries and brackish water fisheries are collectively called inland fisheries.

4. Bee-Keeping

Honey is widely used and therefore bee-keeping for making honey has become an agricultural enterprise. Since bee-keeping needs low investments, farmers use it as an additional income generating activity. In addition to honey, the beehives are a source of wax which is used in various medicinal preparations.

The local varieties of bees used for commercial honey production are Apis cerana indica, commonly known as the Indian bee, A. dorsat, the rock bee and A. florae, the little bee. An Italian bee variety, A. mellifera, has also been brought in to increase yield of honey. This is the variety commonly used for commercial honey production.

The Italian bees have high honey collection capacity. They sting somewhat less. They stay in a given beehive for long periods, and breed very well. For commercial honey production, bee farms or apiaries are established.

The value or quality of honey depends upon the pasturage, or the flowers available to the bees for nectar and pollen collection. In addition to adequate quantity of pasturage, the kind of flowers available will determine the taste of the honey.