Poultry Business

The promoter aims to start a poultry farm with 1,000 layers as a first stage and increase the number of layers at a later stage.

Sri Lanka, formerly called “Ceylon”, has a very special place in the history of poultry domestication with its “Gallus lafayetii” or “Ceylon Jungle fowl” being one of the ancestors for the present day poultry breeds. However, the poultry industry in Sri Lanka only has a brief history as this began just a few decades ago. During the past 2 decades, the presence of native backyard type poultry breeds have been declining with the availability of present hybrid chicks in the rural areas due to the rapid growth of the poultry industry.

About 70 % of the contribution to the livestock sector in Sri Lanka is made up of chicken meat and eggs. With the current purchasing levels of consumers, the industry is capable of producing a considerable amount to meet the local requirements for chicken meat and eggs. These are relatively cheap as compared to other animal products.

Poultry products are now the most consumed source for animal protein in the diet of the average Sri Lankan as the industry today is in the hands of the private sector The village chicken contributes to about 15 % of the total egg production in the nation.. They are reared mainly for the production of eggs since they have low growth rates. The village chicken is reared both in the rural and suburban areas, however, they are frequently found in the rural villages of Sri Lanka. The average flock size varies from 5-10 birds. At present, the poultry industry is growing as a lucrative sector despite minor constraints.

The industry is capable of meeting a considerable amount of local requirements for chicken meat and eggs. Being the cheapest source of animal proteins, poultry has contributed largely to the source of animal proteins so much so that the government has even declared chicken meat as an essential food commodity in 2006.

Poultry industry in Sri Lanka has undergone tremendous changes over the recent years and at present the industry has become self-sufficient with the existing demand. As common to South Asian Region Sri Lankan poultry industry consists of two main production systems: Commercial poultry production system and small scale poultry production system The small scale poultry industry mainly focused on egg production and has higher potentials in meat production too. The Department of Animal Production and Health (DAPH) identified the importance of the small scale family poultry production systems as backyard poultry helps reduce rural malnutrition, empowers the rural low income families specially women and children and provides opportunities to conserve the genetic resources of indigenous chicken varieties. Therefore, DAPH has initiated rural level small scale projects to develop the backyard poultry industry. In recent years under the ‘Divinaguma’ Programme the government facilitated to develop the small scale family poultry industry through provincial DAPHs. The government spent a considerable amount to promote the industry by providing inputs to initiate new projects and upgrading the prevailing backyard poultry industry. Therefore, identification of impact of small scale poultry systems is important in future decision making in expanding of the sector. Even though the overall poultry production increases in the country small scale poultry sector is showing an uneven development due to several reasons such as feed problems, marketing and environment issues.

Fifty farmers from each district were selected to the total sample which comprised 363 farmers. Stratified random sampling method was utilized to select poultry farmers to the questionnaire survey. The findings of the research reveal that the majority of the small scale poultry farmers are female (61%) and most of the sample farmers were educated up to GCE O/L. Further, for above 60 percent of them poultry farming is their main occupation. Even though majority of the farmers have farms in their own lands, half of the farmers owned less than ¼ ac. The income distribution varies according to the scale of operation. The research reveals that 20 percent of the farmers received more than Rs. 50,000 per month. Majority of the farmers practice semi intensive management and 13 percent are engaged in extensive poultry farming. More than half of the farmers are engaged in poultry farming to obtain higher incomes while 11 percent aim at family nutrition. Ninety percent of the farmers are engaged in egg production whereas the rest in equal percentages aim at meat production and both productions.

Majority (77%) of the farmers owned a poultry house as it was a requirement to be eligible. Most of the farmers (77%) use paddy husk as a bedding material for poultry houses and 65 percent utilized the used litter as a fertilizer in their home gardens while two percent sold it for fertilizer. Day-old chicks for poultry farming were mainly obtained through natural breeding within the farm (44%). However, 33% of the farmers purchased chicks from village level breeding centres in Kurunegala and Puttalam districts. Maintaining breeding farms has become a profitable industry. Cage feeding is a popular method of feeding. Commercial layer feed become the most famous feed t for small scale poultry rearing. Majority of the farmers (59%) sell the excess eggs to the neighbours and above 30 percent to the nearby markets. The average egg consumption has increased compared to national averages. The per capita total monthly consumption is 14.96 eggs and the per capita annual consumption has increased to 180 eggs. Finally, small scale poultry farming is carried out as a successful income generating activity. However, the majority of the farmers are engaged in the small scale poultry farming as a secondary income means. Small scale poultry farmers face problems such as increased input prices, market price fluctuations of the eggs and meat, extension and environmental problems. As whole to increase the profitability of the small sale poultry production there should be a special subsidize feeding system and organized marketing system

In 2019, production of eggs primary for Sri Lanka was 116,761 tonnes. Though Sri Lanka production of eggs primary fluctuated substantially in recent years, it tended to increase through 1970 – 2019 period ending at 116,761 tonnes in 2019.