June 18, 2024

Poultry Farming In India One Of The Major Agricultural Industries

Raising poultry not only provides employment opportunities but also plays a crucial role in meeting the demand for animal protein. In this article, we will discuss different aspects of poultry farming in India.

Types of Poultry Farming

There are two main types of poultry farming practiced in India – chicken farming and duck farming.

Chicken Farming

Chicken is the most commonly raised poultry in India. It is estimated that India has a population of over 700 million chickens making it one of the top chicken producing countries globally. Chicken farming can be broadly categorized into broiler farming and layer farming.

Broiler Farming

Broiler chickens are commercially raised for meat purpose. Popular broiler breeds include Cobb 500, Hubbard, and ROSS 308. Broilers attain market weight of 1.5-2 kgs within 45-60 days. They are bred to grow and gain weight faster. Requirements like spatial arrangement, equipment, feed, and management practices are tailored for efficient broiler meat production.

Layer Farming

Layers are farm birds raised for their egg production ability. Some popular layer breeds are White Leghorn, Rhode Island Red, and Indian Farm Chicken. Layers mature at around 20 weeks of age and lay eggs daily weighing around 50-60 grams. They are maintained through their production cycle of 72 weeks on an average. Proper housing, nutrition, health care and collecting eggs frequently are key to maximizing egg yields.

Duck Farming

Ducks are also commercially farmed in some parts of India, especially West Bengal, Assam and the northeastern states. Popular duck breeds include Khaki Campbell, Rouen and White Pekin. Ducks are reared for both meat and eggs. They require larger ponds or wetlands for feeding and housing. India exports duck meat and eggs and it is also an integral part of traditional cuisines.

Poultry Farming Systems

There are two main systems of Poultry farming in practice –

Backyard Poultry Farming

Under this system, farmers raise a small flock of 20-50 birds in their backyard or homestead. Housing and feeding is simple. Birds forage for natural feeds and scrape for food. There is minimal use of feeds, vaccines or medicines. This traditional system contributes to household nutrition and provides supplemental income.

Commercial Poultry Farming

Larger farms raise flocks of 1000-10,000 or more birds. Housing, feeds, vaccines, routine health checks and record keeping are highly systematized for optimum productivity. Commercial egg producers usually maintain flocks of 2000-5000 layers in multi-tier cage systems. Broiler integrated production follows ‘All-in, all-out’ system where day-old-chicks are procured, fed for 6 weeks and marketed together. Commercial farms play a key role in organized poultry meat and egg production.

Inputs Required for Poultry Farming

Let us examine the critical inputs needed to start and sustain poultry production:


This includes farmer’s own facilities like sheds, houses or procurement of day-old chicks, feed and other inputs from integrators on contract basis. Commercial ventures require large sheds, equipment and automation depending on scale of operations.


Quality balanced poultry feed as per birds’ age, breed and production stage is crucial. Commercial premixes are customized for layers, broilers and ducks. Some farmers also provide homemade supplements.

Disease Prevention

Vaccination calendar against Ranikhet disease, fowl pox, infectious bursal disease etc. is imperative. Biosecurity measures and access to veterinary care aid healthy flock management.


Use of high-yielding poultry breeds suited to agro-climatic conditions and adapted to backyard or commercial systems. Regular supply of quality chicks.


Clean drinking water and facilities for routine sanitation and waste management.


Skilled labor for operations and routine tasks or adopting laborsaving equipments.

Record Keeping

Systematic documentation of production parameters and financial records aids planning and performance evaluation.

Over the years, with growing commercialization aided by supportive government policies and private sector investment, the poultry industry has traversed a long way. It is expected to keep contributing significantly to farm incomes, food and nutrition security and rural employment in India. Scientific and sustainable poultry production holds great potential.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it