Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute (BLRI) has developed a new variety of layer chickens “BLRI Layer Strain-2” which can be distinguished by sex from day one, an advantage that will help save rearing cost significantly.
The new species nicknamed “Shorna” is the second species to be developed after “BLRI Layer Strain-1”, popularly known as “Shuvra”, which was developed in 2011. Hens of the Shorna variety lay brown eggs unlike those of Shuvra which lay white eggs.
The institute has completed successful trials of the chicken variety by farmers in pilot projects in Tangail, Jamalpur and Barisal.
“We will soon officially hand over the variety through a programme,” said Md Nazrul Islam, director general of BLRI.
The institute developed the new breed, first of its kind in Bangladesh, with support from Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica).
Md Sazedul Karim Sarker, head of poultry production research division of the institute, said, “The special trait of the new variety is that male and female chicks can be differentiated from birth. The white chicks are male, while the brown ones are female.”
Mentioning that the reason farmers rear layer chickens is for eggs, he said, “Rearing this new variety of chickens is less costly as farmers can tell which are hens from birth.”
Sarker said that in case of other breeds of chickens, it takes about 10 to 12 weeks before farmers can distinguish hens from cocks.
“So it is a great loss for farmers when at the end of the 10 weeks they see that they have been rearing cocks,” said Sarker.
“Knowing which chickens are hens from the get-go saves farmers a lot of money and effort,” he said, adding that in 10 weeks, for every 1,000 chicken a farmer can save up to Tk 70,000.
The Department of Livestock Services would spread the new variety across the country, said Md Abdur Rashid, senior scientific officer at BLRI.